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.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

David Clark - wrong as usual

David Clark is part of the tag team of commentators in the Guardian - alongside Polly Toynbee and Neal Lawson - doing their best to make Labour unelectable, despite having worked in the '90s to help make it electable.

As usual today he is putting forward dangerous nonsense with an added sprinkling of sectarian bile about Hazel Blears.

His starting point is an understanding of where the British public is at politically that takes the single genuine case when the public was to the left of the Government - Iraq - and extrapolates from it to make the almost moronically deluded case that the "grassroots" (by which he presumably means people that whinge a lot at their GC, or join Compass) are more in touch with public opinion than Ministers are.

A) He must be canvassing a different planet to me, because - again with the genuine exception of Iraq - the attacks on Labour I hear from ordinary voters are based on a perception that we are obsessed with political correctness and not seriously enough tuned into dealing with their preoccupations about their tax burden, crime and anti-social behaviour and immigration. I have yet to ever meet a voter who wants a 50% higher rate of tax, or renationalisation of the railways, or any of the other "please vote for me for Deputy, I'm ever so radical really" election-losing policies floated in recent weeks.

B) If I hear one more person try to make "grassroots" a synonym for the left of the Party I will scream very, very loudly. Jon Cruddas and Harriet Harman do not own the grassroots of the Labour Party. They represent a legitimate strand of it, yes. But there is an equally legitimate strand of GC delegates, leafleters, canvassers, councillors who are not members of the whinging tendency, who do not want to apologise for 10 fantastic years of an excellent Labour Government, who are loyalists who would have did in a ditch defending Blair and now offer the same loyalty to Brown. We are the grassroots too. It is our Party too. Our votes have not been counted yet and when they are it may surprise a few people.

Anyway, I don't think much of David Clark or what he stands for. The fact that the Government actually paid him to advise the Foreign Secretary takes my breath away.

End of rant.

19 Comments:

Anonymous jdc said...

I have yet to ever meet a voter who wants a 50% higher rate of tax, or renationalisation of the railways

Really? I've met loads! I mean, I've met loads who want us to get properly tough on crime, political correctness and immigration too, but I don't see any logical reason we can't do any combination of those things at once, unless you think high taxes cause crime, or low immigration requires private railways, or something.

Though renationalising the railways might be silly in the long-term, as they'll still be rubbish, but it'll be totally our fault, rather than a third our fault, a third John Major's fault, and a third the private sector's fault.

1:36 pm, June 14, 2007

 
Anonymous Ian G said...

Luke, you quoted a YouGov poll not long ago. If you take that at face value, it shows that Jon's views on issues like trident, NHS privatisation, Iraq, taxation and utilities are all in tune with the membership of the party. That is also overwhelmingly true in my experience.

If you think we're wrong, lets see YOUR evidence. Persuade us that the membership are crying out for trident, selling off NHS services, that we're all dead against a higher top rate of tax etc etc.

As for 'sectarian bile' just how many attacks on Compass members have you made here? Sorry, but if Hazel Blears chooses to go round accusing Jon Cruddas (and by extension whole swathes of the membership) of wanting to return to the 1970's she can't expect people to take it lying down.

1:37 pm, June 14, 2007

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'- again with the genuine exception of Iraq -'

Pretty big exception - the biggest foreign policy error since Suez written off in passing!

3:33 pm, June 14, 2007

 
Blogger Sham said...

Pretty big exception - the biggest foreign policy error since Suez written off in passing!

Error?

Could you please justify this monstrous allegation.

3:42 pm, June 14, 2007

 
Blogger Jackson Jeffrey Jackson said...

Oh christ, who let the Rumsfeld puppet out of the box.

3:49 pm, June 14, 2007

 
Blogger Sham said...

"Jackson Jeffrey Jackson" links to the "Labour Left Forum". Enough said ...

Btw, why doesn't the Saddam puppet answer my point?

3:59 pm, June 14, 2007

 
Blogger Jackson Jeffrey Jackson said...

And you link to this nonsense: http://shamikdas.blogspot.com/

Enough said...

4:01 pm, June 14, 2007

 
Blogger Dave Brinson said...

Chairing a CLP and running as a local Labour cnadidate in the area where pisspoor connex lost their franchise and where the south coast line links to the Eurostar by an unelectrified single track line between Hastings and Ashford, I've met quite a few who would welcome a "publicly accountable and publicly owned rail system" (Tony Blair, 1995 conference.) There are models for public ownership that are more 21st century than old-style state monopoly: co-operative models, partnerships with local/regional authorities, or even public-private partnership that would give a more accountable service than the current mess.....

7:00 pm, June 14, 2007

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately those on the left Dave don't want co-operative models or local/ regional bodies working in partnership to deliver services, which is why they opposed Foundation Hospitals. They want a fully nationalised 1970s railway with their mates Bob Crow and Mick Rix holding sway over the the travelling public. (Sadly so do a lot of people in the Co-op Party too, but it has always been thus.)

8:50 pm, June 14, 2007

 
Blogger Dave Brinson said...

Probably true, but that doesn't automtically bar us from debating modern alternatives. It could be an interesting opportunity next time (and there will be a next time) that a franchise goes belly-up Connex style !

11:03 pm, June 14, 2007

 
Blogger E10 Rifle said...

"They want a fully nationalised 1970s railway with their mates Bob Crow and Mick Rix holding sway over the the travelling public."

Dear oh dear, it's slay the strawman time on here today isn't it? Even more than normal.

In fact, the left's ideas on bringing the railways under public control again generally talk about ideas that massively improve and refine the old statist nationalisation model, and which include service users. Foundation Hospitals, which fragment the service and make it less manageable and transparent, aren't really a very impressive example.

11:12 pm, June 14, 2007

 
Blogger Dave Brinson said...

BTW: "If I hear one more person try to make "grassroots" a synonym for the left of the Party I will scream very, very loudly"

I agree wholeheartedly.

Equally, I have a little bit of a scream every time a certain person describes the right of the Party as "the forces of light."

Broad church, anyone ?

11:13 pm, June 14, 2007

 
Blogger Sham said...

JJJ, answer the question ...

2:58 pm, June 15, 2007

 
Blogger Jackson Jeffrey Jackson said...

What question?

As far as I can see you haven't asked me any questions.

3:04 pm, June 15, 2007

 
Blogger Sham said...

You're right!

OK, I'll ask you a question: How do you make a Venetian blind?

3:36 pm, June 15, 2007

 
Blogger Jackson Jeffrey Jackson said...

Poke him in the eye?

My turn: which Irish footballer was named after a German newspaper?

3:52 pm, June 15, 2007

 
Blogger Sham said...

I have absolutely no idea!

4:53 pm, June 15, 2007

 
Blogger Jackson Jeffrey Jackson said...

Gerry Daly.

Ba doom.

5:00 pm, June 15, 2007

 
Blogger Doctor Dunc said...

I actually think this 'worst foreign policy disaster since Suez' thing needs to be reviewed now. I mean, this is worse than Suez now, isn't it?

11:00 am, June 16, 2007

 

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