*John Lloyd, a contributing editor to the Financial Times does condescendingly concede, “There is a gap in the public debate for a credible argument on fairness, inequality and public decency” – adding that Mr Corbyn knows what he stands for:
- more social spending,
- more state intervention,
- renationalisation of services such as rail
- much less inequality.
- and the belief that the US is at the root of evils such as wars, the Ukraine crisis and Middle Eastern turmoil.
Lloyd: “As a candidate for high office, he would be politically and economically eviscerated, both at home and abroad”
Unlike Blair and other MPs from both main parties he has not succumbed to the love of tainted money or fallen into debt.
He is apparently not attracted by extramarital or illegal sexual activities – having far more important and socially beneficial preoccupations.
Lloyd’s advice, pleasing to corporate advertisers and future employers is for opposition to move away from the ‘far left’ with its militant “populist, class-based resentment”
He sets a number of topics that misguided leftists should consider, moving to what he considers a more acceptable form of social democracy – accepting much of the status quo:
”Keep the capitalist show on the road but fight civilised battles for a larger share of its surplus for the lower classes”
One – less than inspiring – example is given: “Last week, campaigners and unions won a pledge from Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic governor of New York state, for a $15-an-hour minimum wage by 2018. The move may not be cost free: it might price some people out of work. But it aims to shift at least some costs from the backs of the poorly paid”.
His conclusion: “Mr Blair was right to say last week that Mr Corbyn would be a disaster.” And Blair was not?
* Mr Lloyd’s journey (Wiki):
In the 1970s, Lloyd was a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain and later the British and Irish Communist Organisation. He then became a supporter of the Labour Party. Lloyd also supported the Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble, believing Trimble could help bring peace to Northern Ireland. In the 1990s, Lloyd was one of several prominent members of Common Voice, a British group that advocated voting reform. A strong supporter of the Blair government, he supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq, as well as the Cameron ministry’s 2011 military intervention in Libya. In August 2014, he was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September’s referendum on that issue.
Valued by many countrywide and local people who elect him with a resounding 21,000 majority, Jim Pickard, the FT’s chief political correspondent reports that polls now place the MP for Islington North as ‘frontrunner’ to become the next leader of the Labour Party.
Mr Pickard reported that Labour MPs were shocked by the sheer extent of Jeremy Corbyn’s “first round” lead: at 43% of votes — against 26% for Andy Burnham, 20% for Yvette Cooper and 11% for Liz Kendall. The YouGov poll then pointed to a narrower advantage for the Islington North MP at the final round of the contest — at just 53% to 47% for Mr Burnham. He adds that the depth of support for his candidacy, leading to Wednesday’s YouGov poll showing him to be the likely winner on September 12 has astonished Mr Corbyn.
As Ken Livingstone, former mayor of London and Labour MP put it: “After plugging away in parliament, supporting all the right issues, he suddenly finds himself with a massive wave of support.”
Pickard notes that Mr Corbyn has “often been on the right side of history”:
- supporting the jailed Nelson Mandela,
- defending the Guildford Four and Birmingham Six — groups wrongly convicted of the 1974 pub bombings,
- opposing the Iraq war,
- speaking up for Mordechai Vanunu, imprisoned in Israel for revealing its secret nuclear weapons programme,
and we add:
- speaking to groups reflecting “the full range of political opinion in both Israel and Palestine”
- and keeping dialogue open with Irish republicans: “jaw jaw, instead of war, war”.
Advice from Blair and his minions
One of many other anecdotes of the ‘panic-stricken’ concerns John McTernan, an adviser to the former Labour prime minister Tony Blair, who is said to have rounded on the 35 MPs who nominated Mr Corbyn, branding them “morons”.
The appalling prospect of a leader who might not Whip his party into submission
Emily Thornberry, MP for neighbouring Islington South, said she had a lot of respect for Mr Corbyn, who is a “lovely, friendly, relaxed” person: “My concern is whether he has the experience necessary to negotiate common lines for the official opposition . . . Politics is the art of the possible and has to involve compromises, and the next leader can’t let people say whatever they like.”
Ken Livingstone’s comment on this suggestion: “Under Blair we had a load of ghastly clones just there to represent corporate interests”. If there are people who joined the party just because they wanted to get rich and get nice corporate jobs after leaving government, perhaps we would be better off without them.”
