When will the Right admit the Coalition has gone too far?


10:35 am - August 17th 2010

by Sunny Hundal    


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There’s a classic rhetorical trick right-wingers employ when feeling desperate: say Labour has been taken over by the ‘loony left’ and isn’t reflecting Middle-England. For Labourites still shell-shocked from the 80s and 90s this is a cue to start worrying about their electoral prospects.

But in fact the evidence right now points to the opposite.

Labour has risen about 8-9% in the polls since the election without even having a leader with one coherent message. The public overwhelmingly supports more taxes on the very rich to deal with the deficit. They overwhelmingly thought Labour was too close to bankers at the last election.

Polling by both Ed Miliband and Ed Balls has shown that Labour didn’t lose middle-income voters at the last election – they lost lower income voters who wanted Labour to be on their side but found the party too busy triangulating.

Labour suffered from what Democrats are facing right now an ‘enthusiasm gap‘ – because both parties buy right-wing scaremongering that they’re straying ‘too far to the left’ whenever they push their agenda.

In contrast
The Coalition’s honeymoon ended only two months in, and it’s slide in approval ratings has been relentless.

The Coalition comprised of nearly 60% of all those who voted. And yet within a 100 days only 40% of voters approve of this government. In other words it has driven away independent voters by the bucket loads.

55% of voters now fear a double-dip recession. If you combine this with the massive drop in business confidence, you get a self-fulfilling prophecy where consumers fear to spend and businesses fear to invest – exacerbating the chances of a recession. The Coalition has to scaremonger about the economy because it makes their spending cuts political palatable.

The Coalition’s only hope is to spend all summer blaming them for everything in the hope it sticks. But sooner or later it will be patently obvious that cutting spending this drastically did not bring the economy out of recession quickly.

It’s worth noting one point though. Even though the Coalition is already in dire trouble, they’re far more ideologically secure than Labour is. Right-wingers will never admit they’ve pushed too far, whereas Labourites are always the first to blink.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


1. Bill Kristol-Balls

Labour has risen about 8-9% in the polls since the election without even having a leader with one coherent message

Surely the rise in the polls is because they have had no coherent message and people are projecting what they want onto Labour and hearing what is safe and comfortable.

So when Ed Balls rails against the VAT rise people ignore Darling telling Andrew Neil it was probably going up to 19% under Labour.

A new leader will be pressed for specifics on cuts and then things become more tricky.

“The public overwhelmingly supports more taxes on the very rich to deal with the deficit.”

People support tax on “people who are not them” shock!

3. Dick the Prick

Sour grapes, perhaps?

‘For Labourites still shell-shocked by the 80’s and 90’s’ – hee hee hee. Are you after a permanent revolution or something? When is a government not a government? When it’s Tory or something.

The rhetoric of the left has been that if we didn’t agree with them we were either racist, sexist, illiberal, xenophobic, homophobic etc etc.

You lost. Tough. The cuts don’t go far enough. If you think CallMeDave has any intention of hitting 25% reductions then you’re out of your mind. As Redwood states, therse aren’t cuts at all, just a reduction of increase. And, when it is manifest that public services are incapable of delivering essential services than it just makes good sense to privatise or rationalize stuff that will be bought anyway.

The public overwhelmingly supports more taxes on the very rich to deal with the deficit.

Bear Catholic.

I think the right don’t think they have gone far enough.
To the jays, Tim J and Falco’s of the world the coalition is quite timid.
If you asked them they would
1. Replace th NHS with another system
2. All state Schools to be replaced by the private system.
3. Welfare to the bare minimum. deserving poor
4. Nuke Iran.
What they probably think well, it is a long ball game.
Why they post on a left wing site is interesting.
I cannot see Sunny or the left having much influence on future politics. Perhaps they are not totally confident in their own ideology.

The so-called cuts don’t go anywhere near far enough. Until public spending is below 20% of GDP and Sunny is homeless there is a large distance to travel.

