Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Supreme Arrogance

"Vote for me because I'm me, not for what I stand for" is "the supreme arrogance of Independents", according to Roy Hattersley on Newsnight.

I am not necessarily saying that he has been or is wrong when I say that Hattersley has "stood for" things wildly at variance with the policy of his party for much of the last thirty years, including all of the last fifteen or so. In his 1983 Election Address, he effectively stood against that party. And what does he think that its latest batch of candidates "stands for", at least so as to distinguish it from either other party's, or really at all?

Dr Chai Patel also wondered about letting in people who had not "discussed policy", as if any such "discussion" still went on within the Labour Party, or ever did go on within the Tory Party. No one remotely interested in policy would now seek or retain membership of either.


  1. I think Hattersley was fantastic tonight. A stark reminder of the kind of heavyweight (no pun intended) that Labour lacks ....pygmies like Jacqui Smith in the "great offices of State". Hattersley fought the good fight against the Trot infiltration without desrting to SDP.
    He is solid Labour from solid Labour stock......indeed the type of person you usually eulogise in your Blog.
    Hattersley has also been a constant critic of "New Labour".

    His distaste that Labour voters/party members are more angry than Tory voters/members is a well made point and about time someone had the courage to speak out.
    With more Labour voters in PAYE type employment and a higher proportion of Tory supporters self employed (with all the tax perks and scams involved) then certainly its time that someone spoke up and said what Hattersley said tonight. After tonight Blears is toast.

    Of course the old maxim that Tory scandals were sexual (Archer, Profumo) and Labour scandals financial is a cliché.
    Before your time in the North East, there was a certain Labour politician called T Dan Smith.
    Of course your chagrin is based on the comments he made about Independents.
    Serious politicians (and journos and academics of course).....the insiders if you like......have always regarded Independents as irritants and spoilers and YES hes right that the majority of Independents are saying "vote for me...rather than a package of ideas".
    Not all of course.
    But I suspect you will be saying much the same about SOME or ALL of the other Independents you come accross.

  2. At least he's got a party you crank

  3. I am what is technically called an Independent. Get used to us.

    And just how few members does a party need to have no longer to count as one, in any meaningful sense, any more? Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems are all well beyond that point now.

  4. No, you're not. You're the leader of the British Peo....

    Oh, sorry. I forgot

  5. Electoral reform in time for the next Election...?

  6. T Dan Smith was innocent, John.

  7. A widely held view in this part of the country. I am not saying that I agree with it. I pass no comment on it. But it is a widely, and a very deeply, held view.

  8. So you are going to set it up again in that case?

  9. No. But electoral reform would increase the already very good chance of getting in plenty of the Independents who will, in accordance with the historical pattern of these things, eventually create a party for economically social democratic, morally and socially conservative British and Commonwealth patriots.

  10. I think the Anonymous contribution suggesting that T Dan Smith was "innocent" is not basing his or her opinion on the fact that T Dan Smith pleaded er.......guilty.

  11. In Smith's own words, "So did Sakharov".

    Don't go down this road, John. Not when dealing with people from the North East.

  12. I thought you approved of Hattersley over gentlemen's clubs?

  13. And over many other things. Lately, he has even come round on nuclear weapons. And very lately, on electoral reform. But he remains spectacularly wrong about the EU, the monarchy and education.

  14. Are people from the North East so imbued with a sense of the Geordie Nation that they think T Dan Smith was an innocent political martyr. Not much room for debate when the criminal pleaded guilty.
    (an ex Communist of course so maybe he did the right Stalinist thing at his show trial and pleaded guilty).
    If he was expecting a light sentence, he was disappointed ...five years .

  15. As I said, I'm not going down this road. I have already had to reject numerous comments this afternoon. We don't do Poulson on here.