Václav Havel; Playwright, Dissident and President R.I.P.

Václav HavelYou may ask what kind of republic I dream of. Let me reply: I dream of a republic independent, free, and democratic, of a republic economically prosperous and yet socially just; in short, of a humane republic that serves the individual and that therefore holds the hope that the individual will serve it in turn.

Václav Havel, 1990 New Year’s Day Inaugural Presidential Address

The Guardian has the longest obituary of the Czech dissident Charter 77 leader who, following the 1989 Velvet Revolution, became president. The obituary is seemingly comprehensive yet politically suspect in tone, somehow neglecting to mention that Havel was charged by the Czech Communist Party with being a “rabid opponent of socialism”. Ed West in The Telegraph says he was one of the few who could be described as a political and intellectual hero. Havel’s life demonstrates that really great political change is the art of the impossible.

Havel was serious but not solemn, as can be seen from the signature on Guido’s English language copy of Charter 77, published by Index on Censorship in May 1977. Incidentally, Guido got his copy at an auction held in the heart of The Guardian building

Exclusive: New Miliband Speechwriter Deletes Critique

The Sunday papers are grim reading for Ed Miliband, with the Mail reporting the previously blogged criticisms of his newly hired speechwriter Asher Dresner. This morning  Dresner has quietly deleted the entries criticising Ed speeches from his blog to save his new boss embarrassment. As ever, in an effort to be helpful, Guido has restored and uploaded Dresner’s wisdom to the web here for all to read. The web is forever, not just for Christmas…

Dresner once wrote that

I really believe that the reason Blair was so successful was because he spoke to centrist majority….

Something that his new boss explicitly rejects, so Dresner will have to be clever in getting Blairisms into his speeches. Ed Miliband listens to left-wing wonks who think there is a “progressive majority”. Unfortunately the polls showing the Tories ahead suggest the reality is otherwise.

The Indy reports that Labour HQ is to be moved nearer to parliament, as if the 5 minute walk from Big Ben to Labour’s offices is part of the problem. The same article reports grassroots despair from former Ed supporters. The number of despairing former Ed supporters seems to be growing at an accelerating rate.

As Asher comes in and Ayesha goes out Guido has heard more about that much contested story from last week, sources say she fell out with Tom Baldwin repeatedly and that she is suspected of leaking Ed’s media grid as a departing shot. She has previous for negative briefing when she last worked for Harriet Harman,

This of course could be the product of an over-stimulated paranoid imagination. Baldwin himself is looking noticeably rough under the pressure of propping up Ed and getting cut through for his message. It can’t be easy to keep to a single line…



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Andy Burnham, an MP at Westminster since 2001:

“I’m not a Westminster politician. Never have been.”

Top Posts This Week

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

Trumps Hair: Toupee or Not Toupee? Trumps Hair: Toupee or Not Toupee?
BURNHAM BLOWS DOG WHISTLE LINE BURNHAM BLOWS DOG WHISTLE LINE
DCMS FUN POLICE CALLED OFF THE CASE DCMS FUN POLICE CALLED OFF THE CASE
NEW PEERAGES LIST IN FULL NEW PEERAGES LIST IN FULL
WELSH FIRST MINISTER CONDEMNS STEEL WORKERS WELSH FIRST MINISTER CONDEMNS STEEL WORKERS
MOAT CLEANING EXPENSES SCANDAL MP AWARDED PEERAGE MOAT CLEANING EXPENSES SCANDAL MP AWARDED PEERAGE

CHICKEN TORIES CHICKEN TORIES
1 IN 5 CORBYN SUPPORTERS VOTED FOR CLEGG 1 IN 5 CORBYN SUPPORTERS VOTED FOR CLEGG
CORBYN ESCAPES #LABOURPURGE CORBYN ESCAPES #LABOURPURGE
VOICE OF AN OIL DRILL VOICE OF AN OIL DRILL
Wind Turbines: Subsidised Sun Beds Wind Turbines: Subsidised Sun Beds
FLASHBACK: EVERY DAY SEXUAL SEGREGATION FLASHBACK: EVERY DAY SEXUAL SEGREGATION
Control the Camera on this 360° Crossrail Video Control the Camera on this 360° Crossrail Video
Flashback: Labour Leader Vote Hijack, Could Rivals Do a Balotelli? Flashback: Labour Leader Vote Hijack, Could Rivals Do a Balotelli?
Andy Burnham Everyday Sexism Andy Burnham Everyday Sexism
Burnham Threatens to Quit Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet Burnham Threatens to Quit Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet
GORDON DOOMS YVETTE (?) GORDON DOOMS YVETTE (?)
MPs’ Deleted Tweets Twitter Don’t Want You to See MPs’ Deleted Tweets Twitter Don’t Want You to See
Corbyn: ‘I Don’t Support Putin, But…’ Corbyn: ‘I Don’t Support Putin, But…’
Foreign cash funding In campaign should be illegal Foreign cash funding In campaign should be illegal
Corbyn v Train Jihadi Corbyn v Train Jihadi
JEREMY CORBYN EQUATES ISIS TO US MILITARY JEREMY CORBYN EQUATES ISIS TO US MILITARY
MILIBAND’S TRIBUTE BEARD MILIBAND’S TRIBUTE BEARD
CORBYN AT PMQS CORBYN AT PMQS
JEREMY CORBYN’S SENSIBLE JUMPER ADVICE JEREMY CORBYN’S SENSIBLE JUMPER ADVICE
DWP FAKE OUTRAGE DWP FAKE OUTRAGE
ALIBHAI-BROWN TRIES TO SNIFF OUT BRITISH JEWS ALIBHAI-BROWN TRIES TO SNIFF OUT BRITISH JEWS
GRANNY BASHER LABOUR MP CANDIDATE BACK IN COURT GRANNY BASHER LABOUR MP CANDIDATE BACK IN COURT
BBC World News Broke Broadcast Rules by Running Green Propaganda BBC World News Broke Broadcast Rules by Running Green Propaganda
TOM WATSON WANTED TO ABOLISH THE DEPUTY LEADERSHIP TOM WATSON WANTED TO ABOLISH THE DEPUTY LEADERSHIP