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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Roundheads

The chap who pretends to be me is clearly in need of a good holiday (though I can't imagine why, as he seems to jet off to his (nudge-nudge-wink-wink) apartment in Cómpeta or his ancestral pile of Kentish cattle and sheep manure at the drop of a hat. He's just posted a piece about some obscure comments made by the usually more erudite, lapsed Catholic, speaker of languages with "w" as a vowel and ex-hippy-allegedly-smoker-of-illicit-substances Paul Flynn, MP for Newport West.

Hackney North & Stoke Newington CLP on a day outIn a post in which Flynn's allegorical reference to Civil War combatants starts out by getting confused, subsequently got lost and eventually gave up the ghost, wannabe Hackney Councillor "Luke" discusses the citation of Siobhain McDonagh MP and myself as examples of Tony's New Model Army.

The poor deluded chap seems to think I enjoy being typecast as a nothing better than a political footsoldier for the great and the good (clearly of private rank as he refers to Corporal McDonagh as someone "who I am not remotely worthy to be compared to..."). He sums up what are supposedly my views as being in line with Flynn's observations: "And that - for those of you who haven't met me outside the blogosphere - despite being written by someone else - is a pretty good description of what makes me tick."

At least Paulie starts out well, distinguishing those like me from the "dilettantes", "careerists", "lobbyists", "Union hacks", "crypto-trots", "hippies", "wonks" and "nutters" who fill the Party in these glorious days of New Labour. A good start as I lay claim to none of these descriptors (though one or two might well suit the author himself). He goes on to describe "roundheads" as "the ones that took grassroots work seriously."

Even better, when he urges the need for "databases to be updated" and "core-voters targeted and dragged out on election days". I'm very fond of both of these activities and it has been suggested from time to time that Julian and I are quite partial to modernising process and introducing economies by merging the two activities together.

I wish I could agree with his assessment that the voice of door-knockers like me "also had a significant say in the distribution of political patronage and all that flows from it". And when he urges: "Forget that Fabian Pamphlet and knock on some f******g doors then!" my initial reaction is "don't use the "f" word in interviews with national newspapers or on public websites, the public don't like swearing politicians". My second reaction is "Oh shit, doesn't he know that I'm a member of The Fabian Society?". My third reaction is "don't use the "s" word.

Focus group 'wonks' in QueensbridgeI could pick out many parts of Flynn's diatribe on roundheads with which I'd have difficulty aligning myself. As a Senior Director in a leading PR corporation, I object to being pitted in the camp of "awkward alternatives" to the "focus group wonks" - "prolier-than-thou" plebian thickos "who went and talked to real people" who "wanted something doing about the noisy threatening twat with the nasty dog who lived two flats down", "wanted things banned" and "wanted people locked up". He's a bit slow if he hasn't realised that the reason I drone on occasionally about sorting out issues on council estates in Chatham Ward and the need for more ASBOs to sort out the local juvenile chavs is because I'm being criticised all the time for writing about Sweden, Venezuela and Australia and paying sod all attention to the peasants who vote for me.

So I reject the portrait of myself as a roundhead and I equally reject the stereotype of myself as a focus group wonk. And when it comes to that "value-based", "large midriff" of the Party that the roundheads and the wonks have supposedly quietened, I'm surely not someone who "doesn’t really have a clearly-identified agency, a programme or any credible connection with the people that they claim to represent." Am I?

Doppelganger-chops may think he knows who I am, lurking away down there in Dalston or Haggerston or wherever tapping away at his keyboard, but one thing's for sure - neither he nor Paul Flynn have got the measure of me. As a political animal in the Labour Party, what and who am I? I'm no dilettante, careerist or pragmatist. Just someone who believes in being part of the greatest ruling party since the war, who'll do anything to remain an important part of it!

3 comments:

el tom said...

haha... I appear to have somehow been banned from Luke's blog.
lol111. All there is to say.

el tom said...

Scrap that. BLogger was down.

Luke Akehurst said...

Glad to see you back again. Presumably you wanted to say something, my little Mancunian friend? Or were you just getting lonely?