Wednesday, March 24, 2010

 

Whatever Happened to Labour's Humility?

I am old enough to remember when Labour politicians did not care overmuch about money. Attlee campaigned in 1950, via his wife who drove him, erratically around the country. Ernie Bevin, the great trade union leader, Wartime Cabinet member and Foreign Secretary 1945-51, never accumulated any wealth to leave to his wife, but I doubt she would have expected to inherit any fortunes. Harold Wilson, he of the HP sauce and support for Huddersfield Town, preferred tinned salmon to caviar and holidays in the Scilly Isles rather than the Caribbean.

Of course, Ramsay MacDonald famously admitted he'd prefer to be a 'country gentleman' than prime minister; Nye Bevan was something of a 'champagne socialist' not to mention claret sipping Woy Jenkins' love of the good things in life. I'm not saying I'd deny them a fair slice of the good things but there is so much difference between Tony Blair, with his arse-licking holidays with pop stars or rightwing Italian media moghuls, hoovering up super-rich freebies and those principled stalwarts of the Labour Party which first attracted my support in my late teens.

But these latest examples of the Ramsay MacDonald-Blairite tendency(and they were all quintessentially Blairites) were not just venal and self seeking, they were so shamefully and bloody stupid! Had they not learnt a thing from the 1990s with, Tory Sleaze, Lord Nolan and Sunday Times stings? And Byers blithely condemned himself out of his own mouth in a way which can never be rectified. All three, by their self-seeking have exchanged a respected place in the national community as former senior politicians and Cabinet members, for a life when at best their very names will provoke grim smiles and shakes of the head and at worst, expletive laden condemnations. How Gordon, despite the damge this episode will have cost his party, must be inwardly smirking at the own-goal nemesis of his would-be January assassins...

Comments:
There is a petition to have Byers stripped of his Privy Councillor status over at Guido's. Do sign it !

Alan Douglas
 
Yeah, that's what annoyed me the most. Not that there are corrupt MPs, but that there are corrupt *Labour* MPs.

I just don't see how such brazen corruption as Byers' is compatible with any Labour ideals.
 
We're going more like America all the time, pork barrel politics, corruption, self interest and now political wags featuring prominently in the campaign.

Mind you I did like the comment of Miriam Gonzalez Durantez (aka Mrs Clegg) who said of Sam Cam's planned election role, "Some of us don't enjoy the luxury of having a job we can abandon for five weeks."
 
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