Labour Historian Brian Brivati and I have compiled a big feature for the Telegraph website which has just gone live. There's a 1200 word article HERE and a list HERE of the 100 most influential people on the left in Britain today. Everyone will disagree with our rankings, but that's half the fun. Here are the Top 20...
1 Gordon Brown 2 Tony Blair 3 Alex Salmond 4 David Miliband 5 Ed Balls 6 Jack Straw 7 Ken Livingstone 8 Douglas Alexander 9 Harriet Harman 10 Derek Simpson 11 Jacqui Smith 12 Deborah Mattinson 13 Alan Johnson 14 Tom Scholar 15
Damian McBride 16 Sue Nye 17 Ed Miliband 18 Brendan Barber 19 Wilf Stevenson 20 Polly Toynbee.... To see 21-100 click HERE.
Is Miliband really that influencial? I hope not.
Here we have a man that wants to make us all buy and sell in 'personal tradeable carbon allowances' and buy licences to fish in the sea.
Is Alex Salmond really on the left? He's seen by many as a racist bigot, but politically he is acting as the only right-wing alternative to Labour in Scotland, as the men in skirts don't like voting Tory.
That list is an absolute joke, but what do you expect from the Telegraph on such a matter!
JJ Rousseau etc. would be turning in their graves! None of the top 6 could even remotely be described as left-wing by anyone with any sense!
"Time for revolution - that'll show 'em!"
Anyway, David Cameron is probably the most influential for the left - he's jumped bandwagon-style on most of the left's campaigns hasn't he?
I just don't believe that Blair is an influential person any more. He's been reviled and disgraced - and even had his new job taken away from him by Condoleezza Rice because he was too grabby. Labour knows how the entire country loathes him. They know what a narrow escape he had in the cash for honours and that he only managed to escape because he is lower than a snake's belly and managed to slither out under the door.
If I had a sniper rifle with 21 bullets then you've made a magnificent list. I'd need the extra bullet just to make really sure of Polly Toynbee. There's a big risk that you'd miss her tiny brain the first time around.
Make that 143 bullets.
If I read the additional 80 entries then I'd be looking for a machine gun so for the sake of my blood pressure I won't click on the link.
Given the invisibility of the Shadow Cabinet at the moment, your effort next weekend for the Telegraph will presumably be "The Top 5 Moderately Influential People on the Right" - the other 95 having provided notes from their mums.
Where does Cameron fit in with his conservative socialism/liberalism and his covert support if not silence for New Labour.
What about the most uninfluential people of the right cameron, osborne, ainsworth.....ritchie
Looking at the latest polls Iain, your prediction that Brown is out to destroy the Tories is about to come true. Although it'll be Cameron that will be the real destroyer.
You forgot Patrick Mercer and John Bercow
Most LibDems would consider themselves to be on the left. Obviously they're just not very influential any more...
Alec - Cameron's on the left, but he's just not influential enough to be in the top 100.
Anonymous - I hope the Tories are destroyed - it won't be Brown who did it; he's not that Machiavellian enough - more of a huffy, resentful sulk - but the Conservative Party itself who have failed their membership. That's what we should remember: They did it to themselves because they wouldn't listen to their membership and were so anxious to get into the club, they chucked out conservatism and adopted protective imitative posturing instead. Didn't work.
I wonder what the new conservative party will be called, and who will be behind starting it. Whatever, after Dave loses this election, the new party will storm to victory next time and I predict keep the vile New World Order socialists out of power for at least 20 years.
Polly Toynbee? Really?
I always had the impression she was taking dictation from dead people, and that her audience consisted largely of the same...at least brain-dead. Has anyone ever changed their mind because of something Polly Toynbee wrote?
Why isn't Quentin Davies (that well-known left wing MP who was elected as a Conservative) not been included?
The man's a gem in the crown of Brown's all-inclusive marquee in which we are all now asked to micturate. I am sure all supporters in his Lincolnshire constituency will agree.
Clothilde..Where did you get the idea that Alex Salmond was a "racist bigot"? and a "right wing alternative to Labour in Scotland" Please give your reasons for this. Are you barking mad or just ignorant?
An interesting list. My only observation is that these people are mostly ephemeral. The time served oldies on the other hand like Germaine and Tariq are no longer influential; they are hippy anachronisms who are periodically wheeled on more for old time's sake than what they actually say. Tony Benn, ditto, though he is a very wise man and still speaks the truth.
To me, only Peter Tatchell and Gerry Adams stand out as people whose name you could have mentioned 25 years ago and gotten some kind of reaction then and now and unless something terrible happens, Adams is heading for the history books and comfy slippers.
So that leaves Peter Tatchell. All the rest are here today gone tomorrow politicians and chattering classes.
And as far as I know, he is the only person on the list whose basic living arrangements havn't improved beyond recognition as a result of his fame and putative influence. Best to ponder on that for a moment and ask yourself why. If in a hundred years time it becomes very clear that most of the people on your list were there mostly for personal kudos and money, Mr Tatchell will be seen as curiously and courageously in symbolic opposition to the spirit of the age. If that is his lasting influence, I am sure he would not mind.
You forgot The Daily Brownograph itself.
Raincoaster - W good and welcome back!
Diablo - slow learner that I am, I have never understood why it's better to piss inside the tent than outside. Surely enough people pissing inside tent would drive other people to vacate the stinking tent? ......
... oh! Wait a minute! That's what happened with the Conservatives! They were all pissing inside the Conservative tent so the real Conservatives opened the flap and fled.
They will form a new party after losing this next election.
verity (11.54pm) - touche!
You are the voice of doom I keep hearing in my head, aren't you? Can't you see an alternative or are you so set on seeing David Cameron and the rest of us who think Brown can be beaten ground into years of despair?
