Tag Archives: mehdi hasan

Warning: This post may damage your health – but, it’s ok, Sal Brinton will make it better

Sal BrintonIt’s not often we put health warnings on posts, but we do need to today. It’s not the post that’s the problem, it’s more the programme we’re suggesting you watch. Last night’s Question Time had one of its most habitually annoying contributors, David Starkey and if you watch it here on BBC iPlayer, he will make you very cross indeed.

I was quite amazed that I managed to get through the whole hour without either wine or even swearing out loud, even though the historian did everything he possibly could to live down to his reputation and beyond. His personal nadir was when he was trying to make out that children could have some responsibility for their own sexual assaults. And calling Mehdi Hasan Ahmed wasn’t much better.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 30 Comments

LibLink: Mark Pack – 2011 was a year of treading water

Yesterday The Times ran a set of op-eds looking at how the parties did in 2011, featuring ConHome’s Tim Montgomerie, Ed Miliband biographer Mehdi Hasan and The Voice’s own Mark Pack.

Here is a flavour of what Mark had to say:

This year has certainly not been short of Harold Macmillan’s “events, dear boy, events”.  Political and economic turmoil disrupted even the usually quiet periods deep in August and the final shopping days before Christmas.

Yet at the end of the year the political rollercoaster has left all three main parties in remarkably similar situations to those in which they found themselves

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 7 Comments

LibLink: In defence of the Lib Dems

Yours truly has a post on the New Statesman rolling blog The Staggers, responding to Mehdi Hasan’s rather provocative question, “What’s the point of the Liberal Democrats?”

Hasan pointed out five areas in which the Lib Dems had (in his view) “sacrificed their distinctive beliefs and principles and received little in return.”

I responded with my own 5 points, including:

1) Ask the nearly 1 million low-paid workers who have been lifted out of paying income tax altogether thanks to a Lib Dem manifesto commitment delivered in government. With the prospect of further significant reforms to come to make

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , , and | 4 Comments

Who is Ed Miliband?

Authors of the best accounts of the New Labour years delved deeply into the rival Brownite and Blairite versions of events before coming to their own conclusions. Those who did not frequently ended up with embarrassingly lopsided and inaccurate accounts.

Mehdi Hasan and James Macintyre, the authors of Ed: The Milibands and the making of a Labour leader, have avoided making the next generation’s version of the same mistake by talking to both sides of the Miliband family, even returning more than once to the conundrum of when Ed told David he was going to run against him for leader. …

Posted in Books and Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 16 Comments

Opinion: what the Guardian isn’t telling you

Mehdi Hasan has a provocative article in the Guardian So what, Nick Clegg, made you forget liberty? It is standard Guardian fare these days: you can’t trust the Lib Dems.

The “delay” in completing the abolition child detention in deportation cases is the focus of his attack.

To be fair, he acknowledges that Labour hardly look good on the issue:

child detention in this country is one of the most obscene and unforgivable legacies of the ultra-authoritarian New Labour years. In 2001 the Blair government made the populist decision to detain children and families who were subject to immigration

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 40 Comments

Alan Johnson – “an instinctive cutter”

Given how I’ve previously pointed out that Yes, ministers can disagree and the world doesn’t end, it would be wrong to shout “splits! splits!” at what is going on in the Labour Party over economic policy. The latest disagreements between leader Ed Miliband and Shadow Chancellor Alan Johnson do however highlight just how much work Labour has to do to work out its economic policy.

As John Rentoul has pointed out:

Johnson made clear to Rachel Sylvester and Alice Thomson that he did not share his leader’s enthusiasm for making the 50p-in-the-pound top income-tax rate permanent: “I am only

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 9 Comments

Opinion: Cold comfort for the Lib Dems in the dawn of the new politics

On Thursday night we saw the dynamics of the New Politics unfold.

For the first time, advocates of the Lib-Con pact came face to face with opponents and the general public in a very public forum. On Question Time, Simon Hughes MP and Lord Heseltine defended the new government against a tirade of abuse from Lord Falconer, Mehdi Hasan and Melanie Phillips, while the audience expressed exasperation and dismay. Get used to it. This is the New Politics, and if Cameron and Clegg are to be believed, this is what we have to look forward to …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 21 Comments
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