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January 18, 2007

The rain in Spain falls mainly on Peter Hain

Peter Hain Blamerbell is surprised no-one has stuck up for Peter Hain’s rant against American foreign policy in the New Statesman. (link)

I love a challenge, so here goes.

Peter Hain is representative of one of the nicest things about politics. For while opponents will complain about any ‘policy splits’, they’ll do the same when the government all have their heads in the sand.

What he represents is the plurality of views within a political party. We all know that parties are broad churches (Labour is no narrower than the Tories and Lib Dems).

Yes, collective responsibility is important, and yes, Hain voted for war in Iraq. But there is an alternative to politicians sniping about ‘u-turns’.

They might, for instance, welcome the wide range of thinking within the government. They might think that everyone singing from the same hymn sheet might be a little boring and self-defeating. They might put opportunism to one side and even welcome Hain’s remarks.

For the truth is that they all agree with what he’s said. But for the daft, opportunist politician who wants a cheap headline, making fun of intelligence within another party is all too tempting.

No, the title of this entry doesn’t make much sense.

November 20, 2006

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