Exactly, Sunny.

The country – having had its fill of war and red-in-tooth-and-claw capitalism, is moving to the left.

Cameron is certainly aware of this. Having silenced his right wing, he’s continually making leftish statements.

The only dead heads who haven’t caught up on this is the walking zombie corpse of Nu Labor.

Nu Labor is dead. Long live Old Labour.

@5

1. Several European systems provide better healthcare than the NHS, it is at least worth considering whether these would provide a better outcome for us than our current system, (I know crazy right wing (CRW) stuff).
2. I like the school vouchers idea, it seems to have produced some very positive results in those CRW Scandinavian countries.
3. What is welfare for? I would go with the safety net model, yes this would leave the Lee Jasper / Roy Jenkins types of this world with no Council flat.
4. Yes, all those who support personal freedom desperately want to kill millions of people because they’re the wrong colour/religion/sex/sexuality/etc. Or could it be the more authoritarian lot who tend to go for that?

“Why they post on a left wing site is interesting.”

Its because it is interesting to exchange ideas and have your own challenged. I try, (though I’m sure often fail), not to lock my views in stone. If you only listen to those who agree with you, you reinforce your errors as much as your strengths.

#5. Peter Cole

Erm, except for the last one (Nuke Iran) this Conservative government are delivering exactly what you’ve said.

1. Replace th NHS with another system

The NHS will merely be the funding source, the term “NHS” will not apply to any hospital because they will all be private businesses called “social enterprises”. Existing employees will be able to contribute to their NHS pensions, but new employees will not be eligible since they will not be NHS employees. The SE model will have huge effects on pensions, pay, job mobility and training, none of which will be an NHS responsibility. Lansley’s plans will be another system.

2. All state Schools to be replaced by the private system.

Free schools? The new academies? Sure, schools will be given the choice whether they want to leave LEA control – and most have decided that they don’t want to. This is unlike hospitals where there is no option. EVERY NHS hospital will have to be an SE. Lansley is washing his hands off of healthcare provision (the lazy bastard does not want the work).

3. Welfare to the bare minimum. deserving poor

It looks likely that the welfare cuts will be very deep, but right whingers always want welfare cuts to be deeper.

You can always make the public out to be more leftwing it is by being selective in which issues you pick.

If you pick sticking it to the bosses, taxing the very rich, supporting health spending and reducing the cost of international comittments then they look way to the left of all politicians.

However, if you pick law and order, school curriculum, social security, and immigration, then suddenly the public look like they are way to the right of the politicians.

There seems to be a bizarre delusion going round the left at the moment that Labour lost because it had drifted to the right on the former set of issues, not because it had drifted to the left on the latter set of issues. A Labour Party that swings to the left will be destroyed. You are quite right to say that it won’t be due to support for taxing the rich, or quite a number of other issues. But there are issues like crime where the middle class left is so unbelievably out of touch that they simply won’t be allowed into power, no matter how bad the Tories get. The model to look at is the early eighties. Thatcher was depised, but still won a landslide against a Labour Party which simply disconnected from the public, not by being unconcerned about working class votes, but by simply not understanding the actual aspirations and views of working class people.

There will never be an answer to the cuts vs deficit spending question because there is no correct answer on that axis.There is probably no level of cuts which both avoids contracting the economy and satisfies the bond market sufficiently to ensure that interest rates remain low. That being the case, you have to go somewhere in the middle, as both Labour and the Coalition have done but erring in directions which suit their inclinations.

What the coalition has done however, as Labour has not, is to argue that, an escape from our current economic predicament cannot lie entirely in picking the least dangerous rate at which to grow/cut the deficit. You must open up another axis.

