Friday, September 24, 2010

Philip Blond vs the centre ground of British politics

The Scotsman reports that:

"DAVID Cameron’s “philosopher king” will be one of the first people to meet the new leader of the Labour Party, The Scotsman has learned.

Philip Blond, whose book Red Tory is credited as the inspiration of the Prime Minister’s Big Society, has been actively wooed by both the Miliband brothers, David and Ed, during their leadership campaigns.

Labour leader tomorrow and will then hold a meeting on Sunday with Mr Blond and members of his Res-Publica think-tank at the earliest opportunity in a bid for Labour to win back the centre ground of politics.

Like Mr Cameron before the election, the Lib Dems and the two leading Labour leadership contenders see Mr Blond's ideas about mutualisation, community ownership and localism as the best way to win the centre ground of politics and change Britain positively as the money in the Treasury runs out.

A source close to Mr Blond told The Scotsman: "He and ResPublica have had several approaches from the two Miliband camps. They know that his ideas are the only ones in town at the moment if you want to reshape things from the centre ground.""

*

My advice to the next Labour leader is as follows:

If you have political advisers who tells you that Philip Blond represents the centre ground of British politics, then fire them[1].

Instead of spending an hour listening to Philip Blond's drivel, cancel this meeting and use the time more productively by going out canvassing. You will get a far better idea about the real "centre ground of politics" by talking to a totally random selection of people about their ideas and priorities.

There are all kinds of flotsam like Blond gathered around the Westminster Village trying to make a living by persuading powerful people to listen to their daft ideas. One of the ways that the Labour Party needs to change is by ensuring that our leaders spend a lot less time listening to those people, and more time out and about listening to ordinary people who don't hang around in Westminster.

[1] Even as I wrote that, I felt bad about suggesting people who work for the Labour Party should be sacked. Instead of being fired, they should be offered the opportunity of retraining as a local organiser, where they will have the chance to do something useful for the party instead of being actively harmful, and where they can learn something about the actual "centre ground of British politics".

6 Comments:

At 12:50 pm , Anonymous Paul Sagar said...

"Philosopher king" !?!?!?

And to throw in the snark: philosophers like to think about causality. The causal flow between the publication of the drivel-laden Red Tory and Tory Big Society rhetoric is the wrong way around.

I'm sure Blond would like to take credit for the Big Society Bullshit. But I suspect Steve Hilton will be sorely put-out by the fact his PR brainchild has been claimed by the King of the Charlatans.

 
At 1:41 pm , Blogger Gaw said...

Well said. And it's not as if the Tory leader takes him seriously, really.

 
At 6:03 pm , Anonymous Alun said...

Philip Blond makes me want to kick puppies.

"There are all kinds of flotsam like Blond gathered around the Westminster Village trying to make a living by persuading powerful people to listen to their daft ideas"

So true.

 
At 3:10 pm , Blogger Mike said...

I agree with all of this.

 
At 6:50 pm , Anonymous The anonymous editor of the 'Periplus of St Peter the Navigator' said...

Dan - you'll like this, if you didn't see it when it came out in the spring:
http://www.lrb.co.uk/v32/n08/jonathan-raban/camerons-crank

 
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