My eye was caught by the figures put together by Ed Fordham, the Liberal Democrat candidate in Hampstead & Kilburn who is up against Glenda Jackson (she of the quite fabulous typos) at the 2010 general election. They are for various MPs in and around this new constituency.
Number of appearances in Hansard since 2005 general election, excluding votes
Lynne Featherstone 2,559
Sarah Teather 2,542
Frank Dobson 2,508
Average MP 1,822
Karen Buck 1,814
Mark Field 981
Rudy Vis 219
Glenda Jackson 40
In other words, Glenda Jackson would have to be an MP for 64 years in order to chalk up as many appearance in Hansard as Lynne Featherstone manages in one year. Yup, if Glenda Jackson had been elected an MP aged 18, she would not have run up the number of appearances in Hansard made by Lynne Featherstone in one year until she herself reached the age of 76.
Doing in a lifetime what someone else does in a year is a stunningly low work rate.
Even just to chalk up the same number of appearances as an average MP gets in during a year, Glenda Jackson would have to be an MP for 45 years.
The Ham & High, which covers both Glenda Jackson and Lynne Featherstone’s constituencies, praises Lynne but is none too impressed with Glenda Jackson.
The paper’s editorial says,
Voters who were impressed by [Lynne Featherstone’s] energy levels and who enabled her to overturn a large* Labour majority will therefore be glad to learn that she has continued in the same vein … Many people would prefer to see their MPs spending less time in the rarefied atmosphere of the Commons and more time doing the donkey work in their constituencies. It seems Ms Featherstone does both, while Ms Jackson does neither.
* Personally, I prefer Dod’s description of it pre-2005: “probably impregnable”.