For the coalition, this axis is the big society and an increased support for entrepreneurship (both social and conventional) through deregulation. They are saying that, by making citizens more active, we will reduce the demand for the public services we can no longer afford to pay for and, moreover, we will grow the economy by err, not getting in the way of people starting businesses. There are many many flaws in the implementation of these policies but it is undeniable that their policy is guided by a big idea that is not wholly linked to the deficit question.

Labour has no second axis, it is caught defending an economic record that it would rather not and it knows that its own actions in government would not have been as different from the coalition’s as they would like to suggest. Until they can open up a new big idea that they can call their own, (land taxation, a sensible housing policy they can afford to pay for, mutualisation, whatever) they won’t be electable, however unpopular the coalition gets.

12. Roger Mexico

I’m sorry, Sunny, but this is rubbish. Government approval has been pretty consistent since the election. If it had any sort of honeymoon, it was in June, when it rose to the mid-forties, peaking in one poll at 48%. Since then its settled down to the 40-42% range since mid-July.

What has changed is the “disapprove” which has gradually increased from mid-twenties to high-thirties, presumably as people gradually felt they had seen enough to be able to make a decision. Nearly all that move has come from those already Labour supporters. Nearly 50% were Don’t Knows in early June – that’s dropped to 10-12% now. So the decline in net approval (approve – disapprove) that you show is entirely artificial.

Surely the rise in the polls is because they have had no coherent message and people are projecting what they want onto Labour and hearing what is safe and comfortable.

only left-wing politicos do that 🙂

People support tax on “people who are not them” shock!

Nice try, but the public isn’t always in favour of more taxes.

@JohnF

If you think that what we have experienced in the past few years was “red in tooth and claw capitalism” could you please explain why during that time, the state made up an increasingly large share of the economy, and a majority of it in Scotland, why Gordon Brown was able to boast in successive budgets that, thanks to tax credits, a family with two children on the average income paid no net income tax because of benefits, why the vast majority of children are educated by the state and the vast majority of patients’ illnesses treated by it, why 20% of the population lives in housing that costs approximately 50% of the market market rent for equivalent property and why 70% of them have that reduced rent paid in whole or in part through housing benefit.

I’m not saying that any of the above are wrong – far from it – but, if you believe that the period of government just gone represented unrestrained and unreconstructed capitalism then I think you need to reconsider.

15. the a&e charge nurse

[3] “The cuts don’t go far enough” – yeah, exactly ……. the sooner we downsize sponging bastards like this, the better?
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1303772/Pensioner-83-facing-eviction-home-make-room-families-needing-council-housing.html

3 “You lost. Tough”

Are yes, the so called superior intellect of the right. No doubt we can look forward from this troll to such insights as “My dad is bigger than your dad.”

For the record, you did not win either. All that advantage of months and months of eulogising by the vast majority of the media, into how call me Dave was the second coming of Jesus. All Ashcroft’s millions in the marginal’s, and you scraped 36% of the vote. You did not even get 50% in so called tory England . You rely for office on a bunch of weird politicians who have not got a clue what they believe. They fight the election on not raising VAT and then support it the raising of 2.5% in VAT. Vince Cable is humiliated at every turn by his tory masters., and Simon Hughes seems to have lost his mind.

17. Roger Mexico

Further to my previous comment, I also think you’ve got to be careful about using Government Approval (net or absolute) as an indicator of what will happen. Remember that Labour were only getting around 20% six months before the election (YouGov stopped asking the question then). Yet they recovered enough to stop a Tory victory.

While I’m in insulting Sunny mode, I couldn’t noticing this on Guido Fawkes’ blog yesterday:

To be honest Guido doesn’t really get why the British left-wing blogosphere in particular has long lists of repetitive re-tweet trackbacks cluttering up their comment threads rather than actual fresh comments. You won’t find this blog’s comment threads pointlessly full of identical re-tweets.

Just sayin’

“Labour has risen about 8-9% in the polls since the election without even having a leader with one coherent message”

IMO a vibrant and fully functioning parliamentary democracy requires an articulate and constructive opposition – which is why the role of Leader of the Opposition is recognised in statutes and why he or she is paid a salary for fulfilling that function.

