Monday, April 21, 2008

Another Lefty Historian Says 'We Know Best'

I've always thought that the celeb-historian Tristram Hunt is a bit of a prat. His op-ed piece in today's Evening Standard (not online) does little to persuade me otherwise. His argument is that the outer London boroughs really oughtn't to have much of a role in the governance of the nation's capital, presumably because they vote Conservative. No, instead Tristram believes London really only consists of those boroughs in the centre, which, surprise surprise, just happen to be the ones full to the brim of polenta chewing metrosexual lefties like him. He's essentially using the same argument as Yasmin Alibhai-Brown in the Indy this morning - that the people are too stupid to know what's good for them. How very typical of the left.

Olly Kendall has a piece on CiF today arguing that it woz the Evening Standard wot will win it for Boris. Not on today's showing.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

He is absolutely gorgeous though.

MB said...

I can remember many years ago, when Labour was still run by the lefties, someone from the left was interviewed on the Today programme. I seem to remember her saying that she did not think it was fair that people who took no active part in politics should have the same amount of influence in an election as a party activist like herself.

Anonymous said...

Quite right. I read it, and it's beyond arrogant. The default position is that only Zone 1/2 can deliver 'progressive' policies, though I genuinely think that with the advent of civil partnerships and (to go to other extreme) the clause that it's not 'cottaging' if you keep the kazi door shut (thank you D Blunkett), what's left for the 'progressive' left to agitate for?

They ticked everything off the menu (like Prescott) that they wanted. That's it lads. You won.

Now go away.

Still, I didn't realise this bloke actually existed. I though he was cockney rhyming slang....

Anonymous said...

When you print a denunciation of Thatch for deciding that only one Londoner - ie her - had the right to decide who governed this city then we might take you seriously.

I note, however, that you manage not to produce a single quote in defence of your thesis.

Anonymous said...

Mr 10.53pm

Maggie didn't 'run' London. The local councils did.

I think it should be a general rule that lefties should not try and commentate on the 1980s.

You didn't understand a single day of it. You didn't understand why it all happened and why Maggie kept getting voted in (despite the built-in Labour electroral bias).

Though you probably think the same as Tristammy...only you 'progressives' know what's good for the people.

The left has always been uncomfortable with democracy. Indeed, perhaps your hero King Arthur might have won had he bothered with a strike ballot...

Anonymous said...

10.53 - you are talking rubbish. Who ran the buses or the tube? Wasn't the boroughs was it? Planning authority? Once gain, not the boroughs.

As for not understanding the eighties: I understood how the towns and cities I lived in had mass unemployment, I understood how friends and relations lost their job in the 81 recession. I had the pay the poll tax - and well remember and understood the 1988 budget when Nigel Lawson cut taxes for the rich - they needed incentives - and cut benefits for the poor - because, apparently, they needed incentives too.

As for the statement: The left has always been uncomfortable with democracy. That is presumably why the right had to kill people at Peterloo to prove the point?

dearieme said...

Still, he's pretty brave to publish under his rhyming slang name.

Gallimaufry said...

And he wants to limit entry to the British Library:
http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/article3784828.ece
Wouldn't it be better to keep him and the other lefties out? The world would have been a happier one without Karl Marx using the old Reading Room (ah, such pleasant memories).

David Boothroyd said...

Did you read the piece before slagging it off? Because it's not arguing that the outer boroughs shouldn't have a say, but instead that London works best as a city if the London-wide government is relatively powerful and the boroughs less powerful. That case is made even when the London-wide government is under Conservative control - most notably in 1907-34.

The outer boroughs were resigned to incorporation in Greater London in 1964 (some having fought against it) and many were quite unwilling to give it the time of day. The creation of the GLA in 2000 was also a concern to some outer boroughs, not excluding Labour controlled ones.

It has been a constant line in Conservative thought that London-wide government should be relatively weak and the boroughs strong. That concept reached its limit when Margaret Thatcher abolished London-wide government entirely. We're still getting over the disastrous short-sightedness of that approach.

Anonymous said...

Mr Lefty. I grew up in a failing northern engineering town, so I know the score. Luckily, my father was in a dirty, back-breaking industry untroubled by unions. So he never went on strike and was never without work.

As for the tube and bus - even without the guiding hand of the progressives they ran right through the 1980s. Aside from when the tubes were on strike, of course.

You might also remember that in 1998 the London bus subsidy was - er, well London buses made 100k surplus.

Today, we all have to praise Ken's 'investment in the buses'.

Except that all the old Trot has done is ramp up the subsidy to at least £615m. Though that's what he admits in the accounts. Others insist that it is much higher.

Still, the C-Charge has been a great help...except that it raised just £90m last year (all from fines) because it costs £4.75 per car, per day to administer.

And sadly the traffic speeds are now back at 2002-levels, even though there are fewer cars in the zone.

Still, it's been an example to the world.

Except, Singapore did it first and Stockholm was so shocked by our crap c-charge system that it designed a new one. Which Ken has just bought from IBM. Because it works properly.

Yup, the Zone 1 progressives are a shining example to us all on 'how to run things'...

And on the next post, Mr Lefty will explain how Gordon managed to run up so much government debt after the longest economic boom in history.

Anonymous said...

I made a real effort to get in touch with the people and went out to Zone 6 'tother day. Lovely place Hampton Court Palace.

Anonymous said...

