Cooper Summons Ghost of Blair on Crime and Youth

Yvette Cooper gets the award for most Blairite speech at Labour conference so far. Apart from bringing back “Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime”, she focused on tackling shoplifting, bringing in tougher sentencing for assaults, and starting up “Youth Futures Hubs” to fix knife crime. The message: “We did it before, we can do it again“. Things can only go back to how they were before…

mdi-timer 10 October 2023 @ 12:21 10 Oct 2023 @ 12:21 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Retro New Labour Slogan Signals Blairite Takeover is Complete

Liverpool is the home of Beatles tribute bands, and Keir is determined to be his own tribute act. If the “Let’s Get Britain’s Future Back” slogan reminds you of the “Britain Forward Not Back” slogan of Blair from 2005, that’s not accidental. The Blairites always believed that to win over the British electorate a party had to “own the future”. That’s what they will try to demonstrate next week…

Next week there will be no revolutionary banners with hammer and sickles, no PLO flags being waved in the hall and the militant socialists will be marginalised outside in the cold. Will this Labour Party love Peter Mandelson? Guido is curious to see if those shiny suits will be back…

mdi-timer 6 October 2023 @ 14:22 6 Oct 2023 @ 14:22 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Braverman: Failing to Control Immigration Poses “Existential Challenge” to West

Some bold, punchy calls for the need to change the Geneva convention here, particularly to stop the abuse of economic migration:

“The Geneva convention was intended to protect individual people from persecution. A significant number of people who claim asylum are doing so for broadly economic reasons. So I think it is right we look at the framework, as indeed other European countries are doing.”

And another:

“Britain, like all European countries, had inherited the post-war, post-Holocaust system and sentiment on asylum … [that is] completely unrealistic […] The presumption: “that someone who claimed asylum was persecuted and should be taken in”] was plainly false; most asylum claims were not genuine. Disproving them, however, was almost impossible. The combination of the courts, with their liberal instinct; the European Convention on Human Rights, with its absolutist attitude to the prospect of returning someone to an unsafe community; and the UN Convention [Relating to the Status] of Refugees, with its context firmly that of 1930s Germany, mean that, in practice, once someone got into Britain and claimed asylum, it was the Devil’s own job to return them.”

Feisty. No doubt the likes of James O’Brien and Nish Kumar will be absolutely incensed, although wait until they hear who said them… New Labour’s immigration minister Phil Woolas in 2009, and Tony Blair himself in his autobiography. Jack Straw made the same arguments in 2000.* Suella’s speech was practically anodyne by comparison…

*Hat-tip: John Rentoul for reminding Guido of New Labour’s attitude.

mdi-timer 26 September 2023 @ 16:55 26 Sep 2023 @ 16:55 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Finland’s Party-Loving PM Sanna Marin Joins Tony Blair Institute

Sanna Marin, the former Prime Minister of Finland who made headlines last year for knowing how to bust a move, has announced she’s quitting frontline politics to join the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change as a “Strategic Counsellor”. She joins the ranks of over 450 staff at the Institute, which will have already spent the last week popping the champagne over Labour’s reshuffle. It is an enormous operation with deep pockets.

The Institute released a statement this afternoon:

“She will be working with colleagues and teams across TBI’s portfolio of countries, advising political leaders on their reform programmes. Ms Marin has a record of accomplishment, from setting one of the world’s most ambitious climate targets – enabled by a full programme of digitalisation and deployment of technology – to shepherding her country’s accession to NATO following Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.”

Presumably Sanna will enjoy dancing to Tony’s tune just as much as Starmer…

mdi-timer 7 September 2023 @ 15:27 7 Sep 2023 @ 15:27 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
On This Day: Prescott Punches Protester

It’s been 22 years to the day since John Prescott sucker punched an agricultural worker in the face. Moments after the Prescott Express bus had touched down in Rhyl, the then-deputy Prime Minister was struck by a stray egg as he made his way through a demonstration against low agricultural wages and Labour’s support for a fox hunting ban. Wouldn’t happen with today’s egg shortages…

Prescott spun nimbly on his heels and unleashed a sublime left jab towards 29-year-old Craig Evan’s mouth, kicking off an almighty brawl. Refusing to apologise when urged to do so by pacifist Alastair Campbell, Prescott later told Tony Blair: 

“I was just carrying out your orders. You told us to connect with the electorate, so I did.”

Other famous egged politicians include David Cameron in Saltash in 2010, George Galloway after his Bradford West by-election victory in 2012, Ruth Kelly outside Salford Magistrates’ Court in 2006 and BNP leader Nick Griffin in 2009. More recently, Nigel Farage has been egged in Nottingham and was notoriously doused in banana and salted caramel milkshake in Newcastle on 20 May 2019. Ed Miliband has had his fair share of egg on his face, from eating breakfast sandwiches, fallout from the Ed Stone, and when egged in Southampton in 2012 and South London in 2013. All a poultry price to pay for publicity.

Current Heavyweight Champion of Westminster, Lee Anderson, has been engaged in a heated rivalry with protestor Steve Bray. In the latest round of the grudge match, the pair dealt verbal blows over showering and charity, while a notable spat came when Anderson stole Bray’s hat in round seven. Both are proving hard eggs to crack in what has become a grudge match for the ages. 

mdi-timer 16 May 2023 @ 17:31 16 May 2023 @ 17:31 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
LISTEN: Alastair Campbell’s Cabinet Diversity Disinformation

Former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell popped up on the Today programme this morning to tout his new book, and in the process of plugging the dossier, the Rest is Politics host dealt a characteristic jab at the Tories: 

“One of the problems we’ve got with politics is that the gene pool for politics is getting narrower and narrower and narrower. Particularly at the top levels. Particularly, having had 13 years of this Tory government. And I think we’ve got to broaden the gene pool. That means getting more young people interested in going into politics. It means getting people from different backgrounds going into politics.”

Indeed, back in the good ol’ Blair days, under Campbell’s watch, surely Labour were leading the charge on diversity? Not quite. Credit where credit is due, in 2002 Labour brought in the first black cabinet minister, Paul Boateng. Yet, for Tony and Alastair’s first five years at the helm, the cabinet was precisely 0% ethnically diverse, and the pair soon ran out of steam on the issue. Only two Black and Ethnic Minority (BAME) individuals would ever make it to Blair’s cabinet. Quite the war room on diversity

In comparison, Sunak’s cabinet is 16% BAME, Truss’s was 30%, and Johnson’s 18%. The average age of Blair’s revolutionary 1997 cabinet was 51, whereas Johnson’s was 47.7, Truss’s 49.3, and Sunak’s has risen incrementally to 52. Of course the Labour Party has never elected a woman leader never mind Prime Minister. Thirteen years of Tory government with younger and more diverse cabinets than Blair ever had. Bad Al’s lying again…

mdi-timer 9 May 2023 @ 16:20 9 May 2023 @ 16:20 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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