“”You won’t find this blog’s comment threads pointlessly full of identical re-tweets”

Priceless. The right wing never did do irony

Mark it down in the same loony universe as other right wing clap trap such as….

The left is not funny.

They left has no intellect

The left wing media is boring..

Blah blah blah.

“Nice try, but the public isn’t always in favour of more taxes.”

True but if you tell the public that some big problem can be fixed by taxing people other than those you are asking, then they will tend to support it. At least until they think through the implimentaion and more general effects.

21. Roger Mexico

To be fair Sally you won’t find Guido’s comments “pointlessly full of identical re-tweets”

Pointlessly full of identical comments (irrespective of the subject) however …

Pointlessly full of identical comments (irrespective of the subject) however …

That’s not exactly a problem that’s restricted to Guido’s. Some denizens of the bottom half of the internet do have a tendency to run on rails.

23. Peter Cole

You make my point with your answers
Why they post on a left wing site is interesting.”

Its because it is interesting to exchange ideas and have your own challenged. I try, (though I’m sure often fail), not to lock my views in stone. If you only listen to those who agree with you, you reinforce your errors as much as your strengths

But your not listening to others just making snide remarks about leftish ideas and Sunny’s blog.

Which is fair enough but don’t give me the advancing knowledge and open minded argument.
You have no intention to change your views on any subject.
Ditto Tim J and Jay.
You come for psychological need to be proven right.
Also you have an empty life , hence filling the void by arguing points with a powerless mythical enemy.

Which is fair enough but don’t give me the advancing knowledge and open minded argument.
You have no intention to change your views on any subject.
Ditto Tim J and Jay.
You come for psychological need to be proven right.

Depends rather on who’s written the piece. Sunny tends to write either political strategy pieces or ‘gotcha’ pieces about ‘orrible Tories. So my comments there tend to be in kind – either what I think Labour should be doing (from my own perspective, obviously, but not unnecessarily snarky) or why Sunny’s story is dull/untrue/dull and untrue. I accept that I’m not expecting a Damascene conversion to Sunnyite leftism, but they’re entertaining. Echo chambers can get terribly boring.

On the other hand, Unity’s threads (except the Damian Green one. I was definitely right there), or Dan Hardie’s or Conor’s or most of the Daves’ – these tend to be more eclectic and on a number of them I either agree whole-heartedly with them, or can be persuaded by them. In fact, I’m sure I can think of a couple of Sunny’s threads that I at least more or less agree with.

I’ve been commenting here for ages – years God help us all – and there are occasions when ideas can get passed around without the need for an ideological purity test.

Well gosh Peter, you know so much about me. It must be all those years we’ve spent getting to know one another. As for me having some “psychological need to be proven right”, motes and beams spring to mind.

Re: “You have no intention to change your views on any subject.”

If you have an intention to change your views, you are in fact already changing them. What I attempt to do, (often with limited success as I’ve said), is keep an open mind. That doesn’t require me to jump on every view that is new to me and clasp it to my breast as the answer I’ve been looking for, if having considered something I disagree, with it then what harm is there in saying so?

26. the a&e charge nurse

[24] I heard republicans (in the States) gave consideration to introducing an “ideological purity test” – so prospective candidates could demonstrate they were true to conservative values?
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews/20091124/pl_ynews/ynews_pl996

The mind simply boggles!!

@7 johnf: The country – having had its fill of war and red-in-tooth-and-claw capitalism, is moving to the left. Cameron is certainly aware of this.

Is he? It isn’t obvious to me.

Actually I’m not too hung up on right versus left. A competent right wing government — one that emphasised on making this country more efficient, modern and productive, so that everyone can be better off — would be better for the poor than the current Labour party. And a competent left wing party — again, measured in the same terms — would be better for the rich than the current Conservative party. There is vast, vast room for improving the way our economy is run.