Sums it up, political fiction King Arthur, unfortunately we have to live the reality of these Multiple cluster F**ks

dirty european socialist said...

There is no built in bias to labour. Rural areas get more seats Lib Dem and labour split the left wing vote. Which is why tories got 40% in the 80's and still won massive majorities.

Thacther ruined the north, and urban areas. Record unemploymen and unemploywome and two recessions.
Thacther was not the apples and pears I can tell you. Ask the people of London.

Broon's Talking Bawgie said...

I understood how the towns and cities I lived in had mass unemployment, I understood how friends and relations lost their job in the 81 recession.

No. You didn't understand. You didn't understand that all the rest of us were delighted to watch those disgusting ghettoes of socialism seeing the sky go dark with the wings of chickens coming home to roost.

All those "industries" that went under were clapped-out, over-subsidised, over-unionised drains on the pockets of honest workers with real jobs. The nastiest buggers of the lot were those miners, who bled us for subsidies for years and then thanked us by going on illegal strikes, stoning the police, and murdering cab drivers.

Those Labour-voting subsidy-sucking parasites should have been scourged and publicly cricified, not just sacked, and I'd have been happy to bang the nails in.

dominic lawson's deepest desires said...

How many people will follow up the source, and how many will just take up your dog-whistle and take it as a cue to run round spouting shite? People on here don't half pontificate on things they can't understand. From climate change to eating disorders, the likes of 11:03 never stop.

Unsworth said...

@ David Boothroyd.

What does 'London-wide' actually mean? As a start, would you care to provide a geographic definition?

And 'government' of what, exactly?

What is the purpose (or point, for that matter) of the GLA?

canvas said...

Iain, you sound so bitter and twisted.

:)

JuliaM said...

"As for not understanding the eighties: I understood how the towns and cities I lived in had mass unemployment, I understood how friends and relations lost their job in the 81 recession. "

Yeah, yeah. We all watched 'Boys from the Blackstuff' on tv too....

Anonymous said...

JuliaM,

So they let you stay up that late at Roedean?

As for btb - been down the pub had we? Either that or you are 15 and think this sort of thing is funny.

Anyway, be thankful to know it is people like you who keep Labour in power. Keep on spouting your bile and hatred.

JuliaM said...

"JuliaM,

So they let you stay up that late at Roedean?"


Roedean....?

I went to a comprehensive school, you utter cretin!

Try engaging with the commenter in front of you, not the image that only exists in your fevered, 'toff-under-the-bed' brain...

"...be thankful to know it is people like you who keep Labour in power."

Meh. I don't think 'we' are going to do such a good job on May 1st.. ;)

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

anonymous @11.18 PM: Blimey! Peterloo! Going back a bit ain't you?

But if you want to play that game: What about the Ground Nut Scheme!?!

(That's floored him!)

Conand said...

When Zac Goldsmith presented his more fundamentalist environmental policy platform it was presented by Labour as official Conservative policy. Let me recreate that here for their benefit:

LABOUR TO DISENFRANCHISE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF HARD WORKING LONDONERS.

The Daily Comment can reveal today that posh Labour Candidate Tristram Rhymes-With doesn't think ordinary people in outer London should have the same say as inner London folk on the running of THEIR city.

Daily Comment says: Make Tristram History, don't let Labour back in!

lavrenti beria said...

"As for the statement: The left has always been uncomfortable with democracy. That is presumably why the right had to kill people at Peterloo to prove the point?"

The Peterloo massacre? Christ on a bike, is that the best you've got? Better not mention my old comrade J V Stalin, nor yet Mao, Pol Pot, Mengistu etc etc etc ad nauseam. Cretin, in the good old days I'd have had you working in the uranium mines before you could say dictatorship of the proletariat.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read the article but I assume that he is simply arguing that we should revert to the old LCC boundary, i.e. just the inner London boroughs, as was the case up to 1965 when the LCC was replaced by the GLC.

The GLC was a Conservative creation (London Government Act 1963). The LCC had been dominated by Labour for many years. The Conservative's aim was to balance the inner London Labour boroughs by extending the administrative area to include the surrounding districts which were predominantly Conservative.

Aardvark said...

There is a fascinating account of the Ground-nut Scheme in Wikipedia. An amazing saga of Labour government incompetence.

bruce anderson's longings said...

Was Pinochet right-wing?

Anonymous said...

MB said...

"when Labour was still run by the lefties, someone from the left was interviewed on the Today programme. I seem to remember her saying that she did not think it was fair that people who took no active part in politics should have the same amount of influence in an election as a party activist like herself."

I remember a Labour euro-selection meeting in the 70s where one of the candidates said that as the workers are disadvantaged as compared to rich people it would be right for workers to have a second vote at their place of work. He didn't specify whether such votes would be counted by trade unionists. How they clapped.

bebopper said...

Aardvark

Thanks for the link to Wilkipedias version of the Ground Nut Scheme.
I grew up knowing that the GNS was a fiasco and helped ditch the Atlee government, but I hadn't realised how hilarious it was.
Pity it wasn't made into an Ealing Comedy.

Ilja Nieuwland said...

Poleta CHEWING? In heaven's name, how do you prepare yours?

Josh said...

There is no built in bias to labour. Rural areas get more seats Lib Dem and labour split the left wing vote. Which is why tories got 40% in the 80's and still won massive majorities.

What are you smoking? Labour got even bigger majorities with a less impressive share of the vote and a significantly less impressive lead of the second placed party.