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“Clean but empty hands”, Eagle Eye

“Clean but empty hands”

I praised Ed Miliband in The Independent on Sunday yesterday for finally doing what Neil Kinnock, John Smith (pictured), Tony Blair and Gordon Brown lacked the courage to do:
I mean breaking the link between the trade unions and the Labour Party. We Blairites are not calling it that, of course, because we are trying to [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 15 July 2013 at 2:21 pm

Lesson of 1983: not madness but marginalia, Eagle Eye

Lesson of 1983: not madness but marginalia

Good by Stephen Bush, who wasn’t even born then, on the 1983 election:
Amid all the chaos on the night of 9 June 1983, an MP was elected for an obscure constituency in County Durham who would eventually hit the Tories so hard, Benjamin Disraeli felt it.
His conclusion:
The lesson of 1983 isn’t just to make sure [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 11 June 2013 at 11:16 am

The Myth of the Sainted Attlee, Eagle Eye

The Myth of the Sainted Attlee

No, this is not my long-promised lecture of the above title. I am under-qualified to deliver it, in any case. Suffice it to say that those who idolise Clement Attlee as a way of criticising New Labour have got the wrong man.
Someone who could deliver it is David Hayes, one of the finest essayists, whose [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 14 May 2013 at 9:59 pm

Fear of Fridges, Eagle Eye

Fear of Fridges

Digital data can be amazing. I wrote an article for the New Statesman in the 1980s called “Fear of fridges”, in which I quoted a speech of Hugh Gaitskell’s in which he seemed to blame Labour’s lack of electoral success in the 1950s on the spread of fridge ownership.
That was all I could remember, but [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 14 April 2013 at 10:54 am

1974 All Over Again, Eagle Eye

1974 All Over Again

A friend who is 10 years older than me, who was active in the Labour Party in the 1970s (I joined in 1981), urges me to remember 1974

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 27 March 2013 at 8:47 pm

Gaitskell and Blair, Eagle Eye

Gaitskell and Blair

I admire Hugh Gaitskell as much as the next Eurosceptic social democrat, but must protest at Donald Macintyre’s use of him to traduce Tony Blair in today’s Independent.
Don seems to think that Blair went out of his way* to omit reference to Gaitskell in his memoir, and that this omission is “telling”. What it tells [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 5 January 2013 at 11:23 am

Those Best Labour PMs in Full, Eagle Eye

Those Best Labour PMs in Full

It is the time of year for lists. After my 10 most interesting politicians in the UK the other day, Kevin Maguire of the Mirror decided yesterday to list his best Labour prime ministers on Twitter for no apparent reason. There have been only six of them, and his order was:
1 Attlee 2 Wilson 3 [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 7 December 2012 at 3:24 pm

Labour’s Clause B2Bii Moment, Eagle Eye

Labour’s Clause B2Bii Moment

Before Labour’s annual conference recedes into the mist of history, to be recalled possibly only for David Miliband’s deadly accurate question, “Why are you clapping?”, let us note two small but significant constitutional rule changes that were agreed in Manchester.
One was to clarify the leadership election rules. The old clause B2Bii
Where there is no vacancy, [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 11 October 2010 at 8:34 pm

RSVP, Regrets Only, Eagle Eye

RSVP, Regrets Only

A friend draws my attention to an evening on 8 November to celebrate Michael Foot’s “rich, long and varied life with stories, music and readings”.
Special guests include
Jo Brand, Prunella Scales, Francis Wheen, Helena Kennedy, Geoffrey Goodman, Rodney Bickerstaffe, David Steel, Roy Hattersley, Neil Kinnock, Gordon Brown and Leader of the Labour Party Ed Miliband.
Michael Foot [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 8:07 pm

Not enough about badges, Eagle Eye

Not enough about badges

The overwhelming consensus of three responses is that the “Don’t Blame Me I Voted Labour” badge is indeed 1979 vintage. One correspondent writes:
Of course it’s 1979 – by 1983 even ultra-leftists had a sneaking feeling they might share some of the blame.  Well, some of us.
The “Don’t blame me …” badge was a pretty homemade/cottage [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 14 June 2010 at 9:46 pm

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