Or as I said on my blog: the old failed parties spend all their time arguing about how to divide up the cake. Instead we should turn our minds to baking a bigger cake, so we can all get a bigger slice.

Having silenced his right wing, he’s continually making leftish statements.

26 –

1. Are you anti-abortion?

Yup, that pretty much covers it…

Aren’t parties becoming much more homogenous these days? I mean, back in the day you had bizarrely disparate politicians in the US – Strom Thurmond in the Democrats, Nelson Rockefeller as a Republican. Now there really does seem to be a demand that everyone toes the same line, and if you have different opinions – Lieberman, Arlen Specter – you just get booted. Odd.

29. Peter Cole

Tim J you follow Tory policy to the letter.
Predictable and tribal

“I’ve been commenting here for ages – years God help us all – and there are occasions when ideas can get passed around without the need for an ideological purity test.”
Why, what is the motivation ?
I read the posts because it is important for the left to have sounding board to discuss ideas.
To have right wing snides just stifles the discussion.
The right will in power for a long time the left needs blue sky sites not right wing trolls like yourself who sneer and close down threads and ideas.
You, Falco and Jay don’t add anything to the threads.
It is blind alley politics.
Didn’t you say the site’s posters and threads were an irrelevant, so why post of on something you deem unimportant

29 – look, I get it. You don’t like me. While I will, obviously, be attempting to bear this with all the fortitude I can muster, I’m afraid it won’t really have much of an impact on whether or not I read/comment on this site.

If Sunny wanted a pure left-wing echo chamber he could run an invitation-only site. Instead, he has a comments policy. When you notice me being misogynist, racist or homophobic be sure to let him know. Otherwise, I’m afraid that you’ll either have to put up with me, or ignore me. Since you clearly already don’t read what I write, you really shouldn’t find the latter course too difficult.

@29, From the comments policy:

“4. Our aim is to open the discussion to the widest range of people and not restrict it to a narrow group. People who write hostile comments or hate-speech end up shutting out others who may have also wanted to join in. We want to avoid that.”

26. the a&e charge nurse

‘ I heard republicans (in the States) gave consideration to introducing an “ideological purity test” – so prospective candidates could demonstrate they were true to conservative values? ‘

Reagan failed the ideological purity test. Nowadays there is only a hard right who wield much influence on Republican thought who stand up for ‘ real Americans ‘. Code for white who do not speak foreign languages but speak the mother tongue of err, England.

Conservatives like Tim Jerk and all the other tory low life’s that come on here, prove that toy men (and it is mostly men) have a giant inadequacy complex. If they are not waving their dicks in other peoples faces they get all pissed off.

It is the same with all open left of centre sites. The Guardian and Independent message boards are full of dick waving tory scum who just can not get through the day without pushing their brown shirt beliefs on everybody else. The liberal left on the other hand is much more mature. We don’t need to go on the Telegraph site and tell everybody what we think. We are a bit more grown up. We also are not so insecure. Tories can’t deal with the opposite view point. That is why they attack the BBC so much because in their Telegraph /Mail reading households they never encounter an opposing view.

Ok – can we move past the mindless insulting? And that applies to you too Sally. I don’t have a problem with right-wingers posting comments here as long as they’re constructive and respect the tone of the debate.

While I’m in insulting Sunny mode, I couldn’t noticing this on Guido Fawkes’ blog yesterday:

I’m sure P. Staines a few months ago was going on about how he didn’t care for Twitter and that the “unpopular parts of the blogosphere” were obsessed by it. Funny how he changed his tune.

Personally, I generally welcome comments by The Right Wing Posters Of Doom.

They’re more interesting than Sally, anyway.

