Hain’s political future hangs in balance…


WHILE I doubt too many people (including the Prime Minister) will be saddened by the potential departure of the current Secretary of State, Shaun Woodward, it looks like his predecessor’s political career could end in tatters even sooner. Yes, Peter Hain is – at last – well and truly on the ropes, after the Guardian revealed tonight that the Work and Pensions Secretary “will be forced to admit that he failed to declare tens of thousands of pounds worth of donations from businesses and unions when he stood for the deputy leadership of the Labour party”.

  • Hogan

    Well lets face it a janus-like b@stard like Hain’s career was never going to end well was it?

    Sob sob…

  • wild turkey

    Wait a minute, but wasn’t one of the fundamental breakthroughs of the Blair govt is that with new labour politicians, and their associated zipper lickers, standards of guilt or innocence, competence or incompetence, no longer apply.

    Isn’t it really a question of a sincere, genuine ‘apology’ and/or…plausible deniability.

    Anyway Pete, we feel your pain.

    PS totally off thread but… can anyone update on the current state of play regarding the judicial reviews, 67 questions, whatever, arising from the appointment of the interim victims commissioner? is Hain still in the frame on that one?

  • Only Asking

    If Hain’s future is resting on the premise that he is an innocent victim in all this then it’s bye bye Peter.

    The s*** has hit the fan with this one and the government and Peter Hain know it.

  • So typical of this NL crowd, they shit on others as Hain has recently done with his attacks on the sick and disabled* whilst their own doorstep is dirty.

    * see article about Hain’s recent despicable behavior here,
    http://organizedrage.blogspot.com/

  • Only Asking

    Gordon Brown has been very unsuccessful as PM so far, dogged by scandals. IMO this Hain trouble is going to be a good show, even better than the election that never was – it’s time now to sit back and watch this show. It’s bound to be amusing.

  • Schadenfreude is normally deplorable, but I can’t help rejoicing in Hain’s woes. Here was a public school educated man who was ready to trash the NI grammar schools for his own ends. Had the grammar schools been abolished, Hain might even had been elected on a wave of old left malicious pleasure.

    And now we see that the guy’s campaign smells like fake suntan lotion.

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  • Greenflag

    So another former NI Secretary bites the political dust . What’s new ? This story is just a rerun of the inevitable political future that faced all NI Secretaries of State since the ‘troubles’ began . Being sent to Northern Ireland was always rated as a ‘punishment’

    But rather than gloat we should thank Mr Hain for finally delivering a ‘ solution’ of sorts to the endless political shite hole that was/is NI .

    Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire . Should it surprise anybody then that shite has to be fought with the same ?

  • brendan,belfast

    it may sound harsh but i am delighted that Hain is in bother. Surely the most despicable of all SOS’s we have had here?

  • Greenflag

    ‘it may sound harsh but i am delighted that Hain is in bother. ‘

    Not harsh just terribly stupid . On a par with the infamous Russian who congratulated himself on avoiding his demise by means of Russian roulette (six chambers one bullet) and decided that he could do even better by attempting to survive Japanese roulette (six chambers six bullets) .

    Be grateful that the second British Jewish Secretary of State had the brains to force /cajole you thick northern gobshites to a ‘peaceful’ resolution of your endemic political absurdities !

  • éireannach saolta

    Haven seen you comment for a while. Good to see you back Green Flag. Fianlly someone like yourself speaks some sense

  • Greenflag

    Flattery will get you nowhere with GF 🙂

  • Diluted Orange

    [i]it may sound harsh but i am delighted that Hain is in bother. Surely the most despicable of all SOS’s we have had here?[/i]

    I agree entirely. Hain is a one man ‘look at me’ show, the ultimate careerist.

    How stupid could he be, I mean just how incomprehensibly daft could he be, after all the furore about party funding to not make sure that at his deputy prime minister campaign was squeaky clean? It’s one thing cheating taxpayers out of money for a general election, in which we at least get to participate in, but to do it for an inner party electoral position is despicable. Why do these gobshites need to run a campaign anyway, for what is essentially a pointless position?

