Young Tony and An Phoblacht…

I’ve never thought of St John’s College (Oxford’s wealthiest) hotbed of radical activity, but the Independent carries a story about the time a certain young Tony Blair put a motion before the Junior Common Room that they subscribe to An Phoblacht.

  • Alan

    Good on ya, Tony.

    Information is always more important than prejudice.

    The big question here is whether they ended up subscribing or not.

  • Mick Fealty

    Apparently the archives are now closed to public inspection.

  • joeCanuck

    Agreed Alan.
    Regardless of Tony’s motives, any political grouping that doesn’t seek out the views of their opponents isn’t too smart.

  • Tochais Siorai

    Does Peter Robinson still subscribe to AP? I remember him saying he used to get it to ‘know what the enemy is thinking?’

  • Jamie Gargoyle

    Pandering to leftist sympathies of Uni in-crowd or genuine attempt to delve deeper into opinions concerning a complicated subject? Bet now…

  • Pete Baker

    “Details of the motions were made public this week by David Renton, a writer and socialist historian.”

    Which one was speaking in this case, do you think – the writer? the historian? or the socialist? ;o)

  • Nevin
  • pith

    “Does Peter Robinson still subscribe to AP? I remember him saying he used to get it to ‘know what the enemy is thinking?’”

    Nah, he just checks junior Paisley’s press statements these days.

  • harpo

    ‘Information is always more important than prejudice.’


    Exactly. And since the whole basis of AP/RN was prejudice at the expense of information I trust that they didn’t subscribe.

  • Mark Mc

    Am I alone in finding it ridiculous that some people seek to hold others to account over their youthful reading?

    My question is simple: And your point is?

    (or, do you want to ban something? if so, speak up)

  • pith

    Mark Mc,

    No you are not alone. I read Angela’s Ashes. Am I to be condemned for it forever? Fair enough.

  • Mark Mc

    I suggest that Mick Fealty and Anthony Blair have both masturbated while perusing pornographic publications during their youth.

    I suggest both have read Mein Kampf. (or a synopsis)

    I doubt either read the GFA.

    This is a nonsense story, silly season crap.

  • pith

    An Phoblacht is not pornographic.

  • Conor Spackman

    St John’s College isn’t the wealthiest college in Oxford. Christ Church is.

  • Mick Fealty

    Aha Conor, I stand corrected. Trust me to trust Wikipedia.

    As for Mark’s colourful contribution, well, what can I say, other than repeat Alan’s grounded observation. And that this scrap of information was reported as fact, not idle speculation. There has been rather too much of that in the comment zone recently.

    PS, I’m going to remove El Mat’s remarks. But please just note what happens when one person chooses to get personal.

  • Apologies- it was just so preposterous for other posters to have a go at the very existence of this thread with such comments that it was rather hard for me to miss the open goal it afforded!

    Anyway, perhaps I ought to start an ‘Oppose Censorship’ campaign 😉

  • Turbo Paul

    I read this thread with interest and think about it in reflective mood about Tony Yo Blair as he comes towards the end of his premiership.

    Did Yo Blair put this motion forward before or after he became an MI5 Agent?????

    Perhaps Tony Yo Blair will relfect this August on his idealistic youth and ponder

    “Where did it all go wrong”

    Can’t help wondering what Gordon Brown has subscribed to during his youth????

    I am certain Gordon subscribed to a very bad hair-do in an early photo!!!

  • slug

    “St John’s College isn’t the wealthiest college in Oxford. Christ Church is.”

    Wrong. St Johns is, by far, the wealthiest.

  • Why

    When i sold it many years ago the British army always stopped and bought a few copies tip included.

  • Mark Mc

    It may have been a ‘colourful’ (I was going for contemptuous) contribution but did I make the point that what we read in our youth doesn’t reflect our current self or what we read as adults doesn’t reflect us, that reading is reading and reading more is good. Or did I just treat this ‘revelation’ as silly season crap? Was I wrong?

  • Mick Fealty

    A fair point as far as it goes. You should never have to work at contempt. If it doesn’t flow naturally it won’t work.


    You (and I) seem to have the better of Conor on this: at least up to 2003. Christ Church seems to have taken a hammering in recent years.

  • hovetwo

    Fascinating table Mick (wish I could embed like that), although it refers to endowment income rather than wealth. I believe in wealth terms St. John’s is leagues ahead, and even bankrolled some of the poorer colleges, like my one 🙁

    Still, they always seemed like nice bookish chaps who were constantly pressured by their tutors to top the Norrington academic table of Oxford colleges, whereas the Christchurch lot, in general, had their heads very firmly up their backsides.

    On the other hand, no one ever threatened to shoot me in Christchurch (tip: never try to deliver a box of Milk Tray during Rag Week dressed in black and wearing a balaclava, particularly if the Crown Prince of Japan is dining in with his bodyguards that evening).

  • Conor Spackman

    OK, OK, I only said that Christ Church was wealthier because I went to Keble and I don’t like the near neighbours in St John’s – not because of some silly inter-collegiate rivalry but just because the place is full of posh pricks.