But yeah. Labour still has no credibility to me. Reasons, the same as before. Let me know when we get an actual left-wing party to vote for? I am, unfortunately, turned off by the green’s lack of science and technology love too, now I’ve delved somewhat deeper :/

It’s a tough world

36. Peter Cole

Since you clearly already don’t read what I write, you really shouldn’t find the latter course too difficult.
I.m all for right wingers writing but constantly making snide remarks at Sunny and other writers. Why ?
Tim J you called the site irrevelant. So why post
It is the reasons why you write on a obscure, left of centre site, that interests me.
What on earth do you take from it ?
I have yet to see a comment from flowerpower, Tim J ,Tim W, Falco that isn’t tribal.
Great to have righties but please quality righties like Watchman not just snides

36

“Tim J you called the site irrevelant. So why post”

Yup this is the question that they never answer. They say we are stupid and irrelevant but spend ages here. Very odd.

38. Flowerpower

Peter Cole

Since you have now brought me into it, I suppose I should break my silence.

The odd thing I notice is that you never seem to post about anything else except the presence on this blog of a few commenters with Conservative opinions. Why are you so obsessed with Falco and Tim J etc to the extent of never actually addressing a substantive point? Weird.

The answer to your question and Sally’s, as far as I’m concerned is this: Politics should be about engagement and debate. The clash of ideas, but perhaps more importantly the continual pricking and exploding of myths. This site (especially Unity) is good at exploding myths popular and often unquestioned on the right – a recent example was the post that showed that no Labour council has ever tried to “abolish Christmas” for reasons of political correctness. But there have been more serious examples -dealing with myths about teenage pregnancy, the benefits single mums get, the tests applied to cynically get even seriously ill people off incapacity benefits etc. All useful stuff for someone interested in what’s really true.

Meanwhile, I notice that there are a good few myths that go unquestioned on the Left (e.g. Thatcher cut public spending; Thatcher cut the NHS etc.) which the right wingers here point out are false. For my own part, I tend to keep pointing out that the scale of cuts is not so bad as Left alarmists are saying and that in real terms spending will be just as high as it was under Blair. The real terms cut over the Parliament will be 4% from the historic, Keynsian response to a recession, level reached in 2010. Significant, yes. Huge, drastic, callous, uncaring etc……..hardly, unless you’re going to say the same about Labour’s stewardship between 1997 and 2009?

Back to the point – engagement….debate….exchange….. making and testing arguments. All healthy things for democracy and the blogosphere. No single tribe has all the answers, and life should be a pursuit of truth. Silos, preaching to the choir, and your political version of xenophobia seem pointless to me.

Also, this blog is not, as you call it, “an obscure, left of centre site’. It’s the UK’s most popular left-of-centre politics blog

At least, that’s what it says on the tin.

You also include, I see, Tim Worstall in your not-welcome list.

39. Flowerpower

….contd.

You should try reading what Worstall says and the myth bubbles he pricks. V. instructive.

Tim J you called the site irrevelant. So why post
It is the reasons why you write on a obscure, left of centre site, that interests me.
What on earth do you take from it ?

You keep saying this – when did I call this site irrelevant? I don’t remember doing so, and I don’t really think it is irrelevant tout court.

And I rather thought I’d answered this already – it’s a mostly entertaining site that occasionally posts things that are of real interest. It’s also instructive of how one particular wing of the Labour/left is thinking. Plus, it’s often more interesting to engage in debate with people with whom you disagree, but can still be polite to, than it is to agree with like-minded people.

Why on earth do you have such a problem with this?

“You also include, I see, Tim Worstall in your not-welcome list.”

Oh that’s OK, I’m on everyone’s not welcome list.

but the reason I post ehre should be obvious. This site is called “Liberal Conspiracy” and I’m a liberal and do love conspiring…

Ian Jack has written “At present all we have are the words on the news placards: “School cuts fear” and “Hospital blow” and “Jobs threat”. You might say we are in 1938 and waiting for 1939.