Apparently, you don't have to live in this country so would not have to suffer (directly) the consequences of these quasi-socialists continuing to dumb down our society. What is your alternative vision for a new Conservative party? And what would it be called?
P(i)S(s): Already covered the hygiene issues of all this urine in my blog.
You have left out all the "sleepers". Left wingers put into supposedly independent positions by this government.
Is Germaine Greer still left wing? Is feminism still necessarily left wing? I don't think so.
WW - Agreed. And agree that Peter Tatchell, whose politics are socialist and that is a bad thing, is a very brave man who marches to his own drum. I wouldn't malign him for his stance, even if I got the chance. He put himself in the way of Mugabe's gorillas, trying to stand up for homosexual rights, knowing he was going to have the lights painfully punched out of him, which is what happened. So he's physically very brave, as well.
I was brought up a Conservative and have never voted for anything else in my life. And I write the now familiar plangency - "I didn't leave the Conservative Party. The Conservative Party left me."
The tent stinks of sour urine. [I'll visit your site within the next few days to read your views on all this.] They've pissed away the future of our nation. And they've pissed away our glorious past.
Without the past, and the future gone, what's left?
And abase themselves to the spokes-persons for the rights of ignorant immigrants who have no connection to the long thread of Western civilisation, and an administration that threatens the indigenes with thought crimes, which is against our Constitution.
Everyone reading can fill in the rest of the blanks.
Cameron is life but not as we know it.
And we look the same to him. He feels no commonality with us. I have felt from the beginning that he is apprehensive of us - which is the reason for all this patronising jovialty and a website where he loads a dishwasher, obviously never having done so in his life before. But it was a grotesquely inept attempt to connect with the little people. "Oh, look! He's just like us!" (That Glaswegian comedienne whose name I can't remember nailed it. She opened a microwave oven and said, "Look! I'm just like yeeew!")
Cameron thinks it's the Conservatives' turn and boo sucks! He doesn't even seem to understand that the tractor of Gordon, dull, possibily autistic but definitely deeply obsessive, is going to roll over them. Trying to be their new best friend won't work. And why should it? But they will wave you warmly into the tent.
Cameron has no policies except extra taxes - certainly a well known conservative position! - more taxes! more state sector employment! - for fantasy "carbon emissions" that are going to ruin the universe! Uh-huh. Tories are like that these days. Panic and pander.
No policies on the EU, whose noose is tightening around our necks. No policies on the flooding of our country with "immigrants" (although we and our forebears have been the owners of these islands for at least two thousand years, possibly longer and these "immigrants" need our collective permission to get in) and sending indigenous British doctors who speak their native English overseas because third world "doctors" (no thanks!) are pouring into the NHS- fumded by British taxpayers.
Yes, I got out of Britain because, for some reason,when I first saw Blair on TV, I had a flash into the future and was alarmed.
Dave is uneasy around ordinary British people. That's his problem and the problem of his coterie. They are totally disconnected with what has made our country work throughout history. Remote. And feel a tightening of the collar, a dryness of the throat when they have to connect with us. Most of us don't have wind turbines on our rooves (or would feel any need for one), so what can one say? Ghastly, but they have a vote, old boy.
But Tony's leaving the Commons,chaps! He's one of us. "Let's all give him a good hand for a job jolly well done! Let's give the most destructive, duplicitous, malign - with his coterie - individual who has ever had absolute power in our islands a jolly good standing ovation!"
Was any Tory brave enough to remain seated, by the way?
Anyway, I've waded out of the urine quagmire and stench inside the tent.
I'm a bit confused Iain. Thanks for thinking of me as the highest rated blogger and putting me at number 72... But how come Pickled Politics did not make the 100 left of centre blogs?
I think your criteria for deciding who is on the left (i.e., letting people define themselves) was absolutely spot on.
You seem to have missed out Gordon Brown's best mate, Sir Michael Lyons, who resigned as a member of the Labour Party earlier this year following his appointment as Chairman of the BBC.
Have to agree with UK Pundit on this - you seem to have missed out quite a few employees of the state funded broadcasting establishment (aka BBC).
verity September 23, 2007 11:21 PM
I wonder what the new conservative party will be called...
How about UKIP?
You may as well have compiled a list of 100 most debilitating diseases.
Oh! They did!
How are you defining the Left, and why?
David, read the article and your question is answered.
I'm not sure I've ever been able to finish anything written by Toynbee.
Just another champagne socialist anyway.
I know it's a cliche to suggest an extra name, but where is Richard Dawkins?
Where's Alistair Campbell? or John Healey?
The nasty pasty:
Well, thank you, Geoff at 10.12 p.m. last night: you've confirmed something. And it isn't your numeracy.
Verity - just spotted your response.
My "guts" understand some of what you say but my head says if we really want a Conservative government we have to accept that the great British electorate are only capable of understanding soundbites these days. If David Cameron says he's going to reduce your taxes Labour will then say that nasty Tory is going to cut the (wonderful) services that we have given you. What do you believe?
That lower taxes will create more growth and the conditions to reduce the size of the state's take of your income and improve your personal wealth that you can use in whatever way you want?
Or that the Tories will cut all public services (the NHS, education, police, etc) and make you pay for it all yourself?
The average tabloid newspaper reader has very little ability to make a considered judgement. And is probably more interested in the lives of so-called celebrities anyway.
You see what the Conservatives are up against? If you were leading the Conservative Party how would you counter this? Leave the country I guess!
'To be on the left is to be for forms of change to the existing status quo, for reform in a broad sense.’
And there was me thinking we lacked clarity on the left ...
'To be on the left is to be for forms of change to the existing status quo, for reform in a broad sense.'
And there was me thinking we lacked clarity on the left ...
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