Saturday, April 05, 2008

Ed Vaizey Slams Simon Heffer as a "Marxist Sleeper"

In this week's edition of Telegraph TV's Right On Shadow Culture Minister Ed Vaizey launched an astonishing attack on Simon Heffer. Click on the screen above. It comes at about 11 minutes in, after he's watched my latest chat with The Heff. This is what Vaizey said...
I never fail to read Simon Heffer's column. I've suddenly realised of course that Simon is a Marxist because his column is exactly the same as Peter Hitchens, who we all know is a former Marxist, and I think they are subversive left-wing sleepers who are trying to undermine a future Conservative government and that worries me, that the Telegraph gives them a platform.

I expected to see a "I'm only jesting" smile on Vaizey's face as he was uttering these slanderous words, but not a bit of it. It seemed to me he really meant it.


Anonymous said...

Oh dear, Ed Vaizey seemed like one of the more normal Tories up to now.

Brilliant logic as well, Hitchens is a former Commie so Heffer MUST be as well.

Anonymous said...

The Secret People
Smile at us, pay us, pass us; but do not quite forget;
For we are the people of England that never have spoken yet.
There is many a fat farmer that drinks less cheerfully;
There is many a free French peasant who is richer and sadder than we.
There are no folk in the whole world so helpless or so wise.
There is hunger in our bellies, there is laughter in our eyes;
You laugh at us and love us, both mugs and eyes are wet:
Only you do not know us. For we have not spoken yet.
The fine French kings came over in a flutter of flags and dames.
We liked their smiles and battles, but we never could say their names.
The blood ran red to Bosworth and the high French lords went down;
There was naught but a naked people under a naked crown.
And the eyes of the King's Servants turned terribly every way,
And the gold of the King's Servants rose higher every day.
They burnt the homes of the shaven men, that had been quaint and kind,
Till there was no bed in a monk's house, nor food that man could find.
The inns of God where no man paid, that were the wall of the weak.
The King's Servants ate them all. And still we did not speak.
And the face of the King's Servants grew greater than the King:
He tricked them, and they trapped him, and stood round him in a ring.
The new grave lords closed round him, that had eaten the abbey's fruits,
And the men of the new religion, with their bibles in their boots,
We saw their shoulders moving, to menace or discuss,
And some were pure and some were vile; but none took heed of us.
We saw the King as they killed him, and his face was proud and pale;
And a few men talked of freedom, while England talked of ale.
A war that we understood not came over the world and woke
Americans, Frenchmen, Irish; but we knew not the things they spoke.
They talked about rights and nature and peace and the people's reign:
And the squires, our masters, bade us fight; and scorned us never again.
Weak if we be for ever, could none condemn us then;
Men called us serfs and drudges; men knew that we were men.
In foam and flame at Trafalgar, on Albuera plains,
We did and died like lions, to keep ourselves in chains,
We lay in living ruins; firing and fearing not
The strange fierce face of the Frenchmen who knew for what they fought,
And the man who seemed to be more than a man we strained against and broke;
And we broke our own rights with him. And still we never spoke.
Our patch of glory ended; we never heard guns again.
But the squire seemed struck in the saddle; he was foolish, as if in pain,
He leaned on a staggering lawyer, he clutched a cringing Jew,
He was stricken; it may be, after all, he was stricken at Waterloo.
Or perhaps the shades of the shaven men, whose spoil is in his house,
Come back in shining shapes at last to spoil his last carouse:
We only know the last sad squires rode slowly towards the sea,
And a new people takes the land: and still it is not we.
They have given us into the hand of new unhappy lords,
Lords without anger or honour, who dare not carry their swords.
They fight by shuffling papers; they have bright dead alien eyes;
They look at our labour and laughter as a tired man looks at flies.
And the load of their loveless pity is worse than the ancient wrongs,
Their doors are shut in the evening; and they know no songs.
We hear men speaking for us of new laws strong and sweet,
Yet is there no man speaketh as we speak in the street.
It may be we shall rise the last as Frenchmen rose the first,
Our wrath come after Russia's wrath and our wrath be the worst.
It may be we are meant to mark with our riot and our rest
God's scorn for all men governing. It may be beer is best.
But we are the people of England; and we have not spoken yet.
Smile at us, pay us, pass us. But do not quite forget.
GK Chesterton - 1874-1936

Anonymous said...

