Thursday, 9 February 2012


Further to the fuss over the First minister’s use of the term, can I just point out that the House of Commons deems Gauleiter an acceptable use of language.

Labour, Tory and Liberal politicians have used it in the Commons and not a Speaker, nor a deputy nor any of their clerks has ever objected. Neither has any member of parliament .
I’m sure that you won’t want to read it all, but these are verifiable cases of the word being used with no fuss. What on earth is all the fuss about ... and why is Ruth Davidson on her high horse? Bigger, better and far more experience Tory MPs have bandied the word about with abandon.
Hansard, 31 Oct 1990 - Column 1004 : Mr. Bob Cryer (Bradford, South - Labour ) : [ To Chris Patten as Secretary of State for the Environment] Does the Secretary of State accept that his reputation as the Gauleiter of Marsham street is preserved intact by his statement

Hansard, 20 February 1989 - Column 773 : Mr. Brian Wilson (Cunninghame, North - Labour ) : ... An arrogance is abroad--led, I think, by the hon. Member for Stirling (Mr. Forsyth)--that makes Scottish Office Tories believe that they can do literally what they like. There is a real touch of the gauleiter about them .

Hansard, 18 Feb 1998 : Column 1063 : Mr. [ Paul] Flynn ( Labour ): May I say how pleased are the people of Wales that the Government are committed to improving the deplorable standards of literacy and numeracy in our schools, particularly after the reign of the right hon. Member for Richmond, Yorks (Mr. Hague) as gauleiter of Wales , whose legacy was 645 lost teaching posts? 

Hansard, 2 Jun 1997 : Column 122 : Mr. Alastair Goodlad (Eddisbury - Tory ): ... If so, will she confirm that her representations to her ministerial colleagues went unheeded and that, in effect, she lost the battle and has had to bow to the unelected forces--otherwise known as the secret seven, or is it the secret seventy--of the gauleiters who now run the Government and the Labour party ? 

Hansard, 1 March 1995, Column 965 : Mr. Jeremy Corbyn (Islington, North - Labour ): Indeed, it is being done solely by an appointed civil servant answerable only to Ministers and not to anyone to do with London .

Mr. [ Nigel] Spearing ( Labour ): A gauleiter .

Mr. Corbyn : As my hon. Friend says, a gauleiter for this capital city . Those issues must be addressed. 

Hansard, 31 October 1990, Column 400 : Mr. David Blunkett (Sheffield, Brightside - Labour ) : Will the Secretary of State spell out a little further the way in which the regional boards which currently operate will be replaced by "respected local figures"? Those respected local figures will have responsibility, as spelled out in the attached document, for the appointment of members of the trusts and health authorities , and will account for themselves only to the new expanded NHS Policy Board. They will be gauleiters on an NHS politburo - -that is what it amounts to. 

Hansard, 8 Jun 2010 : Column 260 : Nick Boles (Grantham and Stamford) ( Tory ): ... I would not presume to tell them how to strike that balance-but I can think of no place better equipped to run its own affairs without interference from regional commissars in Nottingham and planning gauleiters in Bristol .

Hansard, 19 January 1993, Column 332 : Mr. [ Nicholas] Budgen ( Tory ) : I apologise--of course it is a noun. If I were subject to overall supervisory care by some European gauleiter , I should probably have a more normal way of speaking, though it might be less interesting.

Hansard, 13 June 1995, Column 702 : Mr. Michael Fabricant (Mid-Staffordshire - Tory ): ... I sincerely hope that the Government will support the sensible changes rather than bow to the pressure of the Commission which, as the unelected gauleiter of Europe , has neither the interests of motor cyclists nor those of the British motor cycle industry at heart.

Hansard, 27 November 1990, Column 793 : Mr. John Marshall (Hendon, South - Tory ): ... I am sure that my hon. Friend the Minister, who has recently visited that school, will confirm that it is a first-rate school. Three years ago, it was heavily undersubscribed ; now, as a grant-maintained school, it is fully subscribed. The gauleiters of the Opposition say that such schools should not be allowed to continue. 

Hansard, 11 June 1991, Column 803 : Mr. [ David] Blunkett ( Labour ): We believe that the people of a locality should be allowed to protect themselves from this or any other Government. In other words, when people vote in local elections, they should have some chance of seeing their votes matter. If not, and if whatever people do the Government of the day believe that they must protect people from themselves, what is the point of holding local elections? Why not appoint gauleiters ?


