Monday, 14 November 2011

Alan Keen RIP

Very sad to hear of the death of Alan Keen, MP for Feltham and Heston, at the age of only 73. I agree with a correspondent, who described Alan as a "solid, quiet and pleasant Blairite MP" and not with the Filth which, haters that they are, have chosen his sadly early death to lambast his entire career and sneer at his memory. Bastards. And all of you, teachers and lecturers, Labour Party members, sitting in your comfortable rooms in leafy neighbourhoods and putting up resolutions to your GCs about what a wonderful place Cuba is, reading your Guardian and sneering likewise at a man who worked hard for his often low-paid and often Asian constituents, and who cared about football and about the Labour Party more than he did about Guardian readers, shame on you.

Paste the link above and you will see Alan in some very dubious company indeed. But most of he time he chose his friends and associates well. Not for him the showy, crowd-pleasing demagoguery beloved of some.

My favorite memory of Alan comes from 1999. During the summer and autumn of that year I was being savagely bullied by Martin Salter and by the then chair of Reading Labour Party, Mike Price, who made persistent late-night calls to me at home in Reading, in the case of Price while drunk. It wasn't an easy time, and while I didn't whine about it, Salter bragged that year around Westminster about the deselection he was organising in Reading East, and that the new candidate would be John Howarth. But that is long ago. Alan Keen got wind of it, and came up to me on the Terrace one day, while Salter and others were there, and while coincidentally I had in my hand one of several poison-pen letters I had received from Salter's ex-partner Christine Howell, who went in for these in between rather tedious suicide attempts. Alan tried to sit down at the table I was at, but Salter told him he wasn't welcome. Alan said later that he had hoped to be able to offer me some support against Salter's bullying. He and others in the Feltham and Heston Labour Party had been on the receiving end of it when Salter had made his unsuccessful attempt to be selected as the candidate there in 1992. The dirtiest campaign he had ever seen, I was told.

Alan Keen didn't go in for dirty play. I doubt that a man like him would get a look in in today's opposition-happy Mili-E Labour Party. More's the pity. I imagine his widow Ann will get the selection for the by-election, now that she has lost the neighbouring seat of Brentford and Isleworth to the Tories. Or, even worse, one of the Establishment offspring (what the French call contemptuously "fille de papa") such as Georgia Gould in memory of Dead Dad.

Rest in peace Alan. It's over for you now. But you are not gone so long as your friends remember you. Pity we can't count on that from the Labour Party.


Anonymous said...

What a sensitive and intelligent post. He was a decent man - and how despicable that The Guardian has sunk so low.

Georgia Gould would be an appalling choice ( or foist, Ed) - and an insult to the memory of a man who got where he did because he worked hard, and honestly and well for his constituents and the Labour Party. The many people he helped will know how to value him - as I do too.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why you haven't just paid tribute to him without launching a personal attack against Salter.

Anonymous said...

Julia Langdon's obit in today's Guardian is vicious. What type of troll is she?

She even seems to be sneering because he didn't know his dad.


Jane Griffiths said...

No personal attack. Statement of fact. Your view on the Guardian obit?

Anonymous said...

It was an absolute measure of Alans' decency as a person that he was prepared to go on the record about the disgraceful conduct of Salter to other MPS - such as Jane.

Therefore, it is relevant to mention it.

Anonymous said...

I think maybe a new family game has been born.

Back to Salter. Pick a random subject and relate it back to Martin Salter being an utter shit.

Here are a few subjects to get us going.

1. Maroon 5 are boring
2. Oranges are not the only fruit
3. Nell McAndrew.

Have a go!!!

Anonymous said...

Nell McAndrew has run the Reading half marathon. Martin Salter pretends to like running but really hates it. Just like he hates Jane and because of that he had her deselected.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous. Martin never ran the half-marathon he just got the Evening Post to print that he was going to then he wimped out, just as he gotvthem to say he was going to vote against going to war in Iraq then he abstained. Don't believe what the chorus of lap-dogs in the local press say about what he has done look at the record.

Anonymous said...

ANON Not true but not false either.

He did run part of the half marathon as a team.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Salter Apologist.
The initial announcement was about Salter running the half-marathon. He commented in his Chronicle column about his training. There were other press puff pieces about his training for running the half-marathon. Nothing about running part of it as a team. Then just before he gets an injury (I suspect he realised he had not put the work in and could not run the course) and a small piece appeared about how he would now do part of it as part of a team. In fact, thinking about it the announcment of the ability for teams to take part was first made around the time of his injury.
In advance of the vote in Parliament on the Iraq war all we heard was about how he was against it and he would rebel. When it came to the vote on British action in Iraq he abstained.
The point, in both cases lots of noise about what he is going to do. The reality he does not do them. Salter is an empty vessel, lots of noise signifying nothing.

Anonymous said...

And Alan Keen - who seems to have been forgotten - was a decent man.

Let Salter disapppear up his own marathon.

Anonymous said...

The fuenral was yesterday - the candidate will be announced within about 3 days.

The election is on 15th December.