Monday, 20 June 2011

Glasman vs Goodman

No contest.

Jeremy Paxman pretended not to understand Maurice's references to Miles Davis, Picasso and Aristotle. Goodman genuinely didn't understand them, recalling Tony Blair who did not know that they spoke Portuguese in Brazil, who took only pop music onto Desert Island Discs, and all the rest of his offences against truth, goodness and beauty.

Goodman not only defined any regret for the loss of secure working-class male employment as misogyny, and any sort of patriotism as "jingoistic", but assumed that everyone else did, too. She took the same view of the right of people like herself to import cut-price nannies, waiters and taxi drivers from the ends of the earth in order to pay them below minimum wage secure in the knowledge that they spoke too little English to understand that they were being robbed.

She was deaf to Maurice's critique of nationalisation, which defended and advocated public ownership while calling for it to be combined with German-style workers' representation and technical education, both of which were tragically missing from the post-War settlement. I don't think that she knew what the words meant.

On one side, a man with whom I do not necessarily agree about everything, but who is one of the most interesting and insightful political thinkers to emerge in this country in many a long year. On the other side, one of those smirking New Labour women who now infest all three parties, somewhere between one twentieth and one fiftieth as clever as they think they are, and so unused to being challenged that they experience breathing difficulties if it ever happens.

Thank goodness that the right one has a parliamentary seat for life, and the ear of the next Prime Minister.


  1. Goodman was AWFUL! Your description of her type is spot on. I felt so ashamed to be a Labour party member until I realised that Glasman had to be one to take the whip in the Lords. But my party gave her a seat and drove you out merely for expressing the desire for one. Glasman or whoever can only do so much in the Lords.

    Who will provide the future intellectual leadership in the Commons? Who will articulate the arguments for "secure male working-class employment," for left-wing patriotism, for immigration controls to protect workers' jobs abd rights, and for public ownership with "German-style workers' representation and technical education"?

    They say you can't be both an intellectual and a populist. You can. Lord Glasman is both. You are both. Helen Goodman and her kind are neither.

  2. Goodman may only be a County Durham MP because she couldn't get selected to succeed Tony Benn at Chesterfield, but she is still a County Durham MP. Glasman is so London that he still has the traditional London Jewish accent, the last public figure to speak with it.

    But you are just what Blue Labour needs, the man to relocate it within both mainstream post-War, pre-Blair social democracy and mainstream post-War, pre-Thatcher social conservatism. You remind me of Peter Shore, the only potential Labour leader between Wilson and Blair to scare the living daylights out of the other side. He was a London MP, you know.

  3. You're incorrect about Tony Blair on Desert Island Discs. He took music by Ezio (folk), Debussy (classical), the Beatles (pop), Springsteen (pop / rock), Barber (classical), Robert Johnson (blues), Free (pop / rock), and Tarrega performed by Williams (classical guitar).

    Despite his other many sins, you can't pin this one on him.