Lang may yours slums reek
Contrary to what I guessed yesterday, Nick has come out for Labour, with only a nice word said about Evan Harris (and that seems to have been withdrawn, jokingly, I'm sure).
Too many Westminster politicians and journalists regard debates about political principle as eccentric distractions from the vital questions of who is up and who is down, who has gaffed disastrously and who has spun successfully.
I'm still waiting for any sign that Nick has read any party's manifesto. Nick concludes his 'argument':
Alongside all Labour's scoundrels and freeloaders, you can still find honourable men and women who believe in equality and internationalism. Their presence shows that even if the party's leaders cannot make it, and even if it takes a gut-wrenching effort to make it on their behalf, there remains a case for voting Labour – despite everything
Lots of 'political principle' there. Labour has some honourable people. He's already concluded that the Lib Dems have too, so even that's not the killer reasoning he seems to believe it to be. Michael Gove is a sort of honorary Decent isn't he? He seems likeable enough on 'The Review Show' although I think he's a pretty useless politician.
Interestingly, while Nothing British About the BNP and other Conservative groups oppose ultra-reactionary politics in both their white supremacist and clerical guises, the Liberal Democrats are absent without leave from the battles in the slums which will determine the character of Britain.
Eh? My Concise OED defines slum as "1. A room. slang. Long rare or obsolete. E19. 2. An overcrowded district of a town or city having squalid housing conditions and inhabited by very poor people...." The Labour Party tried to abolish slum housing in the 1960s following the Parker Morris Committee. The proposed standards were naturally abandoned under Thatcher - and not revived by Labour since 1997. There are squalid areas in every city, I don't know if 'slum' is the right word or not: I think not. If there are slums, isn't that a point against Labour which should have done something by now?
What does the Labour Party manifesto 1.4Mb PDF say about housing?
We understand people’s concerns about immigration – about whether it will undermine their wages or job prospects, or put pressure on public services or housing – and we have acted. Asylum claims are down to the levels of the early 1990s and net inward migration has fallen.
That's good to know: we've reduced asylum claims because of possible pressure on housing. How very... internationalist.
Have fun. I'd also appreciate it anyone can explain Oliver Kamm's take (via Harry's Place); it's over my head.
 Is Labour really an internationalist party? A few weeks ago, Brownie of Harry's Place brought up Enoch Powell in our comments. He thought Powell was a failure politically. I'm much more ambivalent about this. As I said in an earlier thread, I thought Heath was right to sack Powell - both morally and tactically. Powell left the Tories and made a speech which in effect said, Vote Labour because, at the time, Labour was the anti-EEC party. I think this is Powell's great legacy: the Tories have been split ever since (and possibly since the question first arose) on whether to be part of Europe or not. I think Daniel Hannan's objections to the EU can be traced back to Powell. Labour has a similar fault-line, but it's much more pragmatic and less ideological. Without going into too much history, I think Labour has a pretty strong tradition of scepticism to trans-Atlantic alliances (what Nick would doubtless call 'anti-Americanism'), the EU, and to links with the former Soviet bloc. Equality may be in Labour's DNA, so to speak, but internationalism - not so much. I've never understood being an internationalist as any kind of basic condition for membership.