A level-headed response
Mr Corbyn said his campaign was going well but talk of his victory was premature. As for Mr Blair’s criticism, he said it was “rather silly”, adding: “Surely we should be talking about the situation facing Britain today, the situation facing many of the poorest people in this country today, and maybe think if our policies are relevant.”
My neighbour’s unsolicited verdict today at lunch: “If Corbyn is elected I might rejoin the Labour Party”.
With Corbyn as prime minister, Britain could become respected peacebuilder, a force for good, with a contented population engaged in worthwhile work.
He would be an honest and consistent Labour Party leader, uninterested in amassing a private fortune from corporate backers – such a change from shifty, conniving ‘successful’ politicians.
The junior architect of Middle Eastern chaos advises US Republicans that another US-led effort to preserve ‘our values’ is needed – and receives three standing ovations.
The Guardian reports that, according to a source present, Tony Blair, introduced by his tweeting friend, Senator John McCain (above), addressed a closed-door strategy session attended by nearly 300 Republican senators and congressmen.
On January 6, the FT recorded in detail the findings – and obfuscations – of the most recent set of accounts filed by companies set up by former prime minister Tony Blair, after leaving Downing Street in 2007 and embarking on a ‘post-Westminster career as an adviser to the rich and powerful around the globe’.
There is an umbrella group, Tony Blair Associates, which is comprised of two separate business ventures, Windrush and Firerush (and their subsidiaries Windrush Ventures No. 1, Windrush Ventures No. 2, Firerush Ventures No.1 and Firerush Ventures No. 2.), representing his advice to governments and companies and sovereign wealth funds, respectively.
Windrush Ventures Ltd (advice to governments) announced a 50%+ fall compared with last year’s takings. The other accounts issued by Tony Blair’s office (here) are described as ‘opaque’ by the FT’s Jim Pickard.
A 2009 Guardian critique in which this graphic appears may be read here.
Handwashing – not our fault gov
Blair reportedly argued that countries in the west didn’t cause radical Islam and the terrorism associated with it, but were caught up in it (frequent applause).
Be tolerant, or else . . .
The ‘hawks’ in the party who were said to believe that the White House response to recent attacks has been too limited will have welcomed his assertion that force would be needed – especially if used within his proposed “global alliance to teach tolerance”.
Justifying dubious connections
Mr Blair, who is said to be earning £41,000 a month from PetroSaudi, an oil company with links to the ruling Saudi royal family, said it was hard to be successful “unless you had allies within Islam itself”.
Boosting arms manufacturers
According to the witness, Blair said radical Islam was a perverted ideology that justified the use of force against those of other religions or Muslims who interpreted their faith differently. It was hostile to “us and our values”, he claimed, and though some want to negotiate with it or ignore it, neither of those approaches would work and it had to be confronted.
Tony Blair was said to be hopeful about the prospect of building further alliances in the Middle East between US-backed Israel and the Arab states against radical Islam, arguing that many Islamic leaders in recent years had come to understand that they too were the targets of radical Islam.
Appealing to hubris – his and theirs
He concluded that America would have to play a leading role in what he thought would be a “generational” struggle and urged the Republicans present not to disengage and to rise to the task (applause).
Sadly, the congressional staff members present at the meeting greeted Blair with standing ovations after he was introduced, at the conclusion of his remarks and after a brief question-and-answer session.
Ranging from unqualified agreement to qualified approval and – finally – a warning:
Jehangir Pocha, chief editor of India’s NewsX TV:
I agree totally
Councillor Linda Brown from Solihull
I saw some of the Prince of Wales’ work in the Jewellery Quarter when I worked there for 11 years in the 1980s and was impressed with him. He had his working building there and regularly turned up and saw young people who wanted to start up in business. I knew some of those he had helped: he kept in touch with them and visited the area to see them.
Colin Tudge from Oxford, Campaign for Real Farming
Prince Charles is one of the very few people in a position of influence who actually has some grasp of the nature and magnitude of the ills that face the world, and is doing a great deal to help put things right.
Privilege and the wealth and power that go with it are easily abused but at least they can solve the problem that faces everyone who wants to step outside convention and hence to push things forward – of how to keep body and soul together without joining the rat race.
