The blogging Secretary of State..

Having previously noted the absence of the promised interactive website for the Secretary of State for Wales etc’s campaign to be deputy leader of the Labour Party, [other things on his mind – Ed] it would be remiss of me not to now note the launch of said website.. on Saturday when I was somewhat distracted by other events. The campaign team even provided a well known, if tame, interviewer actor to start the discussion. All bells and whistles seem to be present, including a Flickr stream and a YouTube channel – some BBC and Channel4 material linked there but not much else so far. And Peter has a blog! “On My Blog I’ll keep directly in touch with you as the campaign progresses, and read the comments you post so this becomes a genuine two way dialogue.” There is, as you’d expect, a commenting policy Adds I suppose I could claim the credit for this [or at least a fee? – Ed]From Peter Hain’s first blog post

I’m arriving back in the UK today from the annual St. Patrick’s Day bash at the White House – one of the nicer obligations of being Northern Ireland Secretary. Despite Labour’s differences with the neocons the Bush administration, the President himself has been incredibly supportive of our efforts in Northern Ireland, as was Bill Clinton before him.

Picking up the Mirror at the airport I see the Tories have done the next stage of what I’ve called their ‘spray job’ – trying to rebrand themselves as the guardians of the public services. Give me a break. The party that brought the NHS to its knees and underfunded our schools? They must think the public are stupid – or at least have short memories. Cameron and Osbourne are increasingly the used car salesmen of politics – but the battered clapped out old party they are painting green isn’t going to fool people – especially not when their so called commitment to public services still includes spending less than Gordon has pledged for the years ahead so they can fund tax cuts – no doubt for their rich friends. This will be a critical dividing line at the next election.

There’s that neocon reference again.. and, of course, the Conservatives aren’t the only ones with rich friends..

Give me a break, indeed.

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  • peteb
    I checked the Hain Supporters list and couldn’t find your name; a glitch/tech prob perhaps?

  • I was looking for comments on the blog and can’t find any yet. I wonder is there 1000’s they have to check before they can be published. Has anyone from here commented, or tried to comment yet?

  • susan

    The commenting policy caveats contain the usual warnings against obscenities, defamation, etc., and one additional, Orwellian caution against “Comments that look like they come from someone else.”

    Can’t help thinking they must have a certain ‘someone else’ in mind there.

    Irish language act in North this year ‘if power-sharing fails’
    Good old peter hain putting more pressure on ; this is the only way to do it; as the DUP will not be TOLD. So Hain has to do it via these methods, ie showing the whip, and what will happen if you don’t commit and deliver on your promises.
    The animal sees the rod, and is scared of the pain. Its The Hain/Pain plan and very masterful.

    Leadership Principle
    ‘The threat is more powerful than the execution’

    The eccentric Grandmaster Tartakower was famously known for putting off opponents by blowing cigar smoke into their faces. Once the great Nimzowitsch called foul, claiming Tartakower was cheating by placing an unsmoked cigar beside him. And (as Nimzowitsch asserted at the time) in Chess, as everyone knows, the threat is more powerful than the execution. This is but one example of a leadership principle to be derived from a knowledge of Chess lore.

  • Pete Baker


    Several potential candidates spring to mind.

  • susan

    Indeed, Pete.

    I am just dreading the arrival of the official email from the campaign informing me

    “Dear Susan,

    Even the dogs in the street know you haven’t actually got an opinion on the Special Advisor’s Code of Conduct. Try again.”

  • Pete Baker


    And I suddenly remembered something I suggested a year ago.. I’ve added it to the original post.

  • baba

    Hain may have enjoyed the extravances afforded to him during his St Patricks Day Juncket to the States. Hain shows in in blog that he doesn’t give a toss for NI or it’s people Catholic or Protestant nor The Victims of the Troubles even though he lives a life of luxury while he is here. I hope he gets the DPM’s post. The people in England are welcome to this arrogant bullish individual.

  • Observer

    Why is there no Welsh version of the website? Doesn´t he care about the language?

  • Nevin

    Pete, I just spotted this on the other Hain website –

    “It’s a critical time for Northern Ireland and between now and the 26th November deadline for devolution, I am focussed on working with the political parties to ensure we can end direct rule by the deadline we have set out in legislation. That deadline will not shift …

  • Nevin

    PS The date blooper on has now been corrected – but my ‘NI blooper’ post was not added to Peter’s blog ;>)