The Thick of It


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Compass, Cruddas and Trickett

Using the Compass banner, Jons Cruddas and Trickett have fired a "friendly" warning shot at Gordon Brown. They seem to be suggesting that by going for a "big tent" approach and appealing to those traditionally outside the party, Brown has blurred the party divide. I find this sort of rhetoric unhelpful at best and damaging at worst. By adding to the cynical view that all politicians are the same this argument ends up turning people away from politics and away from the Labour Party. I'm inclined to follow Martin Kettle's argument here.

I'm not really sure what they are trying to achieve. what has been achieved is a set of negative headlines criticising Brown for poor leadership. This just plays into the Tories' hands. I'd like to see an internal discussion from Compass where they actually present some more robust ideas to the party than this.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

European Treaty

The whole hoo-ha about the is it a constitution or not with the EU treaty seems a little over the top to me. Clearly most of those who are shouting against are probably against the EU full stop. I am not one of those people.

The treaty brings in more Qualified Majority Voting (QMV) for an EU of 25 states to replace the single state power of veto which applied in more areas when there were just 15. This is a sensible move because nothing would ever get done if one state could block Justice and Home Affairs (JHA). QMV is weighted to population so large nations like the UK, Germany and France have more votes than smaller ones. Obviously this means that some countries might have to accept EU legislation that they don't like. This isn't idea but it the concept that a union is based on.

However, the UK has secured the right to opt out of specific legislation so I really don't see what the problem is.

Ming off!

I find it quite useful that just when the heat seemed to be on Gordon Brown for the election that never was, the Liberal Democrats self combust. Ming quits. Thanks!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Question time, Chuka Umunna and Kelvin McKenzie

I was delighted to see my good friend Chuka Umunna giving a great account of himself on last night's BBC1 Question Time. I was also sickened by the vile vitriol coming from Kelvin McKenzie's mouth. He seems to hate the fact that Gordon Brown is Scottish. Perhaps he needs to be reminded that we live in a United Kingdom. What I thought was interesting was his praise of George Osbourne for asserting "traditional" Tory polices. So The Sun might well support the Tories for going back into their core ground. However, this didn't work in any of the last three elections.

What was notable last night was that Chuka was the only panelist who dared speak out against McKenzie's racist drivel. The panel included Caroline Spellman and Harriet Harman.