What is Red Ed’s new guru talking about
22:03 GMT, 2 December 2012
Ed Miliband is widely mocked for the number of Left-wing intellectuals he has brought into his inner circle as he tries to work out what he stands for.
Indeed, some might say Red Ed changes gurus more often than Chelsea FC changes managers.
He has now enlisted Professor Marc Stears, a Left-wing academic from University College, Oxford.
Guru: Professor Marc Stears is the latest political academic to be brought on by Miliband
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An analysis of Stears’s work suggests a predilection for wonkish terms, which are unlikely to cut it with voters on the doorstep. Take his views on equality.
‘The distinctive advantage of resource egalitarianism over its leading egalitarian rivals lies in its ability to combine a commitment to an ideal of equality with a dedication to a fully non-perfectionist account of the human good,’ he wrote in the catchily titled article Capabilities, Resources And Systematic Injustice, Politics, Philosophy & Economics 2005.
Or his take on liberalism: ‘As such, the politics of compulsion may not have banished liberalism’s moral objectives but it should have led liberals to reconsider the ways in which they spend their intellectual time,’ from Liberalism And the Politics Of Compulsion, British Journal Of Political Science in July 2007.
In a lecture last year about the 18th and early 19th century Labour Party founder Keir Hardie, Stears recalled the disappointments of the 1992 general election after the Tories unexpectedly won.
‘I stood in a neighbour’s living room in Dinas Powys in 1992 with a glass of beer waiting to cheer Neil Kinnock into Number 10.’
If Stears brings his skills to bear on Labour’s next manifesto, he will almost certainly endure a repeat experience in 2015.
Blair for Pres EU've been had!
The campaign leaflets say: ‘We, as citizens of Europe, believe Tony Blair is the only person who can interface with and overpower the challenges that Europe faces: economic catastrophe, climate change, religious intolerance, energy scarcity and growing public cynicism towards the political system, among many others.
A hoax: 'We, as citizens of Europe, believe Tony Blair is the only person who can interface with and overpower the challenges that Europe faces'
This is why we have come together to establish blairforpresident.eu.’
Before your blood boils over, be reassured it is a hoax — a very good one, which is why some Euro MPs and journalists fell for it.
Talking of wonks. Nick Boles, the uber-Tory moderniser who has announced plans to concrete over large swathes of rural Britain, has been sent a thesaurus. It was posted to him by Tory philosopher Phillip Blond after Boles said that Tories had been conned by Blond’s habit for using ‘big words’.
Left-wing Labour MP for Newport West Paul Flynn has tabled a Commons motion on the re-election of Obama. ‘This House welcomes the re-election of President Barack Obama as a moment of joy and satisfaction.
Sick-bags: Obama's re-election apparently was an occasion of 'joy and satisfaction'
We look forward to his continuing to serve the world with idealism, intelligence and an audacity of hope . . . and applauds the fresh nobility and intellectual rigour he has brought into politics.’ Sickbags all round.
Former Lib Dem Culture minister Don Foster seems to miss his old job.
‘I represented the Lib Dems at film premieres, football and rugby matches, plays and the Baftas. Somebody had to do it. I was prepared to step up to the plate,’ he told the House magazine.
Having been moved to the Department of Communities and Local Government, he adds: ‘All those opportunities suddenly have passed me by, and I’m now invited to building regulation conferences.’
Quote of the Week: A BBC journalist to Nadine Dorries after she had been evicted from the I’m A Celebrity jungle, which she claimed she had joined in order to boost the image of politicians: ‘You wanted to talk about euthanasia. You wanted to talk about abortion. They cut all that out when you talked about it and instead they broadcast you eating the rear end of an ostrich.’
Nadine tweeted about the number of days she took off for 'I'm a celebrity… get me out of here' being less than the number taken off by Steve McCabe
Poor old Nadine. Justifying her time off, she tweeted triumphantly that Steve McCabe, the Labour MP for Selly Oak who reported her to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner for her jungle trip, had taken 63 days’ holiday this year. Hardly a holiday. He was in Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital having heart surgery.
Labour's Laptop Swap Shop
In addition to the controversy over its decision to take children away from UKIP-supporting foster parents, Rotherham’s Labour-run council has been embroiled in another row over its attempt to save 100,000 a year by making staff use their own laptops at work. The council should do a deal with Denis MacShane, whose resignation as Labour MP triggered last week’s by-election. His doctored expenses included receipts for eight laptops in three years.