Which is very true. Even those “in favour” of the cuts suddenly seem to change their minds when the practice shows hey, this means you too – see the cuts in school building .programme.

We are in a phoney war at the moment, like I posted a few weeks back “it’s all Labour’s fault” can only run for so long.

Cameron and Clegg are going to have a lot of explaining to do in 2011, and the smooth, public school boy, PR man patter will have done its legs by then.

““Hospital blow” and “Jobs threat””

Which leads to Ben Elton’s great joke about Maggie and …..well, no, you’re all too young to remember that, aren’t you?

Sigh.

OP, Sunny: “The public overwhelmingly supports more taxes on the very rich to deal with the deficit.”

If you ask Jo Public about our current pickle, s/he will suggest “tax the rich”. And unless we are very arrogant, we will take that on board.

In a quick opinion poll, there is no opportunity for deep economic philosophy. When Jo Public says “tax the rich”, they really mean optimise the system to get maximum taxes from rich people. Hypothetically, optimisation could mean lower taxes.

@ 43. Tim Worstall

No pal, I am very probably older than you and remember it all very well, you patronising half-wit.

And I remember “Maggie’s” economic policies being very unpopular with the electorate in the early ’80s, so much so that the Tories tanked in the polls. The only thing that saved her bacon was the Falklands War and the SDP, who thought fighting the Labout left was more important than fighting Thatcher.

And I detest Ben Elton, a man whose career was launched by blatantly ripping off Alexei Sayle’s much more vitrolic act hook, line and sinker and tarting it up so it was presentable on TV, and who has since brought us such abortions as the Queen “musical” ‘We Will Rock You’

We don’t ge a “littlebitofpolitics” from that prat any more do we?

Bet you love him……..

@45 captain swing: “No pal, I am very probably older than you and remember it all very well, you patronising half-wit.”

My night time hot chocolate goes down very well with a slug of intemperate vitriol.

“… and the SDP, who thought fighting the Labout left was more important than fighting Thatcher.”

A historical misrepresentation, surely? Labour politicians founded the SDP to abstract themselves from the internal battle in order to challenge Thatcher.

@ 46. Charlieman

If that right wing clown is going to patronise me he will get it back with interest.

‘Labour politicians founded the SDP to abstract themselves from the internal battle in order to challenge Thatcher

The first leader of the SDP Roy Jenkins had not been in the Labour Party since 1976.

David Owen was a careerist who joined the Labour Party to further his career, even in his youth at the time of Suez he talked about ‘politicians… able to stand up for Britain’s interests even in the age of Imperial decline and it ‘brought home’ to him ‘the robustness about the British people’s character which is often underestimated by… the chattering classes’.. No wonder later in the ’80s became something of a hero to Thatcherite Tories and there were even suggestions he might succeed Thatcher as Tory leader.

Shirley Williams had lost her seat in 1979 and no longer had any traction in the Labour Party.

Bill Rogers was a nonentity, a Labour machine politician, who would later complain that Tony Blair was “too right wing”.

This bunch formed a party that used the language of a “new politics” and “progressive alliance” that we heard from the Lib Dems before the last election, and who, despite voluminous support from the press, completely imploded in 1987

Some “challenge to Thatcher”.

“No pal, I am very probably older than you and remember it all very well, you patronising half-wit.”

Nothing like having a light hearted reference to the young shavers around here (or in Sunny’s case, half shavers) sparking off the vitriol. The show did close 16 years ago which I would guess is about half or more of the lifespan of the average reader here.

49. John Sullivan

I take it all the right-wingers would withdraw all taxpayer subsidy for privatised industries along with all taxpayer subsidies for the private sector in general. After all this sector can flourish by itself if they are to be believed and such handouts are ideologically incoherent. I take it also that they will support a call for the banks to hand back every penny of taxpayers money that they outrageusly received, together with interest. I doubt it. Most of these people are happy for business to be propped up.

