Don Paskini: Player Hater

February 9, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Posted in Blogging about blogging, British Politics | 10 Comments

On most days, Liberal Conspiracy is a tight clique; full of merry, consensual and self-referential bloggers who spend their free time tweeting ‘shout outs’, drinking chai tea and penning polite posts about electoral reform. Even on those days when bloggers have beef about a particular issue, it’s still rare for someone to upset the cosy comity of the clique.

Don Paskini, on the other hand, is in no mood for such pleasantries. Here he is playing Beanie Sigel to my Jay-Z and ‘debunking’ my ‘myth’ of Labour carpetbagging. Dissed in my own ‘hood – that’s cold!

Just as a point of face-saving nit-pickery, carpetbagging is only ‘mythical’ if it never occurs or has only ever happened on odd, extremely rare occasions. Paskini’s not in a position to claim this unless he’s willing to presuppose levels of virtue in their decision-making that I certainly wouldn’t be comfortable making. In fact, you’ll notice that his response doesn’t actually seek to defend Berger from the carpetbagging charge – he merely proves she’s a carpetbagger defending a majority of only 5,000.

So what Paskini wants to argue is not that carpetbagging is a myth – for it isn’t – just that its frequency is overstated by critics. He makes that case very well, and demonstrates that it’s problematic for a writer to bemoan the loss of local activism whilst he himself avoids close scrutiny of individual constituencies.

However, will many of these local boys and girls done good will go on to be leading players in the Parliamentary Labour Party? Or will the Cabinets and Shadow cabinets of the future be mostly constituted of ‘high fliers’ who slobbed around in someone’s think tank or ‘inner circle’ until an appropriate constituency became available?

I think recent history suggests the latter is most likely, and that raises the prospect of a self-perpetuating political class which is big on mingling and Westminster lingo, but a little short on socialism, invention and real world life experience. Paskini is welcome to try to persuade me otherwise.

I much preferred Paul Cotterill’s response to my post, not just because it includes that most self-evident of truths (“Neil is right”) but because his proposal for radically altering the way MPs are funded is a serious and compelling solution to quite a few of the problems afflicting our political system.

The hands-down winner of this whole debate, though, has to be Julia Smith, whose comment is so good that I’m quite incapable of producing a decent response:

I do see what you’re saying, but just to stretch the football/politics way past breaking point: in the good old/bad old days, to be a prospective Labour MP was to be thrown head first into a near-suicide battle against one of the Tory grandees. (Remember how surprised Stephen Twigg was to win?)

After a couple of such soul-crushing defeats, if they were still interested in standing, they might be considered battle-scarred enough for a tilt at a safe seat. It’s akin to throwing Ngog on at 3-0 down with 10 minutes on the clock. Sure, he’ll try hard, but to not much effect and frustration and dented confidence will be the main result.

It’s much better to give your promising stars of tomorrow a run out when you’re 2-0 up at home and the pressure’s off. They can taste the Anfield atmosphere, the experienced players can keep an eye on them and, crucially, they can’t do any damage! Some of our Academy got such a run out on Boxing Day against Wolves and I’m hopeful that something similar is happening in Wavertree, although I know it could be the usual Labour Party ‘on message’ bleeper instincts at work.

But still, I’m hopeful. It’s something all Scousers are very good at ;-)

As they say in the rap game , I just got murdered on my own shit. Maybe it’s time to retire.


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  1. 5 out of 24 quoted by DP – that’s over 20% carpetbaggers. Statistically, that mythical carpetbagger is up there with the ‘mythical Lib Dem voter’.

  2. […] And so I present to you… a man on t’internet saying how great I am: here. […]

  3. What can I say? Almost speechless.

    Well, almost…

  4. He didn’t just diss you, he spat on your hood man! you gonna take that shit lying down?? eh?? eh??!!

    • Ah, trust you to stir the pot! He spat on *our* hood, Sunny, and since there’s no Louis Farrakhan around to initiate peace talks, I will hold my tongue until Sunder Katwala can reach a negotiated settlement between us.

      At least one of us is keepin’ it real ;-)

  5. Mediation is my job! But it’s funny to watch LC’s top bloggers, who wouldn’t hurt a fly in real life, slug it out till death. I need me some popcorn!

  6. You should feel honoured that my masters in the New Labour Party felt you worthy of rebuttal.

    Nowhere is safe, not even Liberal Conspiracy.

    • And to think I used to enjoy mocking the Lib Dems who called it ‘Labour Conspiracy’…

      …How little did I know?!

  7. Ain’t no sense in drawin’ daggers
    Over dose muthafuckin’ carpetbaggers.

  8. […] And so I present to you… a man on t’internet saying how great I am: here. […]

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