Sunday, 25 October 2015

Arrogant Tosser



I've long regarded Seumas Milne as an 'arrogant tosser' and my enmity towards Labour's new 'spinmeister' goes back to the days when he was the comment editor at The Guardian.

In wrote an opinion piece for the newspaper, in September 2000 if I recall correctly, which argued that the trade unions, particularly in Scotland, were becoming increasingly out of touch with ordinary union members through their continued love affair with the Labour Party.

I was in favour of breaking the institutional links between the unions and Labour on the basis that Britain's union bosses (the Bubs) invariably put their own pro-Labour views and interests above those of rank and file union members.

I said so in a similar article I had written for The Herald newspaper in Scotland I was was pleased to hear from the deputy comment editor (a woman) that my piece for the Guardian would be published in the run up to that year's TUC annual congress which had previously presented me with the TUC's Youth Award in 1983.

But soon afterwards the deputy editor contacted me to say that her editor (one Seamus Milne) had come back from holiday and decided to 'spike' my column, presumably because he disagreed with the politics involved rather than the quality of the writing.

At the time I had no idea that Seamus was an arch-Stalinist and the former editor of a peculiar 'left-wing' journal called Straight Left which was used as an organising vehicle by a small sect of ridiculously pro-Soviet members of Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB).

Now I had some experience of dealing with these Straight Left comrades who, in my experience, were politically sectarian and firmly stuck in the past, obsessed by notions of class war and using the trade unions as a 'vanguard' movement to promote social and political change.

The concept of vanguardism is well-known in political circles and involves small groups of unrepresentative individuals working together, in an highly organised and ideological way, with the aim of influencing and controlling much larger groups or organisations - trade unions, normally.

The fact that Jeremy Corbyn has appointed such a person to be his 'spinmeister' in chief just goes to show the extent to which the Labour Party has lost its way.