Daily Archives: 7 September 2006

I’ll show you my conference if you show me yours

I’ve added the main fringe meetings I plan to be going to onto flock together and added my personal feed from that website onto my sidebar. If you’re a Lib Dem blogger, why not do the same?

Personally, aside from the day job I’ll be busy promoting my chapter on intergenerational equity in Graham Watson/Liberator’s new pamphlet “Liberalism – something to shout about” (fringe meetings on the Sunday evening and Monday lunchtime) and I will also hopefully have an article printed in ALDC’s update of the Theory and Practice of Community Politics.

The Blair/Brown circle jerk

The problem with the extreme-slow-motion-car-crash that is the Blair/Brown rift is that, apart from being appallingly tiresome, it tends to highlight to me why I don’t think Gordon Brown will make a particularly good Prime Minister.

For certainly the last 6 years, he has been plotting away to undermine the PM every way he can – we can now safely assume that all the rumours we used to hear about back then were actually true, yet he has always been terrified of revealing his hand. Instead he has just sat there and brooded.

Much of what is most wrong about New Labour – specifically the mindset that comes up with a hellish system like tax credits – he can take personal responsibility for. We have seen very little evidence to suggest that with other more Blairite issues – foreign policy and civil liberties – he would do anything different. His only real feuds with Blair in recent years have been over who calls the shots.

All of this suggests a mean-spirited, egotistical, petty man. He has signally failed to articulate over the past few years what, exactly, he will bring to the Premiership that is new, yet the way he has handled thing means that he will be saddled with a weight of expectation that would make Atlas blanche.

I simply cannot see how his Premiership will be good news for the Labour Party in the long run. This leaves me torn. Do I celebrate that his coronation will effectively mean the end of a government I have come to loathe? Or does making it too easy for Cameron mean that the Conservatives will not bother to block their worst elements from having a stake? From a selfishly partisan point of view, a poor Labour Premiership will increase the majority of an outright Tory one, and thus minimise the chance of the Lib Dems holding the balance of power.

That said, I can’t see what Labour can do to get out of this mess. A headbanger like Reid would rip Labour apart and cause its supporter base to rout even more than it has been. The least worst case scenario I can see would be someone like Alan Johnson getting it. Yet even he could never be much more than a John Major figure; it might mean Labour stand some chance of holding onto power, but once they won that first term they wouldn’t be in much of a position to do anything with it. In any case, it seems clear that Labour has already settled on Brown.

Blogging Lite

Barely blogging at all at the moment – drowning in work, which also explains why I failed to publicise this evening’s Liberal Drinks.

Anyway, just to say I should be turning the corner soon and to regret that I simply don’t have time to rip the piss out of this. Ah, happy memories!

In the meantime, expect to see blogging here limited to my occasional rants about adverts and free newspapers I pick up on the tube. Sorry!

Feel the quality

Northcliffe Press’ lack of shame knows no bounds. Having launched London Lite last week – a paper notable for making the Metro look heavyweight – they have just rebranded the Evening Standard as “London’s Quality Newspaper”. This is bogus because a) it barely qualifies and b) it is only quality because its sister papers are so substandard. That doesn’t stop it from filling half its pages with Z-list celebrities.

Actually, an actual London quality evening paper might actually be quite a nice thing to read going home from work. Anyone got a few million in their back pocket they wouldn’t mind offloading?