I think Vaizey is right.
Heffer is totally destructive and for many months ran a poisonous anti- Cameron campaign, particularly last autumn when speculation was growing that Brown would call an election.
His strategy appeared(s) to sap Tory Party morale and I continue to find it surprising that the Telegraph employs him.

Anonymous said...

He's certainly right that Heffer does his best to undermine the Conservative Party. He may not be a Marxist, but he is certainly like one; reminiscent of the Marxist ideologues that condemn the Labour party to the wilderness in the 80s.

David Lindsay said...

This, let the reader understand, from an heir of Max Shachtman, the man who married Americanism and Trotskyism, and the godfather of the neoconservative movement.

(Ayn Rand was the godmother and Leo Strauss was the father, with both fulfilling Huey Long's prophecy that America would one day produce her own Fascism, but would call it anti-Fascism.)

Vaizey, as a member of the Henry Jackson Society, is fully signed up to this legacy. Indeed, several key Shachtmanites are Patrons of that organisation, just as they are signatories to the Project for the New American Century, and just as they infest and surround the Bush Administration.

Likewise, the New Labour Project that is Vaizey's and the other Cameroons' (and Nick Clegg's) template was and is nothing other than triumph of numerous utterly unrepentant Stalinists, Trotskyists and fellow-travellers from the Cold War era.

Man in a Shed said...

The Telegraph has plenty of official socialists right now - it doesn't need reds under beds.

It doesn't matter what Heffer is - its whether what he says makes sense that's important.

Frankly I think Hitchens and Heffer have a point - as the current MEP selection process shows.

Party discipline is fine, but party objectives must be delivered by it. Last time I looked we were still in the EPP ( except for Daniel of course ).

Anonymous said...

My views are on the liberal right. That said we have to look at what is practical.

Vaizey is right that Heffer is on the side of the Marxists with his preference for using up columns to attack the Conservatives at every opportunity.

Because Heffer has the platform of the Telegraph, he does far more damage than a Marxist writing in the Mirror or New Statesman.

Heffer is a typical selfish UKIPPER who prefers to focus on what 5% of the population want and if they cannot get it than damn everyone, even those who share some of their beliefs. "A left wing statist government is better than a centre right Conservative one" is the mantra Heffer seems to believe in.

Is that not closer to a Marxist's beliefs than a true blue Tory?

Iain, you are doing a good job at gently challenging Heffer in the videos. But it is time to ask Heffer does he understand that he writes articles that make a Labour Govt more likely than a Conservative one.

Over the past 10 years Heffer has done more damage to the Conservative cause than any other writer.

Cameron was the first Leader to actually have the cojones to point that out to Heffer.

Anonymous said...

This confirms what I have long thought about Heffer.

Enoch Powell was, of course, an entryist Trot who hoped to destroy the Tory party.

Anonymous said...

Well said Ed Vaizey!
Heffer and Hitchins clearly demonstrate that you cannot be balanced in your analysis if you allow personal dislike to cloud your judgement. There is nothing more unattractive than this kind of personal vindictiveness which seems to ooze from every word they both write about either Cameron or the present Conservative party.
Gordon Brown has the same problem for the same reasons, hence his inability to handle Cameron at the Despatch box.

Anonymous said...

For a long while my wife assumed that Simon Heffer was an Ali G. type figure - a grown-up version of Harry Enfiel's Tory Boy, deliberately played as parody - and she used to be amazed that he could keep "in-character" so convincingly.

She still won't quite believe he's serious!

Twig said...

Pure paranoia.
Listen to what Hitchens and Heffer say, rather than looking for sinister motives.
They speak for a lot of ex-Tory voters.
It's up to Brown to lose the next election, and heir to Blair will have little effect on the outcome.

asquith said...

