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, December 18, 2006

Self-hating Labourism

Three whole days of nothing worth blogging about (or rather being too busy with Christmas parties to write anything) ... but today's Guardian provided plenty of ammo.

The theme seemed to be "we are Labour but we are ashamed of it, hate the government, hate ourselves for being Labour and are generally consumed with misery and self-loathing".

Which is an odd attitude to have when despite being 10 years into government, deep in mid-term, with a charismatic new opposition leader we are still only 1% behind in the polls - i.e. the hatred seems to be confined to our own ranks and the public who are a bit more objective still think we measure up quite well to the opposition.

Specific articles that wound me up during the 30 minutes of the 06.53 number 243 bus journey:

Larry Elliott appearing to condemn the government for protecting jobs in defence manufacturing (over the BAE/SFO case but actually he is making a wider point about the Defence Industrial Strategy once you delve beyond the headline) despite having been calling for the government to er... intervene to protect jobs in manufacturing in virtually every other article he writes. Presumably the government should instead of protecting "nasty" industries be investing in yoghurt-weaving collectives or similar. All the highly skilled engineers in Lancashire could stop making Eurofighters and re-train as Fresh & Wild check-out staff or recycling inspectors.

Patrick Wintour gets sarcastic about Blair's Middle East tour - despite the Guardian having been calling for us to take a leading role in brokering a Middle East peace deal ad nauseam. Blair actually goes and tries to do something about it, so the Guardian sneers at him.

Jackie Ashley tries to single-handedly reignite the leadership handover timing debate - after three months when there has been a direct correlation between everyone shutting up about the precise timing of the PM's departure and the Tory poll lead declining. Jackie we had that punch-up in September - it was a disaster - kindly don't re-start it.

Roy Hattersley implies that all Labour's major donors were venal and self-interested - a charming way to say thank you to the people that funded 3 election victories and whose main reward seems to have been to have their reputations smeared.

I don't think these people are capable of feeling happy about politics unless Labour is in opposition.

Wouldn't it be nice if we had a newspaper in this country that supported the Labour Party unambiguously and featured commentators who were proud, rather than ashamed and self-flagellating, of the Labour Government?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you tried the Daily Mirror? Its columnists do whinge about stuff (that's what being a columnist is about), but are more inclined to have a go at the Tories, and the news section always make sure to include at least one article attacking David Cameron in a personal and offensive way every day. The cartoons and transfer gossip are better as well, and it is less fiddly to read on the bus. The Guardian is better for reading on the internet during lunchtime.

10:03 am, December 18, 2006

Blogger Harry Barnes said...

The Daily Telegraph is good for Fantasy Football, Fantasy Cricket and Fantasy Politics.

11:00 am, December 18, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

More and more bloggers are recommending The Sun to me. Or The Economist for international analysis (sadly no crossword).

11:12 am, December 18, 2006

Blogger Hughes Views said...

Rather distressingly the FT and The Times seem to be the fairest to Labour of the 'quality' papers. If you think the Guardian's bad have you looked at the Independent lately? Both the Guardian and Indy are, of course, written and read by people who have succeeded in everything they've ever attempted and who have never ever had to compromise their noble principles to fit in with the nasty world they inhabit... And what does Hattersley have to say about political honours for time-serving failed politicians?

1:32 pm, December 18, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A good friend should be an honest and critical friend. Granted, the Guardian is full of too much wishywashy liberal stuff or offensive Trot rubbish, but I think that Elliott's, Ashley's and Hattersley's criticisms were all quite legitimate. There are many loyal Labour supporters (like myself) who are saddened to see the government undermining the judicial process in order to help the arms industry supply weapons to a regime where people like us - political activists, women's rights campaigners, trade unionists, and those fighting for sexual or religious minority rights - are oppressed, imprisoned, and sometimes executed. Labour should protect employment here, but not to the benefit of the arms industry and to dictators. With a bit of imagination alternative solutions can be found.

Anyway - wouldn't it be boring to simply read a paper whose opinions you agree with 100%? I regularly flick through the Telegraph just to remind myself how much I hate Tories. It's good for the soul!

7:35 pm, December 18, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try Kevin Maguire's stuff in the mirror. The guy is a legend.

12:11 am, December 19, 2006

Anonymous Gregg said...

More and more bloggers are recommending The Sun to me.

That's because the Sun makes blogging look like a serious journalistic enterprise conducted by people who are always scrupulously fair and balanced in their approach to the people and events of the day.

12:22 pm, December 19, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pretty harsh on Patrick, I thought, who is one of the few people writing for a national paper who actuallyt understands the Labour Party and its hsitoric purpose (as opposed to regarding it as something to slag off for having disappointed them). I didn't think his piece was that bad either and he is the political editor, not a columnist. As for the others I wouldn't piss on any of them if they were bruning.

8:30 pm, December 19, 2006

Anonymous Stan Rosenthal said...

Couldn't agree with you more about the anti-government bias of the media these days. I've blogged something about this myself on the Progress site. You might particularly like my Xmas tale in this respect.

12:11 pm, December 22, 2006


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