Another feature of The Times Guide to the House of Commons 2010 – not found in its predecessor volumes – is reference to MPs’ sexuality and relationships other than marriage. Whereas one used to find reference in previous volumes to, for example, ‘married with two children’, in this volume there are references to ‘in civil partnership’, ‘has a partner’ (no mention of which gender), and ‘lesbian, with a partner’. One or two MPs are referred to simply as ‘gay’, which has no relevance in itself to a relationship. Given that the volume now includes subjective thumbnail sketches, it is not clear whether this information has been supplied by the MPs in question or has been included by the decision of the editors. Some ‘out’ MPs are not listed as gay whereas others are.
My listing in my previous post of some of the thumbnail sketches of MPs has already provoked some readers to suggest the names of the MPs covered by the descriptions. I offer a few more for those readers wishing to attempt to identify who is being described:
‘Archetypal pin-striped, plummy-voiced Edwardian Tory’.
‘Diminuitive left-winger with gnome-like demeanor. Active member of the Socialist Campaign Group.’
‘Intense, intellectual historian. Worthy and solid, he is an also-ran of politics – a born Minister of State.’
‘Plain speaking, rarely misses a passing bandwagon’.
I don’t necessarily endorse the descriptions – I think the third is rather unfair – but it will be interesting to see if readers identify any or all of those described.