Is EU referendum rebellion career suicide? Ask Harold Wilson’s cabinet...

Plus: The most flood-prone places in Britain; delicacies of Kyrgyzstan

9 January 2016

9:00 AM

9 January 2016

9:00 AM

The outsiders

Did the seven members of Harold Wilson’s cabinet who campaigned to leave the Common Market in the 1975 referendum damage their careers?
Michael Foot, Employment Secretary. Made deputy leader by Jim Callaghan in 1976. Elected leader in 1980.
Tony Benn, Industry Secretary. Challenged Denis Healey unsuccessfully for Labour deputy leadership in 1981.
Barbara Castle, Social Services Secretary. Sacked from cabinet by Jim Callaghan when he became prime minister in 1976.
Eric Varley, Energy Secretary. Swapped jobs with Tony Benn after referendum. Fifth in shadow cabinet elections in 1979.
John Silkin, Planning and Local Government Secretary. Became agriculture secretary in 1976. Stood for Labour leadership in 1980 but was defeated.
Peter Shore, Trade Secretary. Became environment secretary in 1976, shadow foreign secretary in 1979. Stood for Labour leadership in 1980 but came last. Made shadow chancellor by Foot.
Willie Ross, Scotland Secretary. Retired from Commons in 1979; made a life peer.

Cities of death

Where in Britain is your home most likely to be flooded? These, according to the Environment Agency, are the districts with the greatest number of properties at risk of being flooded at least once every 75 years:

Boston 22,000
North Somerset 19,000
East Lindsey 15,000
Windsor and Maidenhead 12,000
Hull 11,000
Shepway 10,000
Sedgemoor 9,000
East Riding 8,000
Runnymede 8,000
Warrington 7,000

Serves you right

A British mineworker in Kyrgyzstan was deported after referring to the country’s national dish, chuchuk, as ‘horse’s penis’. What do people really eat there? A suggested menu, with explanations, from the website
— Tea with katama (deep-fried refined starch bread)
— Chuchuk (horse-fat sausages)
— Besh barmak (‘horse or sheep boiled in a big cookware — every attending gets a piece of broth according to their social position’)
— Plov (‘large hill of cooked rice with carrots, garlic and onions served with sliced boiled meat cooked with spices’)
— And to drink: kumys (‘horse’s fresh milk fermented in the stomach of a horse’)

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Show comments
  • Tamerlane

    I would rather eat horse’s penis.

  • Migru Ghee

    Well, blindly supporting Trident isn’t.

  • Frank

    This is just click-bait.
    Opposing the EU (particularly at the current juncture) is simply common sense, which does make one wonder what world the BSE mob inhabit.
    I think that there is a good case for proposing a new form for the EU, ie a trade body shorn of all its ridiculous political / federal pretensions, and Cameron should be pushing that (then again Cameron has the political imagination / vision of my rubber bath sponge).
    Anybody Cabinet Minister who is still supporting the EU come the referendum should seriously consider a new career!

    • DWWolds

      The only way we’ll get a new form of EU is to vote to leave. Simon Jenkins wrote an interesting article along those lines some time ago. Once the powers-that-be in the EU realise we are serious about leaving they will get the wind up and start to talk.

      • Conway

        Well we certainly won’t get anything worthwhile while Cameron is in charge since he’s a fully signed up EU-phile and the only thing he’s interested in is conning us to stay in.

    • Conway

      I suspect they have already got a new career lined up – in Brussels.

      • Mary Ann

        The majority of MPs favour staying in the EU, they can’t all have jobs lined up in Brussels.

        • goodsoldier

          If they favour staying in, then they certainly are an untrustworthy and sinister bunch of career politicians. To vote to stay in is to announce, ‘I am corrupt and will lie to you.’

          • Johnnymcevoy

            Too bloody right.

      • Frank

        I don’t know, I think they are the same kind of people who could not accept reality in Berlin in April 1945! Fantasists come in all shapes and sizes and many people are un-used to actually thinking about stuff. Stuart Rose seemed to be a pretty indifferent shopkeeper so why would anyone assume that he would notice impending political change. Others probably do have a financial interest in the EU gravy train carrying on, most are probably just sheep who don’t like change of any sort.

  • Partner

    Did Silkin really run for leader? Amazing thought

  • Mary Ann

    So the outers are already making excuses for loosing.

    • tim78945


    • Johnnymcevoy

      Loosing, losing……..go away and learn the difference. Then apply it properly. Or go and live in Syria where no one cares.

  • goodsoldier

    So long a the Lisbon Treaty remains a self-amending treaty, anybody who chooses to stay in is suspect and shouldn’t be trusted.

  • I’ll have a bowl of plov with half a pint of kumys! And make it snappy!