Not a blog but…

I used to link to a lot of Johann Hari pieces in the Independent until the paper started asking for a quid each time anyone wanted to read them online.

It was a shame because Hari was among the most effective pro-liberation writers in the build-up to the war in Iraq and while I have continued to read his views in the paper it has been annoying that I haven’t been able to link to him.

Now I discover that all his articles can be found online at his smart new website which includes a good archive of his older material- well worth checking out.

His most recent piece takes a look at Blair’s record on gay rights and makes the telling point that even where New Labour has been progressive it tends not to brag about it. This is an aspect of ‘spin’ that rarely gets looked at.

As Hari puts it: Progressive Tony is always beaten back by Reactionary Tony before he can shout about redistribution, tackling child poverty, or gay

Reactionary Tony wins because the Prime Minister thinks this is the only way to win elections. He is focused on wooing not the general populace but the very narrow sliver of the electorate – around 10 per cent in Middle England, described by the pollster Phillip Gould – who waver between Labour and the
Conservatives and therefore determine election results. Everything Blair says is for their ears only.