@48

Well, maybe. But some of us “young shavers” have parents who remember the Thatcher years only too well. I mean, how many people here lived through WW2? Yet most if not all have opinions on it.

Ah, so, no you don’t get what I was referring to then.

Ben Elton’s last show as the Man from Auntie had one of his usual motormouth stand up routines in which he talked about (c. George Carlin) words you’re not allowed to say on TV. And he asks why, for there’s no problem with the newsreader saying something about Maggies blow to jobs, is there? So, what’s the problem? Job? Blow? Why can’t you say them together?

Long pause in hte flimed live routine. We’re all, of course, waiting to see if he’s about to say “blow job” on TV and get fired (yes, it was that long ago).

“Job blow, see, what’s wrong with that?”

Not the greatest of jokes now written down but the delivery was terrific and yes, people really did talk about it afterwards.

Capt. Swing didn’t get the point I was making at all….it was a trivial one just to see if anyone else remebered that specific joke, nothing more.

And Master Pill….it’s more akin to recalling a line from ITMA or Round the Horne than trying to remember what it was that Hitler did to France.

@51 Tim W

OKs fair enough. Just gets my goat when people say you can’t criticise something if you personally haven’t experienced it (or weren’t old enough)… which isn’t really what you were saying, so.. fair dos.

The real question is are you going to be standing for the UKIP leadership? I think we should be told 😉

Ha!

No, no way. And I’ll not be hanging around if Monkton gets it either.

@ 52 & 53

Given the quality of the leadership they have enjoyed (?) to date, I’m thinking of suggesting one of my cats for the job… probably the less intelligent, more indolent of the two: he’d still probably make a better fist of it than the recent incumbents. He’s mad as a box of frogs of course…. but that’s no detriment it seems…


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    When will the Right admit the Coalition has gone too far? http://bit.ly/cDsgpM

  2. leninology

    RT @libcon: When will the Right admit the Coalition has gone too far? http://bit.ly/cDsgpM

  3. Tam Chandler

    RT @libcon: When will the Right admit the Coalition has gone too far? http://bit.ly/cDsgpM

  4. manishta sunnia

    RT @libcon: When will the Right admit the Coalition has gone too far? http://bit.ly/cDsgpM

  5. Kate B

    Coalition takes a dive http://bit.ly/bzehc4 Hope to Christ this carries on. Couldn't stand it if coalition was on the up.

  6. David H

    RT @hangbitch: Coalition takes a dive http://bit.ly/bzehc4 Hope to Christ this carries on. Couldn't stand it if coalition was on the up.

  7. winston k moss

    RT @libcon: When will the Right admit the Coalition has gone too far? http://bit.ly/cDsgpM

  8. Naadir Jeewa

    Reading: When will the Right admit the Coalition has gone too far?: There’s a classic rhetorical trick right-winge… http://bit.ly/axjhNA

  9. sunny hundal

    When will the Right admit the Coalition has gone too far? http://bit.ly/cDsgpM

  10. M. R. C. Barrett

    That would require right-wing policies first. RT @sunny_hundal: When will the Right admit Coalition has gone too far? http://bit.ly/cDsgpM

  11. Mark Ferguson

    RT @sunny_hundal: When will the right admit Coalition has gone 2 far? http://bit.ly/cDsgpM << gd blog from Comrade Hundal, Labour suits him

  12. Des O'Loughlin

    RT @sunny_hundal: When will the Right admit the Coalition has gone too far? http://bit.ly/cDsgpM

  13. Chris Horner

    RT @sunny_hundal: When will the Right admit the Coalition has gone too far? http://bit.ly/cDsgpM

  14. NewLeftProject

    RT @libcon: When will the Right admit the Coalition has gone too far? http://bit.ly/cDsgpM

  15. Daniel Simms

    RT @libcon: When will the Right admit the Coalition has gone too far? http://bit.ly/cDsgpM < can't say that we've moved to the left just yet





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