A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Minister for Daft Ideas

If the quality of ideas we are going to get if we have a wide-ranging policy debate on Labour's future direction is anything like this - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5331752.stm - let's not bother.

Harriet Harman's latest proposal is: "an end to the convention where the prime minister can decide key foreign policy issues alone" (I don't think that will appeal to the likely next holder of that office) and "Democratisation" of the Foreign Office.

What wonders that would do for us internationally. UK PM to UN Security Council: "yes I would love to support sending peace-keepers to Darfur but can you hang on while I see whether some back-bench MPs, a focus group or two of totally uninformed citizens, a bit of opinion polling and the editorial of the Guardian say? I'll get back to you once they've given me my instructions."

We already have a democratic way of deciding foreign policy. It's called electing a government in a General Election.

It seems Byers and Milburn are not the only policy "outriders".

Every time Harman comes up with an idea it makes me more terrified of the prospect of her becoming Deputy Leader.


Anonymous A soft socialist said...

I think the point Harman is making is that we kind oif ignored the public over Iraq.

12:48 pm, September 11, 2006

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

And the point I was making is that we were right to ignore the public on Iraq and that they can't have been that bothered because they re-elected us last year.

1:18 pm, September 11, 2006

Anonymous A soft socialist said...

Luke, I'm sorry but that is really arrogant. I believe we were wrong to ignore them but thats just a difference of opinion.

But at the end of the day many MPs lost their seats. Outside the heartlands we weren't exactly getting a warm reception.

1:47 pm, September 11, 2006

Blogger Bloggers4Labour said...

There were sensible, contrary voices we could and should have listened to, but I don't think Harriet has those ones in mind: more like pandering to fatalism, insularity, anti-Americanism, self-styled community leaders, and - of course - the threats made by Islamists. It's nauseating to see that wrapped in the banner of democracy.

1:47 pm, September 11, 2006

Anonymous A soft socialist said...

I really don't think she is talking about that. We live in a pluralist democracy so why are we listening to America so much?

I'm not saying we have to fall out with them; but perhaps we should take a step back.

1:58 pm, September 11, 2006

Blogger Bloggers4Labour said...

Frankly, I don't think I trust her on this vital issue. The population as a whole might have the right ideas, but I don't trust what *passes* for public opinion.

Someone has to stand up against terrorist threats and bullying - from without and from within - and it just happens that the USA is one of the very few administrations that understands.

There's enough discussion within the pro-democracy standpoint - both there and here - for better and more effective policies than the ones tried since 2003, but they'd still be miles away from where Harriet (I fear) is. She seems to think this is an issue for 'smoothing over'.

2:14 pm, September 11, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

bStrikes me that Ms Harman is writing/speaking about anything in order to keep her name before the voters in the forthcoming Deputy Dawg contest.
Likewise I don't trust her politically, also don't think she's that bright.

5:14 pm, September 11, 2006

Anonymous A soft socialist said...

Don't worry Luke you've got Peter Hain now.

12:13 am, September 13, 2006


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