15th March 1996 at 00:00
Nothing goes right for Michael Meacher. The Labour veteran is already reduced to the distinctly back-seat job of employment spokesman - which would be fine were it not that David Blunkett is already the education and employment spokesman.

Last week a rare shaft of limelight was cruelly blotted out. Mr Meacher, famously described as "Tony Benn's representative on earth", was the man of the moment as leaked news broke that the Government may bar some employees from industrial tribunals. But, with the media clamouring for his golden words, Mr Meacher was nowhere to be seen or heard: trapped, it is said, in a Birmingham taxi.

Some cruel jokers in the party have it that Mr Meacher's own employment rights are in jeopardy.

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