If not Hain, who?

Even without a vacancy, speculation about the Deputy Prime Minister and Labour Deputy Leader positions and replacement are rife, with Peter Hain one of the names in the mix.

Unionists were cool on Hain from the beginning because of his Irish Nationalist pedigree but his pedigree and some of his decisions hasn’t led to a rapport with Nationalism either. Who among the Labour pool of talent could replace him? Any candidates with the skills to deliver the final deal?

  • slug

    David Milliband?

  • Paul P

    What about Jack Straw?

  • Keith M

    “Jack Straw”, as DPM maybe, but Wales/NI is way below him and combining both would be awkward.

  • slug

    You want someone currently below NI in the rankings.

    Milliband currently Environment, so thats a move up.

    Ruth Kelly currently local government is another possibility, although given that she is from here, that may make it harder for her.

    Des Browne and Douglas Alexander are other possibilities.

    In the medium term many people expect that there will be a single minister for Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, covering the residual cabinet responsibilities for the devolved nations.

  • CS Parnell

    The two jobs aren’t the same. There is no reason why the deputy leader of the Labour Party has to be Deputy PM. Michael Foot wasn’t deputy PM when he was deputy leader.

  • Ian

    Kate Hoey. She understands the mindset of the people in this little part of the UK

  • qubol

    kate hoey!
    not a chance in hell, she’s a Unionist.

  • aquifer

    Patricia Hewitt, sure isn’t she named after our british irish saint, and I don’t think she would be one for making our politicians tea.


    not a chance in hell, she’s a Unionist.

    So what?

    I remember one contributor to these boards boasting to me that Hain was as much a Republican as he was.

    ( I’ll keep his name to myself, unless he wants to come clean……. )

  • qubol

    “So what?”
    well its one thing subscribing to a particular view point but as Kate Hoey has shown she is prepared to put her views into action we could just imagine how she would attempt to run the place.

  • Pete Baker

    Kate Hoey is not a runner.. currently a back-bencher, and probably very happy to remain so.. plus her endorsement [implied or otherwise] of certain DUP candidates [who used that endorsement in their campaign literature] would rule her out in any event.

    More interesting to consider is where Peter Hain would be satisfied with moving to.. given his public statements on his desire to remain exactly where he is.

  • Henry94

    Claire Short is the obvious choice.

  • Pete Baker

    Obvious only to you Henry, I suspect 😉


    Claire Short is the obvious choice.

    I totally agree.
    Just imagine if she was prepared to come clean about the spies in Sinn Fein like she supposedly spilled the beans about bugging in the UN?

  • Pete Baker

    My bad, Henry.. maybe not only to you. 🙂

  • heck

    we should not accept any labour MP who voted for the war in iraq.

    I suggest that NI politicans refuse to speak to any labour MP who refuses to condemn violence in international affairs and demand that they support international law and the UN.

  • Crataegus

    Claire Short would be a hoot. Her very undiplomatically style may be just what the politicians here need. I would sit back and enjoy every minute of it.

    I wonder who will be the next chancellor? Can’t see Jack Straw in that role. Perhaps Alastair Darling? Reid is likely to stay on his bed of nails. Margaret Beckett is likely to stay where she is. Prescott will disappear into oblivion.

    Wonder what the chances are of Hain staying? Brown strikes me as a cautious sort so why change? But on the other hand he has an interest in detail and I can’t see Hain’s performance to date impressing him. Hilary Benn perhaps; possibly Ruth Kelly, but I hope not.

    Brown would probably be keen to promote a lot of fresh blood to give the appearance of revival, but at the same time appease the various factions. It really all depends on how drastic the reshuffle will be and when exactly Blair decides to go, if it’s soon the changes will be minimal.

  • bootman

    If not Hain, then who?

    As if it matters………

  • bertie

    Kate is only a non starter because she has principle. In a decent set up endorsing a candiate from another party in an election where the Labour party isn’t fielding candidates wouldn’t be a problem. Of course in a decent set up there would have been a Labour candidate.

  • bertie


    “plus her endorsement [implied or otherwise] of certain DUP candidates”

    just wondering about the plural here. Who are you referring to?

    I’d take Frank Field as well. Alun Johnston wouldn’t upset me too much either.

  • Keith M

    “Claire Short” ROTFL. Don’t you think that NO suffered enough with Mo?

    If we are suggesting real candidates, I would liike inside the Brownite camp.People I would be considering are Ed Balls, Douglas Alexander and if he wants to follow Blair’s example of using NI to re-habilitate someone’s career, then Nick Brown or Harriet Harman. However if I was a betting man right now I too would go with Ed Miliband.

  • BogExile

    Frank Field would be a brilliant choice. I can’t imagine him being seduced by the Sinn Fein spinmeisters for a second. He’d also give short shrift to the workshy Chavs who use their incapacity benefit as a holiday and recreational drugs fund.

  • Crataegus

    Keith M

    Don’t you think that NO suffered enough

    Not by a long shot.


    Frank Field would be an interesting one, think the unthinkable. The masochist in me quite likes the idea.

  • Alan

    Frank Field – forget it.
    Kate Hoey – forget it.

    What about an ex postman?

    Or Barry Gardiner – wouldn’t that be fun !

  • Pete Baker


    The pluralisation was unintentional.

    The only candidate I know of who used Hoey in her campaign literature was Arlene Foster

  • Greenflag

    After 40 years of failure from British NI Secretaries of State it should now be obvious that it does not matter who is appointed in Hain’s place . He/she will also fail . The NI State is a failed political entity . The latest ‘devolutionary’ committee farce is just one more example in the hundreds of previous ‘failed’ efforts to get both sides to work together .

    The simple truth is they don’t want to . More particulary the DUP want to have nothing to do with Irish Republicans or Nationalists as regards the future Government of the 6 county State . Irish Nationalists and Republicans needs to reciprocate the DUP’s policy by moviong on to representation in Dail Eireann and by ignoring any powerless and ultimately futile Stormont Assembly .

  • elfinto

    None of thes c**ts give a flying f**k about this place. Can’t believe anyone thinks otherwise. Dunces!!!

    FD, didn’t see this b4 but well worth drawing our attention 2.

  • elfinto

    .. and to anyone contributing to this debate with interest.

    Get a life you slave minded pr*cks!!!