Wednesday, 30 May 2012


Only The People had the wit to endorse Ed Miliband for Leader of the Labour Party. The appointment of Lloyd Embley to edit the new seven-day Mirror is richly deserved. 

The Independent is consciously broad in the range of opinion that it publishes. The Murdoch papers are best left undiscussed for the time being, but they were certainly never pro-Labour as such, rather than merely supportive of a puppet Leader who knew nothing about the Labour Movement except that he hated it. If Times readers, especially, had suspected that their paper had gone Labour, even New Labour, then they would have stopped buying it. It is inconceivable that any actual votes were swung.

The Mail and Telegraph titles, and those owned by Richard Desmond, find themselves opposed to the Coalition from its Right, variously conceived. But there are potential points of contact with the vision of Ed Miliband, with whom come Jon Cruddas, Maurice Glasman, David Goodhart and the new Demos (oh, what a storming of what a bastion), and so on.

The Guardian has supported the Lib Dems at the last three General Elections, the first of which was 11 years ago now. People sometimes tell me that I am wrong about this, but as a postgrad at the time I remember discussing it with Tory contemporaries who found it hilarious. That was before the 11th September attacks, never mind the Iraq War.

By sticking to that Lib Dem line even once it had become politically possible for Labour to lose, but while it was still psephologically impossible for the Conservatives to win an overall majority (as it still is, and as it will still be even after the boundary changes), The Guardian made itself more to blame than any other publication for the subsequent formation of the Coalition.

It continues to provide platforms both to the Far Left and to those yearning for David Miliband, who devised the entire Coalition programme years ago when he was running Tony Blair's Policy Unit, and whose only objections to the cuts as Leader of the Opposition would have been that they did not go far enough, did not hit the undeserving poor hard enough, and were not accompanied by wars against Syria and Iran.

Such traitors in the camp are cheerfully held up as authorities elsewhere, too, in such forms as Dan Hodges and Oliver Kamm. Until today, the Mirror Group titles, at any rate other than The People, were also showing dangerous tendencies in that direction, having backed the wrong Miliband for Leader.

But not anymore, we trust. Britain is now looking suspiciously like an emerging democracy, with media that could be persuaded to give a hearing to views, and to politicians at least open to views, offering a real alternative to the moral, political and literal bankruptcy of neoliberal economic policy, unrestrained liberal social policy, neoconservative foreign policy, European federalism, and the supposed "centre ground" on which the 1970s sectarian Left and the 1980s sectarian Right have met over the last 20 years.

Who knows, perhaps Maurice might even take up that column that he never felt able to accept in The Sun on Sunday? Among other voices telling the story of the present age, which is the redefinition of British and wider politics in terms of, when you really look at it and look into it, the second-generation and second-degree reception of postliberal theology. Over to you, Lloyd Embley, with, in Nigel Nelson, a Political Editor well-connected to the communities in which postliberal theology is lived out; if so are you in your own right, Mr Embley, then please forgive me.


  1. “David Lindsay has generated a brilliant reconciliation of the conflicting strains of the Labour Tradition and is worthy of the closest attention.” Dr Maurice Glasman, Lord Glasman of Stoke Newington and Stamford Hill; Senior Lecturer in Political Theory and Director of the Faith and Citizenship Programme, London Metropolitan University; founder of Blue Labour.

    “This book is well researched, is full of facts and deals with contemporary and historical political and social issues. It comes from the left but it should also appeal to those who are concerned with and interested in the great issues and how they are dealt with by our political and other institutions. It is well worth reading.” David Stoddart, Lord Stoddart of Swindon; Labour MP for Swindon, 1970-1983; Government Whip, 1975-1978.

    “Current orthodoxy – both in economic policy and right across the board – has so manifestly failed us that we desperately need some fresh thinking and a different way of looking at our problems. That is precisely what David Lindsay provides in this stimulating book.” Professor Bryan Gould, Labour MP for Southampton Test, 1974-1979; Labour MP for Dagenham, 1983-1994; Shadow Cabinet Member, 1986-1994; Leadership Candidate, 1992.

