Thursday, September 29, 2005

Labour delegates cling to Blunkett

Martin Bright, the New Statesman's political editor, has an article on that magazine's Labour Conference blog. He provides a useful link to the David Blunkett is an Arse site, and discusses delegates' reaction to his recent NS column on Blunkett's "idiosyncratic" attitude to the truth.

He is right to defend himself, complaining that:
Sometimes Labour activists seem to believe the job of a left-wing journalist is to bolster the Labour Party and protect it from itself.
But he overeggs it when he writes:
In truth, though, Labour politicians have to be able to bear a greater degree of scrutiny because we expect more of them.
This seems to me typical Socialist self-romanticising. No one is asking ministers in the present government to be better than anyone else: we are just asking them to behave morally.

New Labour's emphasis on "sleaze" in the last years of John Major was chiefly a means of disguising how few policy differences they had with the Tories. But having made individual politicians' personal morality a central concern of British politics, they had better learn to live up to the claims they made for themselves before 1997.


Anonymous said...

Fair point on self-romanticising. I guess I was falling into the same trap as the delegates in a sense -- we on the Left have a mistaken tendency to believe we are better than other people.
But the statement remains correct: we do expect more of politicians in our tribe.

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