Who are you calling ‘left’?

MORE thanks to everyone who voted in the Total Politics poll of political blogs which, according to Iain Dale this morning, has placed me at the top of the league of “left of centre” sites.

Goodness me, it’s a long time since I was called “left” of anything! I voted SDP in 1983, joined Labour a year later and regularly started street brawls with any comrade who dared oppose the leadership, whether that meant Neil Kinnock, John Smith or Tony Blair. I certainly had no time at all for the Tony Benns of this world (still don’t) or anyone who believes that principled opposition is worth anything to anyone.

In 2003, the very likeable Tory MP Bill Wiggin and I were despatched by the British-American Parliamentary Association to a two-day course being run by the right-wing Heritage Foundation in Baltimore. It was a fascinating event, attended by newly-elected Republican congressmen and women, including Florida’s infamous former Secretary of State, Katherine Harris (no relation). At drinks on the evening of the first day, we all had to introduce ourselves and say something about ourselves. My contribution was along the lines of: “I’m Tom Harris and this is the first occasion in my life where I can honestly say I’m the most left-wing person in the room.”

Anyway, thank you again to everyone who voted for this blog. The only way is down…



Filed under Blogging, Labour, Politics, United States

11 responses to “Who are you calling ‘left’?

  1. Zorro

    Sorry Tom, you want to take more and more of the money I work for and give it to scroungers and busybodies. You are a leftie.

    We only voted for you as you’re not /quite/ as much of a pratt as most blogging on the left!

    Check “Dirty European Socialist” for the normal level of discourse from those on your side.

  2. Congratulations Tom. Fortunately for you, coming high up in an Iain Dale poll will bolster your claims not be of the Left.

  3. James

    The way things are going you will probably top the best right of centre blogs as well and come in the top 10 of the best 100 political blogs. The only way is down maybe true for your party but not for you.
    Referring to your previous blog, the number of times I have read ‘it’s nothing compared to what I am called in some of the comments’ by bloggers, I wish that these comments were published ocassionally. I think you’d be surprised by the condemnation the writers of these would received from other commentors irrespective of whichever Party followed.

  4. James – I do occasionally publish comments which are personally abusive, despite my own comments policy. Check out this one for instance, and there’s plenty more where that came from if you have the time to scroll through the site.

  5. Richard

    The way things are going, you may end up as the most left-wing Scottish politician in the PLP.

  6. Madasafish

    Frankly Tom, you could be right left or middle wing for all I care.

    Do you make sense? Yes.. most of the time.
    Are you rational and considered? Yes. most of the time.

    I recognise as a Minister you cannot comment on the stupidity of your own Government – at least not publicly. I would hope you would do it internally.

    I expect come the next election you will be one of the few Labour MPs left.. becuase your Government is clearly run by people who have lost any idea of collective responsibility. And judging by the briefing going on, it has adopted with glee the “Nasty Party” tag.

    Having said all that, your blog is civilised and not subject to much name calling. Your friends (?) at Compass appear to think name calling serves as debate.

    (Unfortunately a view prevalent on all sides of politics).


  7. Isn’t this left/right thing a bit dated? I suppose it appeals to simple souls such as Dale who like to classify and list everything and everyone in some sort of semi-autistic way.

    Perhaps it helps them to cope with the wonderful complexity of our world and with the six and a half billion or so variations of human minds on our planet. But it’s really a lot of tosh and only a short road from the dangerous “all Frenchmen (or whichever minority the opiner chooses to write off) think x” style of thought.

    Iain should take up tram spotting…

  8. LOL at Tom. According to my political compass on Facebook in relation to some of the Scottish bloggers on that list I am more left leaning than they are but fail to make the cut. Just goes to see the definition of left and right is heavily redundant and fails to reflect indivuduals unique perspectives on things.

  9. James

    There is no excuse in my book for personal abuse, as far as I’m concerned the arguement is lost when someone sinks that low.unfortunately, given your position, it’s inevitable that some will take advantage and spew out personal abuse.
    Although I do not agree with your Party’s views (and perhaps I should say the spirit in which your legislation is enacted upon and distorted way beyond its original intent by those empowered) I do admire you for allowing us to comment. I know a certain Conservative MP who ran a blog, encouraged comments, won awards, then suddenly refused to accept them. They haven’t won any since.
    By the way, the worse thing I’ve seen written about you was by Mr Dale when he referred to you as his ‘b**ch’ , in jest I believe (and hope!).

  10. Ravi Gopaul

    Hello Tom, I followed a link posted on your (political) brother Akehurst’s site. Just wanted to congratulate you on you coming tops in the bloggers charts (even though I never heard of you, sorry!!).

    I’m originally from Aberdeen so I like to watch scottish politics quite closely (my Mum and Dad still live up there), but considering the above comment not closely enough!!

    I would consider myself to be on the hard left of the party, but you New Labour types certainly know how to drive a debate!!

    Congrats again!

  11. Quentinthecrisp

    Re: Iain Dale calling you his b–ch.

    I was extremely disgusted by this comment from Iain.

    Admittedly only because I fancied the job.
    Hey Ho!

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