Remember what happened when organic farmer Brian Baxter tried to ask Tony Blair a question during Blair's visit to Norfolk?
As the BBC reported at the time, "MP George Turner was not best pleased".
In fact, a furious Dr Turner - Labour MP for North West Norfolk and a strong opponent of any moratorium on GM - was shown berating a BBC journalist, and heard commenting about Brian's audacious wish to ask Blair a question of his own choosing.
Turner (angrily to TV journalist): "He thinks he can come and disrupt the Prime Minister's schedule"
Well, sad to say, this particular Blairite MP is no more, having been quietly buried by the North West Norfolk electorate during the Labour mudslide.
Excerpts from columns by George Monbiot and Nick Cohen follow
Friday June 8, 2001
The big political battles of the next four or five years will not be fought between Labour and the Conservatives or even between Labour and the smaller parties in parliament. They will be fought outside Westminster, amid the tumult of extra-parliamentary politics to which millions of people have now turned in the absence of a distinct, electable opposition. Labour has a huge mandate in parliament. It has a tenuous mandate everywhere else.
Sunday June 10, 2001
As Shirley Williams said, the New Labour victory was a mudslide not a landslide: an event without grandeur or transforming energy which oozed over a blank electorate. The scale of the indifference, and contempt, was far more impressive than the size of Tony Blair's majority.
An enormous amount of hard work will be needed from responsible commentators and politicians in the coming days to explain away the mass abstention. Even the most scarred cynics did not predict that turnout would fall below 60 per cent; that Tony Blair would have the dictatorial power of a crushing Commons majority after persuading a mere one-in-four adults to vote for him. Blair couldn't even capture a majority of those who were inspired to visit the polling stations. The New Labour benches will be heaving for the next four years, for all that, and his Ministers will be able to get away with pretty much anything.
For that small band of eccentrics who (i) voted, (ii) voted New Labour and (iii) voted New Labour with enthusiasm, the distortions of our brazenly undemocratic electoral system are an irrelevance. All that matters to the faithful is that the Labour Party has an historic second full term. In the first, they now admit, it wasted its days... But now the electorate - or, rather, one quarter of the electorate - has freed Labour from the chains of prudence. The party can at last fulfil the mission of its working-class founders by throwing money at those in our 'community' in the greatest need: big business.
"One of the biggest failures of Tony Blair's first term was missing the public mood on genetically modified food and crops. Despite [an] unprecedented revolt by consumers, Tony Blair, while avoiding mention of the issue at all, remains a GM enthusiast... Currently there is no market in Britain for GM food and most chains are also banning GM crops from animal feed... Despite all this, full scale trials of genetically modified crops are under way, even though there is serious public opposition... The perception that the prime minister is a pushover for big business interests is partly tied up with his perceived lack of interest in genuine public concerns about the consequences of embracing this technology." http://politics.guardian.co.uk/election2001/story/0,9029,491037,00.html
The Guardian, May 14, 2001
The debate nobody wants - GM
'Topics banished to the back of the manifestos, such as genetic research, conservation, animal welfare and poverty, appear to be those engaging growing numbers of the public. And, as our survey clearly demonstrates, these are matters embraced not just by the young, educated middle classes. It is the older age groups who are most concerned about the plight of the countryside, while GM foods concern the lower socio-economic sections of society as much as the ABC1s.' The Scotsman, May 15, 2001