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.

Friday, July 06, 2007

My credo: Preposterous Uber-Brownism

I am delighted to announce the appointment of Cllr Susan Press of Labour Left Briefing and http://grimmerupnorth.blogspot.com/ as my personal spin doctor and image consultant.

Susan has kindly described me in her post today as a "preposterous uber-Brownite".

As there are hordes of parliamentary wannabees who would give their right arm to earn this description, and are even now air-brushing all references to that other bloke from the last 13 years of their political CVs in a bid to get in with the new management at No10, I am extremely grateful.

In fact I might even quote it on the cover of my next selection leaflet.

Your first month's consultancy fee is in the post, Comrade Susan.


Anonymous susan press calder valley CLP said...

Like you, Luke, I have a sense of humour. Sometimes. And, spookily, PR is one of my means of earning a living. Bit I don't really go for the idea of being your spin doctor.
Until a week ago, you were a preposterous Blairite. Now you are equally uber in the GB camp. A seamless transition as Brown is proving himself as Blairite as Blair.I will continue to point this out. I will also continue to campaign for a socialist Labour Party
I am currently re-reading. Michael Foot's biography of Aneurin Bevan. I quote:
"His (ie Bevan's) Socialism was rooted in Marxism;whatever modififications he had made in the doctrine, a belief in the class struggle stayed unshaken. Marxism taught him that society must be changed swiftly, intrepidly, fundamentally, if the transformation was not to be overturned by counter-revolution"
What would Bevan have thought, I wonder, of Tories in the Govt? To him it would , yes, have been preposterous but also unforgivable.

5:04 pm, July 06, 2007

Blogger Unity said...

Shall we just save time and call you an uber-whichever-faction-is-in-charge- ite?

5:06 pm, July 06, 2007

Anonymous KJP said...

I've got an even shorter formulation;

"Loyal to his Party"

5:18 pm, July 06, 2007

Anonymous pregethwr said...

John Campbell's biography is ridiculously better.

5:39 pm, July 06, 2007

Anonymous shambolic said...

I've got a slightly longer formulation;

"Loyal to his Party - no matter what the atrocity*."

* As in "I'm not responsible, Mein Herr, I was only carrying out orders."

6:56 pm, July 06, 2007

Blogger Action said...

Home blogging is killing politics

7:21 pm, July 06, 2007

Anonymous David Boothroyd said...

Susan, perhaps you should re-read 'In Place of Fear' where Bevan has strong criticism of Marxism for failing to realise the importance of Britain as a Parliamentary democracy, and regarding Parliamentary action as secondary to direct action by workers. See page 19 of the Heinemann 1952 edition.

Bevan would have been overjoyed at what has happened since 1997.

2:42 pm, July 07, 2007

Blogger grimupnorth said...

Nonsense. Bevan would have loathed New Labour.Can hardly see him cosying up to Digby Jones and embracing NHS privatisation

10:31 am, July 08, 2007

Anonymous David Boothroyd said...

Bevan was intelligent enough to know that what is happening in the NHS is not "privatisation" but the sensible introduction of contracting for private services and more modern management methods. As Health Minister Bevan was extremely pragmatic and would welcome anything that helped to deliver good quality health care for all, free at the point of use.

5:58 pm, July 08, 2007

Anonymous angus said...

David, this is pathetic, offensive nonsense. If Bevan couldn't stand Gaitskellism because of its coolness on more nationalisation and its view of the consumer society as unproblematic, how much more of a problem do you think he would have had with Blairism!

Bevan was prepared to make pragmatic compromises to advance his aims but was steadfast in his aims such as his aim of universal, equitable healthcare delivered free through a non-market publicly provided service:

"Danger of abuse in the Health Service is always at the point where private commercialism impinges on the Service; where, for example, the optician is paid for the spectacles he himself prescribes, or the dentist gives an unnecessary filling for which he is paid. Abuse occurs where an attempt is made to marry the incompatible principles of private acquisitiveness with a public service. Does it therefore follow that the solution is to abandon the field to commercialism? Of course not. The solution is to decrease the dependence on private enterprise...This is an obvious defect in the British Health Service as it is now. I never intended it to remain. The present arrangements have always been regarded as temporary"

('A Free Health Service', In Place of Fear, Chapter 5)

10:34 pm, July 08, 2007

Blogger grimupnorth said...


11:23 am, July 09, 2007

Anonymous Ted Harvey said...

david boothroyd I'd like to think you are at the wind-up, but given your postings here and elsewhere, I doubt it. I can only say that the few opinions you aired on Bevan shows an abysmal ignorance of what he was all about.

... he 'would have been overjoyed about what's happened since 1997'? What, aside of Tories in the Labour Government, would he be overjoyed at the cronies and sofa style of a Labour Government, cash-for honours scandals (oh yes he would love that), WMD, a PM that took us into more wars than any other, and departed office as one of the most unpopular ever, and being re-interviewed by the police the following day, greater inequality than when the Government came into power??

And can I just add, after three days I've just spent in London, what would he have made about how it has became a mini-armed camp in some places? A visit with one's family to some of the traditional tourist spots is now a sombre, almost chilling, sight now.

Bevan would never be overjoyed at how much more sleazy, militarised and unequal we have become under Labour since 1997; unlike, one might suspect, like you david.

We can't have it both ways with Gordon Brown publically seeking to undo much of what has gone before - if he is right then that was all wrong.

4:56 pm, July 09, 2007


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