Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Alan Milburn chairs select committee

Guardian Unlimited Politics | Special Reports | Private schools and hospitals to put charity case: "MPs and peers today demanded more evidence from private schools and hospitals of the tax breaks they get from charitable status and the benefits they offer the community."

"What's this got to do with Alan Milburn?", I hear you cry! He's only chairing the committee, that's what!

  • [Alan] "Milburn asked whether the figure included the gift aid Treasury top-up"

  • [Alan] "Milburn also challenged the schools' claims that their charitable status was justified because they shared their facilities with state schools"

  • [Alan Milburn] "cited the ISC's Good Neighbours report"

  • [Alan] "Milburn asked the Nuffield finance chief what proportion of patients Nuffield treated for free"

I for one am pretty impressed.

Alan Milburn did not attend a private school. (I think. I know Stokesely isn't private, but I'm not sure about John Marlay.) Did any readers go to school with Alan? What was he like?

Google for Alan Milburn...

...and look what you find.

A quick flick through my stats shows vists from the Conservative Party, the BBC, Parliament and the Welsh Office, so word is obviously getting around. A few people have also arrived here after searching Google.

I wonder if anyone at Alan's office has Googled for his name recently? As always, you can use the comments feature of this site to get in touch - I recieve an email whenever a comment is made.

Updates to this site have been a touch slow recently because, frankly, Alan doesn't seem to do a lot. I recieve a Google News alert most days, but they all contain the words "former Health Secretary" or "the then Health Secretary". I've been checking The Northern Echo fairly regularly, but have found nothing. There was something about Alan in The Advertiser recently, but I was too busy to blog it at the time; he visited a school, or something.

In all, being an MP seems quite a cushy job; how do I apply?

Alan Milburn's official diary site updated

In an amazing burst of activity, Alan's diary at his official site has been updated not just once, but four times over three days!

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Bloggerheads: The Parting Shot (for Bush the fascist and Blair the appeaser)

Monday, June 21, 2004

Alan Milburn gets busy!

ic Newcastle - Lessons just go on and on: "The lesson began with sixth-form politics pupils quizzing MPs Alan Milburn, Peter Atkinson and John McWilliam on the local election results and ended at 7am this morning."

Friday, June 18, 2004

Alan Milburn lectures on New Localism

Guardian Unlimited Politics | Special Reports | Call to empower neighbourhoods: "In a Demos lecture, the former minister Alan Milburn floated the idea of allowing local groups limited levy-raising powers as part of the New Localism agenda."

So, he does so something.

Of course, it must have been a very short lecture, if this is all he said. None of his arguments for allowing levy-raising powers made it into this article, but lots of (very good) counter-arguments did. If onlt there was a way Alan Milburn could make sure all his arguments were available to everyone.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004


GidleyWatch: "Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's... Sandra Gidley, Member of Parliament for Romsey, and this is an unofficial website."

See, I'm not the only one.

Unfortunately, blogging about your MP who you think does very little is difficult, if he really doesn't. If I don't post here for a while, it's not because I'm not doing anything...

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Word spreads

Welcome to new visitors from, and thanks to Tim for the link.

I'll actually have to keep posting things now.

Ex-wife of former Health Secretary Alan Milburn, lost her seat in the recent elections News - Latest News - Election Blow for Blair in Own Back Yard: "Dr Barbara O’Toole, the ex-wife of former Health Secretary Alan Milburn, lost her seat" in the recent elections.

Alan Milburn to take part in Guardian panel

Guardian Unlimited Books | Extracts | Madeleine Bunting: I work, therefore I am: "Willing Slaves: How the Overwork Culture is Ruling Our Lives by Madeleine Bunting is published by Harper Collins on June 21 at �12.99. A Guardian Forum, 'Willing Slaves: why we need an alternative to the overwork culture', will take place at the RSA, 8 John Adam Street, London WC2 on June 22, 7-8.30pm. Chaired by Jenni Murray, the panel will include Madeleine Bunting, Susie Orbach and Alan Milburn MP. To order tickets, price �6, call O8708906002."

Contacting Alan

Alan Milburn can be contacted via his website.

About: Mike

I'm a 27 year teacher, living in Darlington with my wife and ten month old daughter. I am not a member of any political party, though I have voted in every election held since my eighteenth birthday. I did not vote for Alan Milburn.

I have met Alan Milburn twice, as far as I can remember. The first time was at the Darlington Schools' Public Speaking Competition, in around 1992; I didn't personally speak to him. The second time, in 2000, I gave hime directions to the open gate of the school in which I was teaching when he tried to get in through a locked gate.

The best way to contact me about this site is via the comments. I am not publishing my email address here due to the nature of the site and, frankly, I get enough spam as it is.

All views expressed on this site are mine, not Alan Milburn's. This is not his official site,

Monday, June 14, 2004

About: First Post

Alan Milburn has been the MP for Darlington since 1992. He rose through the ranks of government, from opposition to Secretary of State for Health. For a while, he was seen as a possible future Prime Minister. In June of last year, he resigned from the cabinet in order to spend more time with his family, though he remains MP for Darlington.

I'd always thought it a bit odd that the MP for Darlington spent most of his time in London (like other MPs), but didn't live in Darlington for the rest of the time, but where he chooses to live is his business. However, judging by Alan's entry at They Work For, he's spending a bit too much time with his family, and not a lot being Darlington's MP. His own online diary doesn't give much more detail; at the time of writing, it was last updated by a work experience boy one month ago.

Speaking in parliament 4 times in the last year (605th out of 657 MPs), asking 14 written questions in the last year (402nd out of 657 MPs), replying to 29% of messages sent via within 14 days (524th out of 588 MPs) and attending 53% of votes in parliament (560th out of 658 MPs) isn't enough work for the £47,008 he gets paid to be Darlington's MP (double what most teachers are on).

A weblog would show the people who vote for him how hard he's working, and attract the majority of those interested in issues he cares about. He may even learn an important thing or two from us in the process. (Paraphrased from Why Politicians Need Weblogs.)

If he's not doing enough to justify the salary, then he should resign as MP and let someone else have a go. That's what this weblog is for: to encourage Alan to either let us know what he's doing, or step down.

(This whole thing is inspired by How To Run a Weblog on Behalf of Your MP (or How To Stalk Your MP In Less Than 10 Minutes A Day).)