With breathtaking bravura or sheer delusion BBC flagship programme Sunday Politics and the ‘quality’ Observer surpassed themselves when they afforded a platform to Michael Howard and Roy Hattersley who emerged, cobwebs clinging, from their crypts.
The Equality Trust says the UK has a very high level of income inequality compared to other developed countries. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has reported an extra 400,000 children and 300,000 more pensioners falling into poverty since 2013, the day after the Social Mobility Commission resigned in protest at the government ignoring its every recommendation. This follows the Institute for Fiscal Studies warning that 37% of children will fall below the government’s own poverty line by 2021.
Howard, who used to lead the Tories, uttered this pearl of wisdom: ‘Income inequality is the lowest for 30 years.’
Roy Hattersley, remember him? The bloke who, with his mate Neil Kinnock, led Labour to its worst defeat since 1931 and unleashed the tentacles of Blairism which crushed, in Blair’s own words, ‘every radical impulse’ out of the Party.
Writing in the Observer he had this to say: Labour is facing the biggest crisis in its history as the leftwing pressure group Momentum tries to purge it of moderate MPs and councillors in a systematic takeover of the party. Momentum now poses a far more serious threat to Labour than Militant did three decades ago. He says that unless ‘Real Labour’ challenges what he calls ‘subversion’ by far-left forces, democratic socialism could die a slow death.
Well, Hattersley knows all about the death of socialism. Under him and Kinnock it wasn’t a slow death, it was brutal and sudden, exemplified by ripping Clause 4 out of the heart of Labour, with the assistance of John Prescott. These three, of course, now reside in the Lords collecting their tasty expenses and gold-plated pensions – rewards lavished on them by a grateful capitalist State for services rendered.
Hattersley’s idea of democracy is when an appointed clique imposes a short list of candidates on the membership. When this bureaucratic manoeuvre is challenged he cries ‘bullying and intimidation.’
‘Thirty years ago,’ he declaims, ‘moderates won the battle against Militant by taking the campaign to the country and demonstrating that genuine democratic socialism was worth fighting for. He means he and his fellow right-wingers resorted to distortion and outright lies against the left and used Murdoch, Maxwell, and the rest of the capitalist media to besmirch good socialist comrades.
In language plucked straight from the Murdoch editorials of the 80s, he claims ‘Momentum now poses a far more serious threat to Labour than Militant did three decades ago.
No doubt the Sunday Politics show will maintain its genius for modern revelations. Look out for its next guest:
The President of the Flat Earth Society.