Most scholars alas these days must spend half their lives, literally, chasing grants, and often finish up taking money from people they would rather not have dealings with. This is a huge and growing problem and privilege when well used overcomes it. (Writing books used to solve the problem in part but publishing alas is not what it was).
A Shirley reader
Agree, don’t like monarchy in principle. But what’s a Prince supposed to do…? I believe he should have an opinion, if one ‘for the best of the future of the country’, even if that rustles current political feathers, and better if it does so £££-focused ‘politicians’…. like his speeches on faith & climate change…
Lesley Docksey from Dorset
Prince Charles does sometimes get it wrong, but not as horribly wrong as an awful lot of politicians. And though I don’t always agree with his passions, I applaud the fact that he speaks up for them.
I hate his support for some of the uber-rich oil sheikhs but love his devotion to the health of the environment and organic farming.
I agreed with his opinion of the National Gallery extension as a “monstrous carbuncle”. But here in Dorset we have to put up with Poundbury – a new town outside Dorchester that looks like Disney’s idea of a “traditional” English town, another monstrous carbuncle of the Prince’s devising. Like most humans he is full of contradictions.
Where voicing his opinions is concerned, the Prince can’t win. He’s not supposed to voice them in public because he’s a member of the Royal family. I don’t think there’s a law which says he can’t.
It has just gradually become the “rule” and the people who want him to stay silent are politicians and big business. If he voices them in private he’s “taking advantage of his position”. But ex-politicians have no difficulty with using their ex-position to influence things behind the scenes – and make money doing so, something the Prince doesn’t do!
Being in favour of free speech I’d like to see both the Prince and the Queen say what they think. I’d love to know what their opinions are and it doesn’t mean I have to agree with them! But I don’t think making them keep silent is, in the long run, good for the country. I also think that the Queen and Prince Charles probably have more loyalty (and certainly a far greater sense of duty) towards our country than any of our politicians.
A Moseley reader advises:
- Blunkett should keep his mouth shut.
- As one of Blair’s supporters he and all that group should be erased from public life.
- Prince Charles should also learn to keep his opinions to himself.
- The British monarchy can only retain its place by NOT interfering in government policies.
- If King Charles does continue as the prince has done, we run the risk of a rise of republicanism – and someone like, if not actually, Tony Blair becoming president.
Resonances with Dorset reader: “Put it another way – would you rather have Charles govern the country or Tony Blair?????????”
The 2003 invasion of Iraq is not to blame for the violent insurgency now gripping the country, former UK prime minister Tony Blair has said – but note his haunted expression. Read more here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27852832
Mr Blair: we do blame you and George Bush; the illegal 2003 invasion of Iraq brought social and economic chaos, totally destabilising the country.
Ganesh: your young ‘hawks’ – Blair & his interventionist ’children’ – have just suffered their greatest defeat
Once described as a Labour activist – New Labour specifically – Janan Ganesh deplores Britain’s abstention from military intervention in Syria.
As weapons proliferate, Libya’s oil output crashes to a near standstill and war lords and strikes paralyse the country, Ganesh extols Tony Blair’s doctrine of intervention, believing it to endured well despite the reversals of the past decade, citing Libya as a tangible example of how Mr Blair’s doctrine has survived. Another ‘tangible’ example of Blair’s influence which he cites is the UN’s ongoing evolution of the “responsibility to protect” doctrine.
Ganesh describes the size and complexity of the Syrian ‘challenge’ and the lack of a clear mission as ‘practical quibbles’ and he cavalierly sees “no western objection to targeted humanitarian interventions per se, even in the world’s most flammable region”.
“Blair’s foreign policy should not be given the last rites”
He cites David Cameron & George Osborne Blair-style ‘hawks’, adding Michael Gove, “whose influence extends beyond his education department”, as the most fervent interventionist in British politics:
“These are young politicians; the case for intervention will have an audience as long as they are around. Call them Blair’s children”.
“Mr Ganesh claims that Tony Blair’s “greatest victory has been in influencing the British politicians who have succeeded him.
“On the contrary, Mr Blair’s doctrine of humanitarian intervention has just suffered its greatest defeat, when MPs, representing their constituents’ views, voted against any such intervention”. .