My favourite title for political memoirs is the self-deprecatingly titled Fourth Among Equals. It is by Bill Rodgers, the lesser known of the Gang of Four who launched the SDP along with Shirley Williams, Roy Jenkins and David Owen.
His lower profile did not, however, reflect a lack of importance. Far from it. He was crucial to the creation of the SDP, but in a way largely out of the public eye. He was the political organiser of the gang, using organisational skills honed in campaigning such as for Britain’s membership of Europe in the 1970s.
Such skills are often under-appreciated not only because they are out of the public eye but also because the fruits of relentless organisational competence attract little attention. As with functioning sewage systems, it’s only when you don’t have them that you really notice.
All of which makes me wonder who is the Bill Rodgers for The Independent Group? Both from what I know of its members so far and from what can be seen in its organisation so far, it is far from clear they have one.
For the moment that may pass without notice. For the moment it may appear unnecessary.
But only for the moment.