The Thick of It


Friday, May 21, 2010

House of Comments podcast

On Tuesday I took part in my first House of Comments podcast. This is a weekly political podcast run by Lib Dem blogger Mark Thompson of Mark Reckons and Stuart Sharpe of Sharpe's Opinion. Alongside me the final guest was Allen Green, Jack of Kent. You can listen to it free through iTunes. I recommend that you don't just listen but in fact subscribe. Each week a different group of bloggers from across the political spectrum discuss the issues of the day. I hope to be back on there again soon.

We discussed the ongoing Labour leadership election, the Con-Dem coalition and its prospects and the libel trial of left wing blogger Dave Osler.

Taking each issue in turn. I'm undecided about who to support for the Labour leadership. I would have supported Alan Johnson, but he isn't standing. Interestingly both Mark and Stuart thought he would be Labour's best choice. He has a great Labour story of a working class upbringing. He is from the south and Labour needs to win seats in the south if it is to regain power. He comes across naturally on TV. Without him in the race I am waiting for the other candidates to convince me that they are worthy of my vote. Though I've not decided if I'll vote for him yet I'll include a picture of one of my election campaign highlights: straightening David Milliband's tie at a fund-raiser for Edmonton MP Andy Love.

The Con-Dem coalition deal has now been set out in more detail. I think this could well last the distance though I expect there to be casualties. In the short term Vince Cable looks like a strong contender for early victim having been given little real power as Business Secretary and the responsibility for privatising Royal Mail. John Major's Tories failed to do it. Gordon Brown's Labour failed to do it. Now it looks like it is the Lib Dem's turn to get embroiled in an unpopular mess. It couldn't happen to nicer people. In the longer term the Lib Dems may well suffer electorally as a result of working with the Tories. Their seats in Scotland where the Tories are widely despised look increasingly vulnerable.

Finally, Dave Osler's libel case. He was sued for libel after linking to someone else's blog post. After two years the case was thrown out of court. Jack of Kent gives a far better account than I ever could so I suggest you read that. There In closing I'd like to congratulate Jack of Kent for being short-listed for the Orwell Prize, a great honour for some great blogging.

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