Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Friday 21 May 2010

The Labour Party - such [un]lovely people

I thought I should put the 'un' in the title in square brackets, because I wanted to avoid any possibility that the irony of calling these people 'lovely' might have been miscontrued by someone (most probably a humourless Labour drone) as reflecting my true opinion. That little matter cleared up, there's a really good article in yesterday's Times by Rachel Sylvester and she has some fantastic attributions of remarks made by various of the Labour Party 'players', which one presumes are all true - I strongly suspect they are, though. Read the whole article, but here are just a few of the juicier bits, which help to illustrate the disfunctionalities, rivalries and petty squabbles of this deeply-unpleasant bunch of people who have driven the UK economy into the ground by their inept management and flawed policies.

Her first quote is from John McDonnell, the 'left-winger' who is one of the leadership candidates (the one whom late-announcing candidate Dianne Abbott charmingly suggested could not get sufficient support for his nomination to go forward) referring to most of the other 'white Oxbridge-educated men in their forties who were special advisers in 1997' as:

".... the sons of Blair and sons of Brown"

A former Labour Minister is quoted as saying, of the two favourites [who] are brothers [and] who grew up in a rarefied left-wing intellectual bubble in Primrose Hill, North London, went to the same school, read the same subject at the same Oxford college and, until a few years ago, lived in the same house, divided into flats, [that it] is more than a little incestuous:

"It is weird, I can’t imagine standing against a sibling. I told them both — just decide between you — but they didn’t. I don’t really understand why."

Interestingly, and in the only mildly positive remark I have ever read about one of the other leadership candidates, Ed Balls, Raches Sylvester writes that he: 'became increasingly frustrated with Mr Brown in the run-up to the election' - a sentiment one can well understand! Even more damning, of Gordon Brown, is when she writes that: 'Ed Miliband once deleted his number from Mr Brown’s phone because he was so fed up with being rung at all hours'. So it is not just people like me, who are no admirers of Labour generally, or of Gordon Brown in particular, who think of Gordon Brown as an obsessive and unpleasant 'weirdo'!

Of course it is true that Labour passed numerous pieces of legislation favourable to the LGBT community over its 13 years in power and I have always acknowledged this in my blog and elsewhere and that the Conservatives have often been decidedly lacking (i.e. at best 'recalcitrant' and at worst plain 'homophobic') in this area. So it is interesting that one of the leading-lights in the Labour 'spin machine' for many years, and reportedly a 'friend' of Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell, referred to ' Mr Blair, Mr Brown and Lord Mandelson as the "three poofs". ' - obviously the tolerance that allowed the legislative changes to happen doesn't extend far below the surface and certainly not amongst the 'thuggish' tendency that Campbell represents - and let's not forget that some of those changes happened only because the Labour government was forced into doing so as a result of rulings against the UK by the ECHR.

In any case, whilst the 4-month leadership contest may well provoke considerable amusement amongst bystanders, it is unlikely to be of great relevance in the governance of the UK as the likelihood of Labour returning to power any time soon is probably quite small and by the time it might do so there will be a new generation of Labour apparatchiks and the present group will be mere footnotes in history [... I hope].

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