    “Before Red Tory and Blue Labour there was David Lindsay. He was arguably the first to announce a postliberal politics of paradox, and to delve into the deep, unwritten British past in order to craft, theoretically, an alternative British and international future. It is high time that the singular and yet wholly pertinent writings of this County Durham Catholic Labour prophet receive a wider circulation.” Professor John Milbank, Professor in Religion, Politics and Ethics, University of Nottingham.

  2. The future belongs to us.

    Increasingly, so does the present.

  3. You are not just some provincial academic with a blog, are you? You are a seriously well-informed and well-connected man.

  4. Lapsang Souchong31 May 2012 at 01:07

    No wonder that ridiculous little man they made a council candidate instead of you all those years ago hates you so much. He is not as bright as you but he is not so thick that he thinks he is. He would deny it but he reads this blog every day in between his job of putting the kettle on for Labour figures who are not even very important themselves. Posts like this show him and everyone else what he deprived us of. He knows he will never be forgiven and he knows he will never deserve to be.

  5. "YOU'RE GOING TO BE DEALT WITH YOU'RE GOING TO BE DEALT WITH 9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB!!!!" Professor John Milbank, Professor in Religion, Politics and Ethics, University of Nottingham.

  6. The Indy is only broad up to a point, it never publishes anything by any of ours, the tragedy on the non-appointment of Rod Liddle as editor.

    Rentoul spreading his bitter Blairite poison, but nothing in support of the leader of the party that has an unassailable poll lead reflected across the country in real votes at real elections. Nothing from the sensibilities that give rise to such support.

    David Miliband is no longer the real threat. As you know the king over the water is now Purnell, who as you have said before made his name "pushing people out of their wheelchairs and stamping on their heads." His rise to the top was as "Chair" of the deeply creepy Labour Friends of Israel.

  7. @14:34, take it up with Lord Glasman, who can take it up with Ed Miliband, the next Prime Minister.

    Oliver Kamm is dead. Good as, anyway. Not only a Blairite, but about to follow the Murdochs and Jeremy Hunt to prison. Ignore anything he says about anything. Everybody else does.

  8. And Coulson. Don't forget Coulson. The police even as far away as Glasgow have been so spineless as to let him go. But it's a start.

    We shall certainly be having plenty of fun over the tea and biscuits at Nottingham in July. Perhaps not the most Christ-like behaviour, but I am sure that John will be able to come up with a theological rationale.

  9. Didn't Johann Hari used to write for The Independent?

    It's a loss not to have his opinion on current political developments. I wonder who he'd plagiarize to get a story on the post-liberal theology slant vis-a-vis homosexual 'marriage' rights?

    I have to say I'm surprised The Guardian hasn't done the decent thing and offered him a blog spot on their CiF section. Ah well, he's still young, there's still time.....

  10. With Daniel Knowles not only blogging for the Telegraph, but writing a column in the paper, Hari is not that young now.

    On topic, please.

  11. Lapsang Souchong31 May 2012 at 16:19

    Will Fleming be making the tea at Nottingham?

  12. Now, now.

    But we are talking about an event hosted by Ed Miliband's guru, Maurice Glasman, and by Maurice's mutual guru, John Milbank. A gathering of the coming Court Party as it prepares to enter into its kingdom. Certain standards must be maintained. Not least in the putting on of the kettle.

  13. We all know who will not be presented at court. Ever. Silly boy. Got himself in that spot of bother with the JCR which would never have happened if he had asked his tutor. Now hovering around the lower reaches of the Murdoch papers and Sky right when the whole edifice is about to collapse. Used to be the fundamentally sound Labour Catholic that his name suggested, could have been right at the heart of the postliberal order if he had stuck with its prophet whom fate had made his tutor. But he has only himself to blame.

  14. Yes. He has.

    Three years from now, or even earlier than that, what will he be doing?

    Oh, well, I no longer have to care. And this is really a bit off topic.