    [i]’Be grateful that the second British Jewish Secretary of State had the brains to force /cajole you thick northern gobshites to a ‘peaceful’ resolution of your endemic political absurdities ![/i]

    My arse he did. You think Paisley thought he could play the whole ‘No, never’ card forever? As soon as Paisley became top dog in Unionism, the overriding aim of his political career; rhetoric was out the window and was quickly replaced by hypocrisy. I have no love for the DUP but I would have reveled in seeing Hain trying to lay down the law to Paisley or Robinson – they would have chewed up this consumate pro in arse-licking and spat him out.

    My abiding memory of Hain is his apology, on the behalf of all the people in Northern Ireland, for our ancestors part in slavery! Good riddance indeed.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Hain is a one man ‘look at me’ show, the ultimate careerist.’

    Which politician isn’t ? Are you residing on planet earth ?

    ‘My arse he did. You think Paisley thought he could play the whole ‘No, never’ card forever? ‘

    Naw- Just 40 years 🙂 which is as near to ‘forever’ as one can get in most political careers.

    ‘I have no love for the DUP but I would have reveled in seeing Hain trying to lay down the law to Paisley or Robinson – they would have chewed up this consumate pro in arse-licking and spat him out.’

    Words ,words and words again . The fact is that Paisley caved in and rightly so . The fact that he’s a hypocrite is neither here nor there . They are all (politicians) hypocrites sooner or later . They have to be . It’s expected of them :)The only difference is the degree of hypocrisy and how soon they break the 11th commandement. What matters in the end is getting the job done and in that respect Hain got the job done – so too did Paisley and McGuiness in their own way.

    ‘ My abiding memory of Hain is his apology, on the behalf of all the people in Northern Ireland, for our ancestors part in slavery!’

    Must have missed that one . Sounds a bit off the wall. Most of the Ulster Scots who got to the States ended up scratching a bare arsed living in the Appalachias and being in the front line of the ‘injun’ wars i.e exterminations . The RC Irish did most of their ‘injun’ extermination in the officially prescribed manner through the Union army in it’s western “pacification” campaigns .

    The only complete genocide IIRC executed by British and Irish colonists was in Van Diemens land against the unfortunate indigenous Tasmanians . These human beings had been isolated for 20,000 years from their aboriginal cousins in mainland Australia when the seas rose in the warming post Ice Age . Unfortunately there are no Tasmanians left to apologise to .

  • Diluted Orange

    [i]Must have missed that one . Sounds a bit off the wall. Most of the Ulster Scots who got to the States ended up scratching a bare arsed living in the Appalachias and being in the front line of the ‘injun’ wars i.e exterminations . The RC Irish did most of their ‘injun’ extermination in the officially prescribed manner through the Union army in it’s western “pacification” campaigns .

    The only complete genocide IIRC executed by British and Irish colonists was in Van Diemens land against the unfortunate indigenous Tasmanians . These human beings had been isolated for 20,000 years from their aboriginal cousins in mainland Australia when the seas rose in the warming post Ice Age . Unfortunately there are no Tasmanians left to apologise to . [/i]

    Blah, blah, get the drift – is it not the same point I was making? Why did Hain feel the need to apologise for the apparent sins of our fore-fathers, on behalf of us, when Ireland had little, if anything, to do to with the slave trade? Because he wanted to make sure his voice was heard on TV – that’s why.

    Oh, and in case you missed it, Hain at his finest, statesman-like, best:

    http://politics.guardian.co.uk/wales/story/0,,2013862,00.html

    As for your insistence that Paisley would have been withered down by someone more orange than him (in a literal sense anyway), I’m still not buying it. I reckon Robinson had more to do with Paisley changing his mind than Hain ever did.

  • Greenflag

    ‘when Ireland had little, if anything, to do to with the slave trade? ‘

    Ireland, Slavery and Anti-Slavery: 1612-1865
    Nini Rodgers
    Review by John McAleer
    National Maritime Museum
    Journal Issue: July 2007

    Here’s a small excerpt from the above which might help illuminate some facts of the slave trade re Ireland .

