Saturday, September 29, 2007

Brown Studies

This is more of an open thread than 'proper' Aaro watching. I submit the following:

WHEREAS the Decents, while extolling 'democracy' tend to ignore the actual political process, and where they acknowledge it, you'd think we were still in the dying years of John Major, where the democratic machinery is ranged against brave little fringe groups, and poor Alan 'Not the Minister' Johnson's voice is all but gagged by despots in Parliament and their henchpersons in the mainstream media;

WHEREAS one-man Decent think tank Oliver Kamm called the Labour Party (which he insists he supports) a "Farcical grotesquerie" stated Brown has behaved appallingly in the last week, but then he has behaved appallingly throughout the life of this government, and beyond. Matthew Turner has more;

WHEREAS David Aaronovitch thinks Gordon Brown is wonderful and should therefore call an election soon, while his erstwhile colleague Martin Kettle* thinks Gordon Brown is wonderful (I know, this surprised me too) and there should not call an election soon;

WHEREAS Gordon Brown mentioned Iraq only once in his conference speech;

This blog resolves that Gordon Brown's position as leader of the Labour Party and his standing in the polls is/is not a situation desired by the Decents.

You decide. (FWIW, I think David Miliband is the closest thing to a Decent in Parliament, and that rather than spending their days fisking Madelaine Bunting and complaining about Muslims under the bed and writing silly documents nobody cares about, the decent agenda would be better pursued by actually getting their hands dirty in Labour party politics, and not sticking to fringe meetings. In short, I think that they'll ignore the real world, just as they always did.)

*"In the past three months, Brown has brought back dignity and balance to our politics and has won deserved approval for doing so." I can't remember Martin Kettle bemoaning that these were ever missing when he was praising Blair.

15 Comments:

Anonymous Hugh said...

You think David Miliband's the closest thing to a Decent in parliament? On what grounds? I don't know if he's even a member of Labour Friends of Israel. He's certainly let it be known that he was sceptical about the Iraq venture and Israel's bombing of Lebanon.

The most Decent MP? I'd go for Denis Macshane myself.

9/29/2007 12:10:00 PM  
Anonymous redpesto said...

hugh - MacShane is pro-EU except where it conflicts with the Special Relationship). Not so much decent as bog standard Labour/establishment.

As for Kettle, I tried not to laugh, especially when he writes: "But as someone who cares more about politics than about Labour, I also believe an election now would be positively wrong." [emphasis added]

After all the hysterical Blair-worshipping, he suddenly thinks he's Hugo Young.

9/29/2007 02:36:00 PM  
Anonymous rioja kid said...

Rentoul was hilarious the other week: Northern Rock was not only managed effectively by el Jefe Gord, it was the best thing that could possibly have happened to him in any known or unknown universe. I think a lot of the more aggressive Blairites were hedging with Cameron for a while and are having to work their way back with steam shovel loads of flattery.

9/29/2007 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

At which they are good, so it's not a real problem for them.

9/29/2007 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

I think Rioja Kid is entirely correct here - I was somewhat surprised at the comments made by people like Pollard, Kamm, Harris about Brown, given there was always quite a high chance that he would be popular, or more popular at least.

9/30/2007 09:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Simon said...

David Miliband is not especially Decent. Most of the serious Decents are presently being kept away from the Foreign Office.

9/30/2007 12:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kamm seems to get away with all kinds of things that are normally described as "bringing the Labour Party into disrepute" yet never seems to be threatened with expulsion. Some mysterious force seems to be at work.

10/01/2007 11:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Simon said...

He isn't a member, I don't think. He had suggested prior to the 2005 election that he would be re-joining, but then changed his mind and declared he would be voting Tory.

10/01/2007 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger Martin said...

Decentism isn't there to actually influence real politics as it's there to provide a nice career for no-hopers.

Incidently, I read that as "fisting Madelaine Bunting" which provoked all sort of pictures.

10/01/2007 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger cian said...

Which given that Kamm lives in Hove, a majority of 200, was quite a threat.

Still, now that Hove has a perfect Blairite MP (consultancy background, perfect voting record, lack of any discernable convictions), maybe he'll change his mind.

10/02/2007 08:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was under the impression that Kamm was still a member of the Labor Party even though he'd said he was voting Tory in 2005. Does anyone know for sure?

10/02/2007 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

I wouldn't want to be a member of any club that would have him.

10/02/2007 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

No he's definitely a lapsed member, I remember around the time of the 2005 election.

10/02/2007 09:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kamm's Wikiedia entry is silent on him allowing his Labour Party membership to lapse. Most mysterious.

10/04/2007 07:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting stuff about Martin Kettle is here

http://www.thesharpener.net/2005/05/10/kettle-logic

and here

http://transatlantic.typepad.com/my_weblog/2005/05/the_martin_kett.html

(though personally I think that Martin's childhood in a CP household that never came to terms with the Hungarian Uprising is part of the explanation).

New Labour eventually came to realise that Blair was being seen negatively by Daily Mail readers, that the Sun wasn't saying the same things as the Mail and so it would have to choose between the two. Blair was persuaded to go off to a non-job in Israel and Brown now makes his messages more accessible to the Mail than to the Sun. It took Martin a bit of time to get used to this but he got there eventually.

The Decents are another kettle of fish, though

10/06/2007 11:57:00 AM  

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