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, October 12, 2007

Fair weather Brownite breaks ranks

It hasn't taken much to get Polly Toynbee to announce the latest in her career-long cycle of betrayals.

Ms Toynbee first stabbed the Labour Party in the back by joining the SDP in 1981.

After returning to Labour and professing gushing enthusiasm for Tony Blair and all his works, she switched to attacking him in virulent terms.

Now, having cheer led Blair's replacement by Gordon Brown for years, she has taken less than six months to turn on him and start accusing him in hysterical terms of "capitulation to the Tory agenda and refusal to make the case for equality".

Put a sock in it Polly. You tried to destroy Labour in the '80s. Then you tried to destroy Tony Blair. Now you are trying to destroy Gordon Brown. Perhaps you are psychologically incapable of loyalty. Perhaps you just write what you think Guardian readers want to hear. Either way it's a shame that you have to link quite reasonable social democratic analysis on policy to wholly destructive and unrealistic political conclusions.

Which poor politician is going to be the next object of your hopes, before being turned on in a journalistic frenzy when they have to start dealing with the realities of government?


Blogger John said...

For pity's sake luke, you're just being ridiculous now. I'm completely disheartened by the way Brown's acted since taking charge - not an ounce of courage or principle, and it's pathetic. Polly Toynbee has her faults, but at least she understands the purpose of the Labour Party. Brown's utter failure to talk about increased equality, and his blindness to the need for moral evangelism suggests he does not. What would he have to do for you to criticise? I only hope Gordon reads the Guardian today and takes note. Sadly, he probably sticks to the Mail these days.

1:39 pm, October 12, 2007

Anonymous Peter Kenyon said...

Dear Luke

I hope you are sitting down, because I agree with your analysis of the Toynbee piece. I scanned it this morning, but decided to focus on the positive Labour tax narrative that needs to be developed.

So thanks for taking her to task. Most unhelpful headline. Though in fairness to her she does calm down in the body of the text towards the end.

"Because we live in hope, Gordon Brown can pick himself up and start all over again, if he has the nerve and the political will. The Tories may crow now, but they too have real problems. What can they offer next? ..... Choices need to be aired so people can understand and support a fairer system where the poorest no longer pay a higher proportion than the rich. This much Gordon Brown owes to those he disappointed this week."

4:59 pm, October 12, 2007

Anonymous Hackney Labour said...

umm, trouble is she has got a point .....

8:55 pm, October 12, 2007

Anonymous hovedan said...

Luke - Polly was largely wrong in her article today. But it is legitimate to offer constructive criticism. The real problem from the PBR and CSR was the taper changes to Capital Gains Tax - essentially this penalises small businesses - whilst helping property speculators - surely this was an unintended consequence. and reverses the excellent help from Brown to small business. A.Darling has indicated that he will revisit this before it is due to come into effect next year - and it would be useful for labour supporters to gently tell him that he should be encouraging not penalising small businesses.

10:11 pm, October 12, 2007

Anonymous Geoffrey Payne said...

In order to be "loyal" you have to agree with whatever the leadership of Labour at the time says, and not what you actually think. Even if you are a newspaper columnist, and not say an MP?
So in the 1980s, you have to agree with civil liberties, and today more police powers. You had to argue back then for decentralised government back then, and today you have to believe in centralisation. You had to be in favour of nuclear disarmanent then, and today you have to support replacing Trident.
No doubt it is OK for Labour politicians to make an unprincipled flip flops to win votes, but why should newspaper columnists do likewise?

10:28 pm, October 12, 2007

Blogger Benjamin said...

Put a sock in it Polly. You tried to destroy Labour in the '80s. Then you tried to destroy Tony Blair. Now you are trying to destroy Gordon Brown.

Translation: "trying to destroy" = criticise.

Anyway, there's no overriding reason why Polly Toynbee should be loyal. She's not a party member as far as I know, she a columnist in a newspaper and gets paid to comment on politics.

6:01 am, October 13, 2007

Blogger susan said...

I thought, as you will not be surprised to note, that the Toynbee article was spot on. Apart from backtracking at the end....

2:24 pm, October 15, 2007


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