Friday, May 18, 2007

The Week in Decency

Martin Samuel correctly points out that the only appropriate political obituary for Blair is the "Jones the Sheepshagger" joke He is actually a little bit too uncharitable about the genuine achievements of the last ten years; the whole point of that joke (and the analogy) is that Jones was a hard-working and efficient benefactor of mankind, apart from the episode where he degraded honesty in public life and fought an unpopular war.

Nick Cohen gets ripped for smugness over the Hutton Report. It was always a bit odd that the author of "Pretty Decent Guys" suddenly became so certain that Blair hadn't been honest (Update: Presumably I mean "hadn't been dishonest"?). In light of this, his little homilies on journalism versus blogging look a bit embarrassing.

Aaro has done a lifestyle piece. He also wrote his column this week and was rather good on immigration - the analogy between "picking winners" in industrial policy and trying to do the same thing with "skilled worker" programmes is one I've used myself in the past. The only thing I could find to Watch on it is that of course although Gosplan was the target-setting and planning ministry before the war, by the time Dave was visiting it in the 1970s, the detailed business of managing the economy was the responsibility of Gosekonom and Gosplan was precisely the sort of long term "perspective planning" office that Dave thinks we still need. I also don't think he did have an epiphany about central planning in the 70s; he was still a Eurocommunist when he was president of the NUS and CPGB never actually gave up on the planned economy did they?

And while I am unlikely to sign on for Andrew Murray's entire bill of goods any time soon, this on the agonies of Rentoul, is quite entertaining. The Rentoul "Profile in Decency" is in the works. He really is quite the figure.

4 Comments:

Blogger ejh said...

It was always a bit odd that the author of "Pretty Decent Guys" suddenly became so certain that Blair hadn't been honest.

Well ,quite: what always seemed extraordinary to me was that people who would otherwise have excoriated Bush and (at very least) disliked and distrusted Blair suddenly considered them morally upright and trustworthy when it came to a war and the potential loss of large numbers of lives.

It's not a new syndrome and I don't claim to understand it: it tends to happen whenever a war comes up.

In passing, it does remind us that the charge sheet against Blair was already pretty long some time before the war. There's been a tendency in some commentary (for some time now) to say "it was just the war which spoiled his legacy - but I'm afraid he shagged nore than just the one sheep over his decade.

5/18/2007 04:33:00 PM  
Anonymous redpesto said...

Surely a profile of Rentoul is a bit too fish-barrel-gun? Not that I'm not looking foprward to it, mind.

5/21/2007 09:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The charge sheet against Blair was already pretty long". The Iraq debacle exposed what Blair was capable of doing. Someone who could say that the French were making war more likely by not voting for the resolution authorising war was obviously capable of using very dubious arguments. More people then began to see that his arguments on other topics (eg globalisation, the choice agenda) were also very thin.

5/21/2007 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

Someone who could say that the French were making war more likely by not voting for the resolution authorising war was obviously capable of using very dubious arguments

Well, he is a lawyer, ho ho

5/21/2007 03:21:00 PM  

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