What really worries me is people like you who are basically unregenerate 80s tyoes but are going along with Camoron in the hope/belief that he'll win. Only a few Tories believe in anything approaching true liberalism. That's what we should worry about, not a few UKIP trolls.

Anonymous said...

Is that not closer to a Marxist's beliefs than a true blue Tory?

Who is the real Tory out of Simon Heffer and David Cameron? The answer is self-evident, everyone knows. The idea that Heffer is comparable to a Marxist is nonsense, and the illiberal campaign to get him banned from the Telegraph is quite bizarre coming from self-proclaimed 'liberal conservatives'. Their justification for doing so is that he gives succour to the enemy. Well we've all heard that excuse for political repression! Who's the Marxist now!?

Anonymous said...

So Heffer/Hitchens are Marxists because they express disgust at the Marxist policies embraced by the "Conservative" party?
You clowns.

Anonymous said...

So Heffer/Hitchens are Marxists because they express disgust at the Marxist policies embraced by the "Conservative" party?
You clowns.

Anonymous said...

Wallenstein, no offence, but your wife doesn't sound as though politics is her strong point. How did she compute that Simon Heffer, who has been a nationally-known columnist since around 1995, might really be Ali G, who made his national debut around five years later?

Or perhaps she meant to say she thinks Borat is really Simon Heffer?

I assume arithmatic isn't her strong point? And "She still won't believe he's serious!" - with an exclamation point! to cue the reader! that you are making! a killer point! I suggest you sit your wife down and have a little talk with her.

I seldom, if ever, agree with David Lindsay, but he is very sound on this.

Ezra - Agreed. Hitchens is a former Communist, long since having seen the error of his youthful ways, so it follows that Heffer must be a former Communist as well? No? That's not what Vaizey thinks?

OK. Try again. Hitchens is a former Communist, therefore, by some arcane ledgerdemain, Simon Heffer is a current Communist? Uh ...

I wonder what it is in Heffer's pleasingly right wing writing that these people, including the raving Ed Vaizey, haven't managed to get their heads round. Iain's site is often infested with demob-happy nut jobs on Saturday mornings.

Anonymous said...

Heffer's heart tells him he is still a Conservative, but his head tells him the Conservative is part of the problem for this country - not least its sell out to the EU.

asquith said...

The host of that programme is absolutely woeful. He simply isn't capable of hosting a programme.

Anonymous said...

"How did she compute that Simon Heffer, who has been a nationally-known columnist since around 1995, might really be Ali G, who made his national debut around five years later?"

If you are going to try and take the piss out of someone, it's probably a good idea to actually be able to read what they have said.

Note the word 'type' after Ali G; i.e. that Heffer is the same sort of spoof character, not Ali G himself. And just so you couldn't possibly miss the meaning, the Tory boy character is then mentioned.

And it's quite accurate I think; even if he himself is quite serious about what he writes, Heffer is simply a parody of an ideologue.

Steve Horgan said...

I don't know what Heffer is, but he certainly isn't a Conservative. His columns a littered with suggestions for the gross expansions of the state and the curtailment of individual liberty. He was a cheerleader for Gordon Brown when it was fashionable but quickly turned his coat when this started to make him look absurd. Throughout he has lost no opportunity to criticise the Conservatives in general and David Cameron in particular, as if there was some other political force that will remove the Labour government that he pretends to despise.

The only question with Heffer is if he really does have a hidden agenda or if he just writes what he thinks will help pay the rent, and damn anyone foolish enough to assume in counts for anything.

Anonymous said...

David - My point stands. Think about it.

Anonymous said...

If anyone wants a comment to judge the suitability of Heffer as a political commentator, especially for The Telegraph, they should consider the comment he makes about the Labour Party having a clear ideology.

They have no ideology at all, jump from policy to policy as and when it suits them, and dumped all their true socialist ideology in the 80's. They are the ultimate politically pragmatic party.

Is Heffer a Conservative? I think the answer to that question is that Heffer embodies what the left want everyone to believe a Conservative is. Hateful, unwilling to change, self centred, pious, a snob, a nimby, xenophobic and a tremendous bore!

Anonymous said...

