Thursday, November 10, 2005

time for a periodic "nice one fella" award

Aaro, on the French riots. Commendably, Aaro resists the urge to hitch an old hobby-horse to the latest thing in the news (*cough*nickcohen*cough*) and gets the issue more or less right.

One minor point; someone really ought to tell Dave that he can't do economics. I've mentioned this before. He really gets out of his depth, and just copies sonorous, deep-sounding soft-right platitudes (*cough*oliverkamm*cough*).

This is not the place for a discussion of how France might cure itself of its economic malaise. It could be a coincidence that French companies pay the equivalent of 28 per cent of the average salary in payroll taxes, compared with 9 per cent in Britain, but one doubts it

Bollocks. In 1981, Britain had the riots and we had the unemployment, including levels of "twice the national average" and "up to forty per cent" in "poor areas" (unemployment is often highest in the poor areas; economists and statisticians have proved to their own satisfaction that being poor makes you more likely to be unemployed). Many of which were "ethnic ghettoes". In a recession, people are unemployed. Unemployment is rarely evenly distributed over the country; it is found in bunches.

There is no implied criticism of Aaro here as this is a widespread heap of bollocks which has been repeated in all sorts of other places. Just making the point because I'm irritated by it really.


Blogger Matthew said...

He's called for Blair, the most "talented centre-left leader in the world", to resign.,,22369-1867093,00.html

11/11/2005 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger The Rioja Kid said...

oh goddd -- "everything is fine, so radical change in necessary", the leper's bell of the modern managerialist idiot.

anyone else fancy having a shot at this one? I'm too depressed, Rioja Kid is on holiday, the other bruschettaboy is having a hiatus. Vinnie? Maybe we should have this as a competition for the readers. That anonymous bloke was pretty good earlier in the week.

11/11/2005 01:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just read that link: Strewth, where do you start? Somehow DA thinks that the party belongs to him, as opposed to those whose membership cards predate the New Labour bandwagon-jumpers and Blair Fan Club groupies. Or is the ex-Communist in DA sneaking out with its unsubtle ideas of a purge of the undesirables? Given that Blair won't be around by the next election for DA to fawn over, what does he want? More of the same, but not delivered by someone in a deep Scottish accent? (Don't tell me, he's one of those who think David Milliband is the new David Cameron)

He seems to think (much like Blair) that it's a choice between 'reform' (i.e. whatever Blair and the advisers have dreamt up that week) and the 'status quo' (what is it about Blairites and their fantasies of 'left conservatism'?). Shades of Henry Ford - you can have an reform you like as long as its Blair's. Perhaps now he's at the Times, he can't have heard or read Hattersley, Toynbee, the late Robin Cook, Neal Lawson et al., all of whose ideas on reform and the future for Labour don't embrace the status quo yet differ from Blair's neo-liberal globalisation-freindly agenda. The problem for DA is what happens if Gordon's idea of radical reform is not the same as Blair's - does that mean those who object should leave the party? Where would the Blair groupies go then? As DA puts it Somehow Labour has got to get back to the position where the Labour leader says “We need to do this” and his or her MPs see the thing that needs to be done. Unfortunately for DA, it doesn't follow that 'this' is necessarily the same as Blair's agenda - and it is preceisly because Blair makes 'this' synonymous with himself that the problem arose in the first place.

11/11/2005 04:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He seems to think (much like Blair) that it's a choice between 'reform' (i.e. whatever Blair and the advisers have dreamt up that week) and the 'status quo' (what is it about Blairites and their fantasies of 'left conservatism'?).

More to the point, what's wrong with "left conservatism". The status quo, like Status Quo, appears to have gone out of fashion, but is sorely underrated and due for a reappraisal. The one thing you can say for sure about the status quo, is that it won't be any worse than the status quo, a hurdle that IMO many of Aaro's pet propositions fail to meet.

btw, "old unreconstructed lefties who don't accept that modernism a la Blair is necessary but don't have their own agenda"? Dave, meet Nick. Nick, this is Dave. You've got a lot to talk about.


11/11/2005 04:30:00 PM  
Blogger Simon said...

I agree with redpesto, the problem with Aaro's argument here is that he allows no space between 'Blair' and 'Old Labour'. Never mind that a lot of the most vociferous criticism at the moment is coming from people who were basically on board with the New Labour project at the start but have become disillusioned with its ever-rightward drift; if you're against Blair, you obviously think Labour should go back to the 1983 manifesto.

11/11/2005 09:32:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Cohen's new Observer column doesn't mention the word "liberal" once, though he does attack Livingstone for Islamic terror supporting in a piece on obesity and the Olympics, which is impressive.

Incidentally for true watching I think the BBC camera lingered on him for a while at the Whitehall Remebrance service. If it was then he's got nothing to worry about on the obesity front.

11/13/2005 12:45:00 PM  

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