UK Politics

Compass reaction

The launch of Compass, the new democratic left grouping in the Labour Party, has had a mixed reaction in the blogosphere and elsewhere.

The Guardian’s Tom Happold has the gen on the group’s backers and history:

Mr Lawson and other Compass supporters, including Sue Goss, Paul Thompson and Ruth Turner, are all past members of the Labour coordinating committee, the former hard-left pressure group, which became an ideological outrider for Tony Blair.

The group, which hopes to recruit thousands of members, is now planning a rally on the eve of the Labour party conference, as well as an annual conference of its own – and is approaching the trade unions for support.

So not just a ‘talking shop’ then?

Well, blogger Paul Richards thinks otherwise:Right now, what Labour needs is do-ers, not talkers,” he blasts.

Paul’s blog is called The Thinker’ by the way.

Over at Blairista, Andrew has a little jog around the history of Labour’s inner-party ‘modernising’ pressure groups and reveals, amongst other things, that Paul ‘The Thinker’ himself was once a leading light in the Labour Coordinating Committee.

But what about our blogging Labour MP? Well Tom is not impressed at all.

“Compass-online? More like complete-ass-on-line.” he quips.

Perhaps his displeasure is not that surprising – after all, he is a member of the government that Compass says has shown “ideological timidity … political misjudgement” and willingness to subordinate the interests of “the wider community to those of business”.

How come they forgot spin?

Talking of which, the Grandaddie of British left weblogging returns after a lengthy break and reviews the past month in tasty bite-sized chunks. Inevitably Compass gets a mention.

“Compass: self-aggrandising waffle or in depth policy answer for New Labour?”

Mostly the former and some pretty ludicrous phrasing too. Still it should get the participants onto Sky and News 24 a lot more. After all, the Matthew Taylor all-purpose Newsnight slot is up for grabs. Apparently it’s like the Oklahoma landrush over there in media friendly thinktank world.

So, all the bloggers are either sceptical or critical. In fact that’s not a mixed reaction at all – that’s a negative reaction.

It’s almost enough to make you want to join….