Right trap?

Bobby, the ever-effervescent student in my office has disturbed the Watson family Christmas to bitterly complain about Bob Geldof selling out. Am I the only person in the Labour Party who doesn’t agree with this view? Here’s my thinking:

1. Bob Geldof is not a man to be messed with. If David Cameron fails to deliver on the poverty agenda, then he will say so.
2. The challenge to the Tories is to match the rhetoric to policy.
3. I just don’t think they have the will to do this.

Jumping into bed with Zac Goldsmith looks counter-intuitive and clever now but will it be when they fail to deliver on climate change? Either Mr Goldsmith has cut a political deal to meet the family ambition of entering parliament or else he’s going to be a very disappointed millionaire ecologist.

As for the mighty Bob, there is a great piece in the times about pop stars and the right. I had to make a strong cup of coffee to recover from reading it. Can it be true that the legendary Johnny Ramone is a flippin’ Repbulican? It was bad enough when I found out Billy Bragg wanted an elected House of Lords using a warped form of PR.

5 comments ↓

#1 leon on 12.31.05 at 1:45 am

To be honest I don’t know what the big deal is; it’s not like Bob “hijacker of the Make Poverty History movement” Geldof is a man of principle!

#2 Sara on 12.31.05 at 5:00 am

Rock/Pop Star=Lots of money=desire for low taxes=tory voter

simple arithmetic.

only joking. I dont think most rock/pop/whatever stars really think too much about politics. take eminem, who delivered his ‘brilliant’ political protest song where the video asked young people to vote….after the deadline for registering had passed.

I generally agree with you about BG, but I think the best musicians and the best political musicians dont tend to get overtly involved in campaigning or policy formation (cite my idol bob dylan here).

what “warped form of PR” does billy bragg want for the HoL?

btw, you do have to bear in mind that musicians’ political decisions are heavily constrained by rhyme sheceme. and their royalties.

#3 Socialist Guru on 12.31.05 at 5:26 pm

I seem to remember you previously welcoming Sir Billy’s ideas on electing the House of Lords, as being the best solution to a difficult challenge.
Electing the Lords seems essential unless you believe that everyone in the House of Lords is there on merit, of course.

#4 Dave on 01.01.06 at 4:42 am

Ah that’s the old Tommy coming back at long last flagrantly partisan and on message. Let the comments wars commence …

I think Labour’s narrative against Cameron ought to be that he’s just too slick and contrast his stunts with the substantive achievements of a government team who the British public have come to know, if not universally to love.

If there’s one lesson Labour has learned by now it should be that celebrities, and particularly artists of any sort show no gratitude for theattention lavished on them and delight in occasionally biting the hand that feeds them.

There’s no point in electing the Lords. That would simply lead to gridlock. The institution should either stay as it is or be swept away completely. Plenty of countries have unicameral parliamentary systems, not least Scotland.

Here’s to 2006 !

#5 Stan Wilson on 01.03.06 at 1:58 am

I remember during the 80s under Thatcher Bob Geldof seeming to be on the same wave length as the tory government of the day was on poverty. Afterall the first Live Aid concert over 20 years ago was with a Tory PM in Number 10!
He’s being politically pragmatic, but I can understand your student’s concern about the matter Tom. Anyway, it’s the Labour Party’s responsibility to make sure you do enough on the subject to warrant re-election in 2010 so tell your student not to worry. If you all do good you’ll keep your jobs, if not you won’t and nor will you deserve to but Cameron might!!

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