Hansard, 18 January 1989, Column 321 : Mr David Alton ( LibDem ): Although I confirm what the Minister said about the successful role that the task forces can play in the regeneration of an economy, does he accept that there is something in the comments of the hon. Member for Leicester, East (Mr. Vaz) about the lack of accountability of some task forces? Does the Minister recognise that some people perceive the task force as a gauleiter in carpet slippers ? 
Hansard, 20 Jan 1994, Column 1070 : Mr. Martin Redmond (Don Valley) ( Labour ) : ... First, no chairman or non-executive director of an NHS health authority or trust is democratically elected, yet we hear much criticism from Conservative Members about trade unions. Conservative NHS appointments are more akin to the Nazi gauleiter system .

Hansard, 18 May 1995, Column 545 : Sir Dudley Smith (Warwick and Leamington) ( Conservative ): We are to have a commissioner on standards , or ethics officer, as the hon. Member for Dewsbury (Mrs. Taylor) so neatly put it. He will be a veritable gauleiter with strong powers to make recommendations. It is true that he will report to a sub-committee, but it will be his poodle. 


  1. I don't remember all this fuss when they were calling Alex Salmond various names..

    1. Slobodan Milosevic (Denis MacShane, Labour MP)
    2. Benito Mussolini (Lord Foulkes, Labour peer)
    3. Adolf Hitler (Tom Harris, Labour MP)
    4. Adolf Hitler (again)(Ann Moffat, Labour MP)
    5. Joseph Stalin (Alan Cochrane, the Telegraph)
    6. Robert Mugabe (Lord Cormack, Conservative peer)
    7. Robert Mugabe (again)(Jeremy Paxman, BBC)
    8. Kim Jong-Il (Lord Forsyth, Conservative peer)
    9. Caligula (John Macleod, the Times)
    10. Nicolae Ceausescu (Neil Collins, the Financial Times)
    11. Genghis Khan (Kevin McKenna, the Observer)
    12. Nero (Annabel Goldie, Conservative MSP)

  2. Hypocrisy abounds

  3. The reference to Nigel Spearing in Hansard prompted many happy memories.

    He helped me and others very much with both the physical and procedural geography of parliament, a place that he loved. He was the last MP to speak against membership of the "Common Market" in 1972. He and his friend Eric Deakins (also Labour) have recorded their recollections of the way MPs were procedurally bamboozled in the matter of EEC membership into effectively signing a blank cheque. (On the website ) He chaired the House of Commons Europe Committee for many years until ejected for independence of mind.

    Until very recently Nigel (over 80) used to cycle through the London traffic to our meetings. Unfortunately he is no longer well enough to do that.

    An unstuffy man who combined high moral purpose with a great deal of fun.

  4. Aye as Granny would say Trobber, "whits gaed tae gie's no ill tae tack"....unless you're Alex Salmond.

  5. Thank you SBO. If ever I feel the need to part with 100 bhat, and avail myself of Thai football, I'll be sure to keep you in mind.


  6. I can't help thinking, auldacquaintance, that this will have gone over most people's heads and folk will be wondering what the fuss is, and simply asking why the BBC that they are paying for, decided that their first minister (even if they don't support him politically) couldn't speak out for Scotland's rugby team.

  7. You always have such nice stories to tell, Mr S.

    There are good guys everywhere, and of all political persuasions.

    Your last comment there came at an apposite time. I had just heard a discussion on the importance of good teaching of maths (in England, of course: it was on the BBC)...relating particularly to the need for physicists to have a high level of competence.

    One of the things that came out was that maths should be and can be made fun.

    I've been saying for a long time that by and large if teachers made lessons more interesting they would have a lot less indiscipline in their classes. And one of the ways that they could make their teaching better, is to make their lessons fun, and relevant.

    Of course some people argue that instead of that we should simply hit the children till they pay attention.

    So within a short space of time my opinions were vindicated by a discussion of "experts" on "Today"... and then you recount a story in which you describe in flattering terms "an unstuffy man who combined high moral purpose with a great deal of fun".

    It occurs to me that if adults enjoy their tasks more for having the company of such a person, why do we assume that the way to get unruly kids to listen is to hit them?

  8. Excellent

    I have reposted all over the blogoshere.