Saturday, May 02, 2009

Paddy Ashdown - Please NO!!!!!!!

I am up uncharacteristically early since I woke to the news of Paddy Ashdown's clandestine chats with potential "Blairite defectors" from Labour. Apparently there is concern that some local parties are becoming "too left wing". Deja vu - except that the Labour Party of the early eighties - when Derek Hatton roamed the land - is quite a different animal from the Labour Party of today. I left the Labour Party then to join the SDP because I was uncomfortable about the direction the party was taking - yes - too left wing even for me! I was probably one of Richard Hussey's "stranded liberals" who actually has ended up feeling far more at home in the Liberal Democrats, despite some of my disagreements at the margins. Richard has given a thoughtful, thought provoking analysis of the prospect of us sweeping up a load of Labour discontents. However..............

I have to confess I am not really an "evangelist" for the party - I actually don't believe everyone should join. Whenever I talk to people about joining or defecting I will always make the point that they need to consider first whether or not they share our values. For too long we have been happy to welcome anyone regardless of their values - and it often ends in tears. What really worries me is that it is the Blairites that want to join our party. The Blairites - the architects of the Tory Party reincarnate, the warmongering, civil liberty denying, anti public service characters for whom frankly, I have little time.

Funnily enough yesterday I met with a Labour Party member to discuss tackling the BNP in the European elections, but also debated the possibility of a realignment of the left. In the evening I chatted to a friend from STWC about the vacuum on the left of British politics and his view that as Lib Dems we were in danger of missing an open goal.

If those who are considering defecting from the Labour Party are doing so because, as the Telegraph article suggests, the 50p rate is a drift to the left - I would remind them that this was a Lib Dem policy - and frankly I wouldn't mind betting will be again. At a time when cynicism about politics and politicians has never been so pronounced, when the plaintiff cry on the doorstep is invariably "you're all the same" - the time has surely come for us to put clear blue water between us and the other two Tory parties. If the Blairites are going to defect anywhere I would suggest that their natural habitat would be with the Cameronites.


Anonymous said...

I almost believe it's backbenchers who are neither Blairites nor Brownites that most want to defect right now. They're the ones most disgusted with what has happened to the Labour party.

Matthew Huntbach said...

The Telegraph's story is clearly from people who are so out of touch with views in this country that they believe this rubbish. This country has indulged top financiers paying themselves huge amounts of money on the grounds they deserve it because they are "creating wealth" and they are super-intelligent and need to be encouraged.

We now know they are neither - the supposed wealth they created was largely through trickery, with the costs eventually falling on all of us as debt, the supposed intelligence was proved to be nothing of the sort when their business models based on the idea house prices would rise forever were shown to be utter rubbish which wiser people had been saying for some time.

The Telegraph and the other rich man's pals papers are bleating on about how terrible it is that a man still - unlike those who are losing their homes and jobs through economic mismanagement - earning £150,000+ is being asked to pay a bit more tax seeing as how the country is in a bit of a mess. They are trying to make out others share their concern by pretending that discontent in the Labour Party is over this. As anyone knows, the problem for the Labour Party is that it's been losing its members who find it far too right wing, it doesn't have some big group of members who find it too left wing.

Opinion polls show the 50% tax on income over £150,000 is massively popular. The people of this country have rumbled the lies the rich told them. It is pathetic to see them still trying to tell these lies, and making up stupid stories like this to try and suggest they have more support than they really have.

Paul said...

Thanks Linda for pointing out the absurdity of dumbed-down 'celeb' candiates replacing those from the major parties. But there's even more absurdity to be found. Its very amusing how the press have presented as 'mysteries' the link between MP expenses co-conpirators John Wick, allegedly ex-SAS/MI6 and Henry Gewanter, PR man, and the people behind them. This one is easy to suss out after 10 mins of Googling. To save your first 10 mins if any of your readers wants to do a more full bit of digging I can offer this. Henry appears to be a Director of Rush Communications, which features in its ranks, the famous Peter Rose. Peter was one of the people responsible for implementing the government-wide media & press officer control system after PM Blair came to power. Peter was also involved with....the Nolan Committee on standards in public life ! Jonathan Rush of Rush Communications also has a 'particularly interesting' client, involved in the publication of a web magazine for the security industry...Errrr....the type of publication of great interest to Mr Wick and colleagues such as Michael Chandler and their 'security advisory' consultancy. This website features three main things...advertisements for security and military equipment from BAe and the like; articles which rather crudely 'talk up' the terrorist threat for commercial reasons on behalf of suppliers of security equipment, services like anti-kidnap planning, and advisory consultants; and extraordinarily detailed articles on War on Terror topics and conflicts like Iraq & Afghanistan. Some are penned by former bosses of MI6 etc, and some under the name of Jonathan Rush despite his apparent absence of prior experience, expertise or interest in international affairs - or indeed anything of a military or security nature. There. That should give you a head start. Good Goggling !