Thursday, 4 March 2010
A link to the past - and a lesson for the future.
The death of Michael Foot has severed perhaps the last link between New Labour and the old time Labour Party that was a joint project of trade unions, co-ops and the Fabian Society. Acres of newsprint not to mention the blogosphere will be devoted to dissecting Foot's political career. Darling of the left, that coat, consummate parliamentarian, wonderful orator, last of the pre-celebrity politicians, old fashioned West Country liberal gentleman. Some of it is even true. For me however the real lesson from Michael Foot's life is that even the most principled of people can come a serious personal and political cropper if they allow loyalty to the party to become more important than loyalty to those principles. It's a very old dilemma and just as pertinent today as ever.