    “In the historiography of the British Empire, Ireland has for a long time occupied an ambivalent place. The cliché of it being at once colonised and coloniser seems to have stymied, for a long time, more constructive and insightful analyses of its place in European imperial and maritime history. Nini Rodgers’s contribution, assessing the interrelationship between Ireland and transatlantic slavery goes a long way to providing a more nuanced approach to the complicated and intertwined histories of the British Isles, its constituent parts and the transatlantic slave trade.

    By problematising and complicating the secure narratives of Ireland’s involvement (or supposed lack thereof) in the transatlantic slave trade and the Irish role in enslaving millions of Africans, Rodgers highlights the interconnectedness that was at the heart of the Atlantic Ocean system. Indeed, if that system can be characterised as in any sense ‘circular’ or ‘triangular’, then it is surely in the mutual dependence of communities on other Atlantic polities for the provision of trade goods, raw materials, enslaved peoples and finished products, linking three continents together in a vicious circle of enslavement, exploitation and enrichment. By the same token, Rodgers’s highlighting of the rich vein of anti-slavery feeling in Irish people of all religious and political persuasions is a story as worthy of telling as that of Thomas Clarkson’s peregrinations around Great Britain collecting evidence against the slave trade in the late 1780s, or the hundreds of thousands of petition-signers in towns and cities across the land.

    Ireland, Slavery and Anti-Slavery does not shy away from exploring exactly how slavery and the slave-holding economies of the Americas underpinned and impacted upon all manner of economic and social circumstances in Ireland. For example, Cork became a veritable boom town, trebling in size in the early-eighteenth century and thriving on the back of the sugar and shipping so central to transatlantic slavery. Sugar, as with practically every other European country, became a crucial import for the Irish economy. If the English had the sweetest tooth in eighteenth-century Europe, then the Irish were rapidly developing their taste for sugar in the same period. There was a five-fold increase in its importation in the years between 1733 and 1775. Responding to the rising price of this now staple part of the Irish diet, the Dublin press echoed a refrain of provincial newspapers around Britain by bemoaning this development as proving ‘not a little distressing to the public [to whom it has become] in some sort a necessary of life’ (160).

    But slavery had a more permanent impact on the Irish landscape, as Rodgers deftly points out. The idea that much of the architectural fabric of British cities was built on the back of enslaved labour has been accepted in academic circles for some time – the work of people like Madge Dresser and others being influential in establishing this framework of analysis. That this translates to the Irish experience should be no surprise, and this work provides the scholarly detail to justify that claim. Rodgers highlights the case of Trinity College Dublin, the façade of which was aggrandised in the late seventeenth century, confirming its status as the premier seat of learning in the kingdom. The £3000 voted by politicians in 1698 is well documented. What is less well known is that Parliament paid for it out of additional tobacco duties. Another institution at the heart of Georgian Dublin – the second city of the British Empire – was the Bank of Ireland. It was people like Richard Hare, a Cork merchant, who provided the capital for its founding in 1782.”

  • Greenflag

    ‘I’m still not buying it. I reckon Robinson had more to do with Paisley changing his mind than Hain ever did. ‘

    Any proof ? I prefer to give Hain the benefit . After all Paisley and Robinson kept up their anti power sharing stance for a generation or more . Why else would they have changed their view unless it was to ward off an even worse fate at least from a Unionst perspective ?

    Hain gave them enough pain to persuade the twain that it was end game ! Robinson is an astute politician I’ll grant you but I would not go further than that .

  • Rory

    I have very much enjoyed the robust dingbat between Diluted Orange and Greenflag above. Both played with articulate ferocity and none gave quarter. Yet I’m with Greenflag on this one.

    In the great poker game of Ulster Hold ’em all it was the Orange ones who blinked first before the orange one – if I may use the Diluted one’s imagery. Hain holding all the aces was not likely to be bluffed no matter how skilled the opposition.

    If anything Paisley’s grovelling attempt at St Andrew’s to save face as he announced his acceptance of the conditions that Blair told him he must accept tend to bear this out. If a recording is easily available online it is worth studying Paisley’s body language and listen to the tonality of his voice as he speaks. He could have been a lyingly contrite wife beater on The Jeremy Kyle Show.

