Top of the Blogs: The Dirty Dozen #4

When I agreed to write this monthly round up of Labour and Tory blogging I said I would aim to “keep a balance between pointing to interesting postings that we Lib Dems may have missed and laughing at the folly of our opponents”.

So here goes.


Disloyalty is common in politics, so its refreshing to come across Kezia Dugdale and her staunch defence of Gordon Brown’s decision to scrap the 10p tax band:

Pensioners and families are better off. Childless adults of working age are a little worse off. Would you rather it was the other way around?

Gordon Brown had to make a political calculation as to how best to lift the income of low earners, without spending so much that he had to do something extremely unpopular to pay for it. Most Labour MPs like it, 70 don’t.

I have not been back to check her blog since Gordon Brown’s U-turn, but I bet you will find she has written an equally staunch defence of his new position. I predict this woman will be in parliament before long.

Unfortunately, not everyone is so loyal. Take John Wiseman, for instance. Here is the Labour PPC for Westmoreland & Lonsdale writing on Labour Home:

I seem to be in the middle of a nightmare at present. The BNP are standing all over my home constituency. Everyone seems depressed where I am standing for parliament. Gordon has decided to take money away from his core vote, PPS’s are threatening to resign!! When are we going to wake up!!! There is hundreds of councillors who are going to lose their seats if Gordon doesn’t listen. I am asking please Gordon for the last time wake up and smell the coffee and save the party as in rectify the tax change!!!

Doesn’t he realise what our Glorious Leader is doing for the country?

Elsewhere in the Labour photosphere there have been some moving tributes to Gwyneth Dunwoody. Harry Barnes, the former Labour MP, came to appreciate her worth even though they came from opposite wings of the party. And Paul Flynn points out that she was:

the last of a generation of women MPs of exceptional talent who succeeded mainly because they were tougher than their male counterparts. Gwyneth was generously endowed with strength, guile, humour, courage and integrity.

Back on Labour Home, Mike Ion exposes links between the Pensioners Party and the BNP and seems to have dissolved them in the process.

And Theo’s Blog reports on a row about parking in Hampstead between David Aaronovitch and Tom Conti. Hampstead is like that.

Much as it pains me to say it, the Communist-turned-Blairite Aaronovitch appears to be in the right.


Back to loyalty. You would have to be a very loyal supporter of Tony Blair indeed to write about the invasion of Iraq in these terms:

But in twenty years from now, even the most defiant anti-war protesters may concede that maybe, just maybe, when Iraq’s children are running around in the street with full tummies and free from the fear of brutality, when our children can sleep safe in their beds still free British citizens, that a good job was done by brave men and women.

A very loyal Blairite or a very stupid Tory. Step forward Mad Nad.

And then we have Dizzy Thinks and his remarkable take on Christianity:

If you start setting limits on earning that what would that do for wealth creation? What’s the point in trying to earn more money if a limit is set on how much you may earn? That’s not even socialism, it’s bordering on communism.

It’s a point of view, but maybe the Archbishop was thinking of camels and needles’ eyes? There are still some Church of England clergymen who read the Bible.

Then there are a couple of stories from Conservative Home.

First there is The story of how the party’s EU enthusiasts fixed the MEP selection process. You can see why the website is so cross: there are a lot of headbangers in the Tory Party and they deserve to have their views represented in the party’s decision-making process.

Then there is its guileless appeal to Help us make the ‘Nasty Ken video’. Conservatives, you understand, are really nice people, but Ken is so nasty that he forces them to be nasty too.

At least one Tory is on the side of the angels. Hunter and Shooter went on the demonstration against the parading of the Olympic torch through London:

The icing on the cake, when I got home, was to see that Gordon’s Gang were just too gormless to have seen this PR disaster unfolding all day, and actually allowed these Chinese security ‘guards’ to enter Downing Street, push people around in front of the TV cameras and organise the photo shoot! How weak! How pathetic! Gordon isn’t even master of his own doorstep, let alone the country! That’s one video clip I hope gets repeated endlessly…

And this just in… Mr Bean has a blog and is standing for the Conservatives in Manchester.

* Jonathan Calder blogs at Liberal England and for the New Statesman.

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