Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Week's Good Cause

Spare a thought for the MPs defeated at the recent general election. Joe Ashton does, reports the Guardian.

The former MP for Bassetlaw, latterly famous for discovering the hitherto overlooked Thai quarter of Northampton, was:

especially struck by the plight of some of the Tories defeated in 1997, when 160 lost their seats in the New Labour landslide. "One drank himself to death, two or three more suffered from alcohol problems and depression, another was so broke he had to take his kids out of school," he says. His response was to form an association of ex-MPs, a support group that aims to help members once their 15 minutes of fame - or perhaps their eight and a half years of infamy - is over.

Ashton paints a grim picture for those who have been defeated at the polls. "The shock of losing is traumatic," he says. "You learn that you've lost at midnight, your opponents are singing and chortling, it's a cruel, ruthless arena."

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