Friday, 30 August 2013

Right Minds, Indeed

The Mail newspapers and their RightMinds site have had a good war. Telegraph Blogs and its parent-papers can now see even more clearly where the dead wood is; let the pruning begin. And The Times stands exposed as a waste of the profits from Sun Bingo.

If yesterday was Labour's Christmas Day, then today is Labour's Boxing Day, with the, er, "evacuation" of Dan Hodges. He has now lost his USP, as they say. It is impossible to see why he should still be employed if he no longer technically holds Labour Party membership.

Hodges, alas, is not on Any Questions this evening. But Diane Abbott and Nigel Farage both are, against Shirley Williams and that Henry Jackson Society stalwart, that Michael Gove fan boy, Nick Boles. Eight o'clock. Radio Four. Well worth missing EastEnders for. For the unmissable Coronation Street, there is of course ITV1+1.

19:30: No Corrie! Some football match, instead! Oh, well, even less excuse for not listening to Any Questions, then.


  1. Did you hear Hitchens ripping the Henry Jackson Society chap apart on the Spectators widely- retweeted podcast debate?

    The poor guy was humiliated.

  2. All part of the trend. They seem very dated now. They are very dated now. In and around both main parties. Sadly, they are still running one of them.

  3. Waltz with Bashir30 August 2013 at 20:59

    I strongly agree that Hodges has made a blunder in leaving the Party now. I have told all that will listen that he has now lost his USP, as David said. Hadn't seen this pointed out anywhere but I am glad to see someone else agrees- great minds, as they say.

    I concur with the view that his employment prospects now look bleaker over the long term. I am sure David would agree that Hodges is simply not skilled or insightful enough as a writer to have a lasting appeal without his "USP".

    For a while he will retain his usefulness as a "Labourite" that pretends to think everything Ed does and says is completely and utterly wrong.

    I also think his inevitable line at the next general election, "I'm a lifelong labour supporter/member/party worker, but I implore you to vote Tory because Ed is useless", will still work to an extent. The Torygraph will probably want to keep him around long enough for him to say that at least.

    However, he's going to be in trouble in the long term if he doesn't find a new niche and we know very well he's far too obsessed with Ed to even consider doing so.

    He badly needs his USP, just as "celebrities" like Pete Doherty need drugs and debauchery to disguise their lack of any discernible talent

  4. Well, Any Questions was very revealing.

    Diane Abbott showed her true colours-supporting intervention in Libya "because it was international".

    At least she doesn't even pretend to have any respect for the Treaty of Westphalia-or for national independence in any form.

    Nigel Farage was right to reply that "America has got every foreign policy decision wrong since 1945"-and to add that Wilson was right to oppose Vietnam.

    The best moment was when Nick Boles accused UKIP of wanting Britain to become "Switzerland-by-the-sea".

    To which Farage replied "What? Rich, free and independent? Sounds alright to me".

    Boy, that man needs to be in Parliament.

    He was the only party representative speaking for Britain tonight-as usual.

  5. Nice try. But someone there was an MP who voted against this war, as did her entire party. Much of UKIP's online support is ferociously Atlanticist. I see a lot of trouble ahead in an already troubled party.

    Shirley Williams was terribly rattled, and Boles was to carry away. It was very funny. He was obviously extremely unused to being questioned, disagreed with, or not permitted to talk for as long as he liked about whatever he liked.

  6. My apologies.

    His actual words were "What? Rich, independent and not kowtowing to America? Sounds alright to me".


    Switzerland-by-the-sea sounds like a great idea.

    That should be the title of our 2015 manifesto.

  7. As I said, and as you know, that will play very badly indeed with your cheerleaders above and below certain lines.

  8. She did vote against this war-and fair play to her.

    But she showed that her support wasn't principled when she admitted that she only opposes "unilateral" rather than "international" wars.

    Which couldn't be further from the conservative argument against this war (which is the only principled argument against it).

    Amazing that Nick Robinson thought it was somehow a contradiction that UKIP "oppose defence cuts" while opposing an offensive war on Syria.

    The key word is "defence", Nick.

    In case you hadn't noticed.

  9. That's complete nonsense.

    We've been entirely consistent on this.

    UKIP opposed the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars from the outset...and never supported a single neocon intervention.

    Unlike your party-which launched no less than three of them-and still supports one of them (where's Miliband's call to withdraw from Afghanistan?).

  10. Oh, expect that one soon enough.

    Multilateralism is not unprincipled. It may be wrong, But it is not unprincipled.

    The truth is that until this week most UKIP voters had no idea that UKIP was anti-war, mostly because those who leading the cheering for it are, almost without exception, hardline neocons on things like The Commentator and Trending Central.

    It will probably lose a third of its vote over this, and possibly half.

  11. And yes, Williams and Boles were beyond desperate.

    She has gone a bit mad.

  12. To this day, Deniis Skinner always calls her "Shirley Poppins".

    In his autobiography, Roy Hattersley maintained that she only joined the SDP in order to escape from Skinner's ridicule, hoping that "life would be more civilised elsewhere".

    Her long, long career has been based on Having Firm Principles, and on Sticking To Them. Just never ask precisely what they are.

  13. On the contrary, Farage has noisily opposed both wars whenever he's had the chance to speak in public. As did our manifestos.

    Anyone who didn't know that can't have been awake.

    UKIP vans (much to the annoyance of Oliver Kamm on Twitter) were blasting out anti-war slogans this week.

    We're gaining support over this-not losing it.

    And we gained even more over Afghanistan-I know plenty of soldier's families who joined solely for that reason.

  14. She is at least pro-life, which is very unusual in her party.

    And, sadly, in Parliament as a whole.