  • graduate

    How sad!! Byebye!Got to agree with some of the others- quite possibly the worst SoS we’ve ever had and given that some of them were worse than useless he really had to be crap.
    At least it’ll keep us entertained and hopefully land Gordo in more of the brown and smelly stuff

  • Dewi

    the plot deepens – bickering amonsgt Hain’s ex staff – one of whom, Steve Morgan, is currently working on the Clinton campaign.
    In contrast to majority opinion there (or at least on here) I quite like him – a political opponent but did good work on Devolution referendum and Government of Wales Act. This is real trouble for him however. Legal reponsibility on his shoulders. It’s fraud.

    Comment 11 pretty funny

  • Greenflag

    ‘I have very much enjoyed the robust dingbat between Diluted Orange and Greenflag above. Both played with articulate ferocity and none gave quarter.’

    Robust ? 🙂 I thought I went very aisy on DO.

    There have been certainly worse SOS’s than Hain . Mandelson ? Brookes ? . From an Irish perspective the job of SOS in NI in any event was always a thankless one . There was/is no squaring the circle as regards the main constitutional difference between Unionist and Nationalist in NI. The messy melange which has done the job will not last forever but the longer it lasts then the better the chances of avoiding a future relapse into widespread sectarian conflict .For this we have first to thank Hain and indeed all those outside politicians from Bill Clinton to Albert Reynolds and Senator Mitchell who kept faith with the ‘peace process’. Paisley/Robinson and Adams/McGuinness can also take some credit for eventually taking the shilling ‘peace’.

    Pity the NI antagonists could’nt have done the job back in 1974 or even better in 1969 🙁

  • Diluted Orange

    Seriously guys read between the lines for one moment. Decades of ranting, decades of making the nominally Unionist people of Northern Ireland feel as if they were backed into a corner. Paisley is a preacher – he knows how to coerce folk into thinking fire, brimstone and the apocalyspe all rolled into one are going to engulf us all tomorrow better than almost any other politician. It was his strategy all along – playing on the heart strings of the electorate to become the top dog in Unionism at the end of it all.

    Rory, I agree with you that St Andrew’s was a fudge: the GFA for slow learners as folk have called it but I don’t for one minute think that Ian Paisley would have accepted it if it hadn’t been expedient to him to do so in terms of his own legacy. That’s why the GFA was a non-starter for him – because he was never involved in the process. It’s a pure vanity thing. Instead the St Andrew’s agreement has put him down in history (he hopes), not Trimble, O’Neill or Faulkner, as the man who has ‘saved Unionism’.

    What would have been the worst thing that could have happened if Paisley had rejected the agreement? Blair was more desperate for it to go through than Paisley at the time. He was clutching at straws to find anything to make his premiership look like a success. Maybe, just maybe, if we remember Northern Ireland in the future we will forget about all his litany of failings with regards to Iraq, Afghanistan and peerages etc.

    Sure plenty of supposedly ‘tough talk’ was spouted from Hain at the time, but was there not a lot of tough talk (and hot air) uttered during the 10 years beforehand? Did Paisley yield then? Lots of hints about joint-sovereignty being proposed for NI if St Andrews hadn’t gone through – Personally, I can’t see that idea having ever gone past the drawing board; the UK has wanted to offload Northern Ireland for a very long time – if they haven’t succeeded during all those years gone by then they’re very unlikely to have been able to do it now, on a whim, just because the DUP stormed off in huff yet again. I also wonder what the Republic would have thought about being suddenly lumped with a million disgruntled Unionists who had been sold without so much as a referendum in sight.

    Paisley signed St Andrews because it suited him – not because Hain, Blair or any other Cheshire Cat in a suit told him he had to. All he had to do was show a little humility and pamper Blair’s ego a bit by letting him take some of the credit for appearing to lay down the law to the big man himself.

    As for Hain. I’ve said my piece. Easily the worst SoS since Whitelaw – Peter Brooke runs him close though.