Verity. No, your point doesn't stand. You deliberately misinterpreted David's first post to try and slap him down because you didn't agree with his point, which is that Simon Heffer's articles read like a bad parody of a chuntering blue-rinse no-mark petit bourgeois from the Home Counties who think that we would have cakewalked the 2001 election with a *bit more* on tax cuts Europe and immigration, and didn't because *we weren't right-wing enough*.

Which they do.

Anonymous said...

Verity - no, my delightful missus is by her own confession not a political animal, she's actually a hard-working medical student so has other mind on other things.

I'm not suprised you missed the thrust of my earlier post - I'm sure I'm not Iain's only reader who views your posting in much the same light. ;-)

Anonymous said...

'Lazy Vaizey' is all that is wrong with politics/politicians today. He's a bloody softie ex-lawyer/media figure. His 'Wright Stuff' appearances are excreta of the first order. 'Lazy' should reflect that it's his political ilk that are driving people away from politics in droves.

Anonymous said...

Verity said .... "I assume ARITHMATIC isn't her strong point?"

Just as spelling isn't your strong point, though you jump on other people who make the odd spelling mistake.

Anonymous said...

Verity, we realise that you have a problem with spelling - sink comprehensives have a lot to answer for - but have you ever heard of Spellcheck? You should get someone to explain it to you some time.

Anonymous said...

Jesus! That was boring! And I'm a bit of an Anorak.........
Ian, is it true that you're secretly a straight, married and have 7 wives?

Anonymous said...

Heffer is a nut job. The Conservative Party was never an authoritarian Party as far as far back as I can remember.

Any one that could possibly support anything Gordon Brown has done for 11 years can't possibly be a conservative or a Conservative. Conservative voter maybe sometimes, but not member.

Heffer is a fascist. A parody of what The Labour Party has always so dishonestly always claimed the Conservative Party to be. If for no other reason than to divert peoples attention from who the real FASCISTS are. Which is The Labour Party.

As a long time Conservative Party member I can clearly state Heffer does not represent one little bit any type of thinking I have ever experienced at a constituency meeting.

Cameron however is almost a perfect representative of modern and not so modern Conservative Party thinking. Even though Cameron does not always perfectly represent my own.

This is just the plane reality of the matter, for better or worse. It is Heffer that is complately out of touch with the Party he says he used to support.

Although the good news is that the Labour Party think Heffer is representative of Conservative Party membership thinking. Which is a big mistake. The Labour Party are still waiting for a divide to emerge. Which it most certainly will not for a long time to come. I guess not until Cameron loses an election, at least.

Believe this or not, it makes no difference to me, it is just the honest reality as I see it.

Never in my entire time in the Conservative Party has it ever been so confident and supportive of its leader in opposition. That includes the only 30% that did not vote for him.

Having said all that.

What politicians say to get elected is one thing. It is what they do in power which is the thing that really matters. Which is just as good, as I personally do not like much of what Cameron says, even though I simply love the way he says it.

Atlas Shrugged

Anonymous said...

Actually it is Cameron and his LibDem lite clique who are undermining any future Conservative Government by ensuring that it will be anything but conservative. Heffer is one of the few true voices left and is worth 1000 Ed Vaizey's. The real left wing sleepers are the Cameroons.

Anonymous said...

Well, the joke's on me. I'd always assumed Heffer was a mildly eccentric lefty who made a living by thinking of vaguely right wing things to say for shock value. Now you people tell me he's right wing. Oh well, live and learn.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who is:

1) Politically aware,
2) Right of Centre
3) Not a complete Facist

will never have anything good to say about Gordon Brown. (I wonder why anyone left of centre would either, but thats another matter.)

The fact that Heffer has been so approving of GB in the past, raises lots of questions about his real views.

Anonymous said...


Only a few Tories believe in anything approaching true liberalism

The Lib Dems are a socialist party. They have nothing to do with Liberalism what so ever. In fact the unreconstructed 80s Conservatism you dislike is far closer to real liberalism, than anything we have seen in this country for generations.

Anonymous said...

Ed Vaizey is of course right. The idea that the odious Heffer is a Tory is completely laughable