“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968

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.


Dave E said...

Very true Ray. He was also duped into thinking that Blair was genuine and not a power hungry chancer. But he made the current crop of professional politicians look like unprincipled crooks.

henry said...

Agree. Though Foot's idea of where the Labour Party should have been is so far to the left of anything imaginable today.
I blame the SDP - good article in an old Lobster Magazine pointing out the US "friends" that encouraged and made it financially possible. All part of the battle against the Evil Empire.
He wouldn't have admitted it, but he was an elitist and one of the few I don't begrudge.
(And "sex" must be the only truly international word... wonder what it means in english....?)