Angela Eagle MP was our Guest Speaker at the Supper Club on March 28th at The Institute , Adderbury, in another successful Banbury Labour Party fundraiser (Video by Mike Beal)
Angela has now been MP for Wallesey for 20 years since she unseated Lynda Chalker who said at the time that the new MP was “Just keeping the seat warm for the Tories return”. Angela has held various ministerial seats in the Blair and Brown governments, and was Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury under Ed Milliband. She is currently Shadow Leader of the House and Chair of the National Policy Forum.
In April 2011 during PMQ’s Cameron famously told Angela to “Calm down dear’. Although a Labour spokesperson branded the remarks “sexist, insulting and patronising”, Angela said she had been “patronised by better people than the Prime Minister”, adding that Cameron should instead be apologising for the economy, which had “effectively flat lined for six months”.
At the supper club Angela echoed the sentiments in Ken Loach’s new film ‘The Spirit of ’45 saying that in 1979 the post-war consensus was replaced by the Reagan-Thatcher consensus of market fundamentalism, which included financial deregulation in 1986, and dubious assumptions about the limits of social democracy. In the last 30 years she said, 24p of every pound earned by the country has gone to the wealthiest 1%. She felt however that “We’re at the end of this era, which was signaled in 2008, and it’s dead, although the corpse doesn’t believe it’s dead yet.”
She said “British people are at their best when they work together, whereas this government is all about divide and rule – we have to assert our values of co-operation.” Angela is Chair of the National Policy Forum, which she said “is doing a lot of work to improve hope and enthusiasm in an era of cynicism. There is a huge responsibility for us all to contribute – go to ‘Your Britain’, the online home of Labour’s ideas and policy development.” (http://www.yourbritain.org.uk/)
In a response to a question from Jane Orton about survival in a male-dominated institution, Angela said it was like water off a duck’s back. She was in favour of all-women short lists and believes that female leadership will be much more effective in managing the global challenges of the future.