Monday, February 25, 2008

Stealing Tory arguments and praising dictators

It's Monday morning and that means 'You Ask The Questions' in the Independent. This morning's interviewee is Harriet Harman and her responses are as you'd expect really. For a start she seems to have suddenly accepted and started using Tory arguments on immigration control. Last year I wrote a post that the decison to frame the immigration debate within the impact of public service overstretch was a neat piece of triangulation because it neutralises the charge of racism as the driver for change.

At the time the reaction from Labour and the Government was the typical claims that the Tory policy was not genuine and that secretly those that agreed with the argument were really just racists still. Essentially the reaction was 'I'm not racist but...' type nonsese. When Harman was asked about last weeks announcements on immigration she said, "Britain is a better place because of hard-working immigrants. But there are implications for public services when there are changes in local population."

So there we have it, the Tory argument being made by the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party. Will anyone charge her with being racist? Of course not because the Left is physically incapable of racism don't you know, they are on the side of angels and it is only people on the Right that can be disingenuous jack booted Nazis if such an argument is deployed. Meanwhile, whilst those on the Left are pure I guess I'm expected to ignore what Harman said about Fidel Castro.

When she was asked whether Castro was 'hero of the left, or dangerous authoritarian dictator' you'd think the answer would be a no-brainer. Even Mark Steel the socialist comedian acknowledged that tourists to Cuba get shown a sanitised view of the country, but what about Harman? She think Castro is a hero, oh yes, but she says it is time for Cuba to 'move on'. That would be move on to a different person called Castro who says the Communist Party will stay in power and he'll consult the original Castro on matters of state.

So Harriet 'I didn't know the cheque was dodgy but I need to pay off my overdraft' Harman has managed to nick Tory arguments and praise a dictator almost simultaneously. That's pretty special.

11 comments:

Henry Crun said...

"That would be move on to a different person called Castro who says the Communist Party will stay in power and he'll consult the original Castro on matters of state."

How will Raul consult with Fidel exactly? By seance?

Thought the lefties had no truck with spritualism and religion.

Chris Paul said...

This would be more respectable Dizzy if you linked to these supposed Labour lines re the economic issues in a fair and balanced way. I don't think there's anything new here. I think the economic and social effects of all kinds of migration - internal British Isles, EU and other - have long been recognised without anyone saying this was a racist argument.

We have to go back only as far as 2005 to find the Cameron coordinated Howard fronted anti-immigrant hoardings and manifesto lines from the Tories.

If you're owning up that the new Tory approach is camouflage for same old dog whistles then OK. But your assertions that this is a change in POV from Harman or Labour does not hold up.

Trixy said...

The Tory party may make that claim in Britain, but you know very well that they voted wholeheartedly for mass immigration from the EU.

Harperson is a fool. Why are the left allowed to praise hateful people like Castro? What would happen if they said 'Stalin was just a bit misunderstood?'

Anonymous said...

Time to rebrand NuLabour to the more appropriate:

--The Lieing Hypocritical Party--

JH

anthonynorth said...

I think we're living under the false belief, here, that there still are political parties among the top three.
Certainly, they are separate in terms of greed for power, but differences in broad policy are mere 'tinkering'.
Rather, I think Parliament has evolved into a managerial class, above the electorate. It is, literally, them and us.

Anonymous said...

for me the strangest reply in the interview was to the final question:

What has been your proudest moment as an MP?

Being part of Labour's team that kicked the Tories out in 1997.

This is what's wrong with Harman and NuLab - after a decade in power the best achievement she can come up with is, er, getting in to power in the first place. what a waste!

Newmania said...

Chris Paul-I don't think there's anything new here.

True Labour have been panicking ever since they noticed the BNP gaining ground . Brown Blears Hodge and numerous others have sidled up to their disaffected working class vote

I think the economic and social effects of all kinds of migration - internal British Isles, EU and other - have long been recognised without anyone saying this was a racist argument.


That is an outright lie the Labour Party and the broad left constituency have closed this discussion down for years while they have swamped the country with immigration. Labour MP`s have recently admitted as much and it is utterly sickening for them to makes a mess of the coutry , harvest the needy votes and then ask to change sides.
Chris Paul have you absolutely no shame do you not recall using the phrase , the "Miracle of immigration". Liar liar liar.

OK then now we know the Labour Policies of the past ten years have been wrong at least and we ALL know what this is all about given the public concern about immigration which , actually has little to do with services (except housing)
Its about whether we have a country of a car park. Chris Paul thinks the latter I think the former and services and economics are only part of it.


Infuriating

Anonymous said...

Nicking Tory love of dictators perhaps? They love Castro, you all creamed yourselves over Pinochet.

grumpy granny said...

I typed "Tuscantony" and this is what came back. Is there something we are unaware of? I think we should be told!!

"Don't You Just Love Being In Tuscantony?"

Raul Castro for Cuba said...

I entirely agree with Anon @14:47 25 Feb. Harpersons 'proudest moment as an MP', really sad.
I remember Lady T being asked what she considered her greatest achievement, reply: 'New Labour'.
Which is funny, and all the more funny because its true.
Harpersons response is sad, and all the more sad because its true.

Moving on to Raul Castro, there is one ray of sunshine for Cubans.
They didn't have to go through the indignity of a non-leadership election campaign a la 'Gordon Brown For Britain'

westminster cupid said...

very well written - just on the right side of barking. You obviously pretend to hate/really love Harman. You should have babies together - they'd be just to the middle of center.