OK, normally this blog is topical and cutting edge (well, except for the posts about Lenin), but I couldn't resist sharing something from September 2007 I stumbled across when browsing the Interweb. The Daily Telegraph compiled and published a list of the 100 most influential people on the British Left, in rank order, with comments on each one. Popular right-wing blogger Iain Dale was one of its authors.
The Telegraph's definition of left-wing is somewhat different to mine - Gordon Brown has the top spot - but it nonetheless includes some genuine socialists. I found some of the comments entertaining and the highlights are below. It's good to have insight into how the Telegraph sees us!
See HERE for the full list.
39. GEORGE GALLOWAY
The MP for Bethnal Green and Bow manages to retain the ability to reach a wide audience with his looney left ideology despite ritually humiliating himself at regular intervals on television.
49. BOB CROW
Britain’s most belligerent trade union leader, Crow is worshipped by his adoring members, especially when he calls them out on strike. His power to bring London to a halt (usually every other year) is testament to his influence.
50. MARK SERWOTKA
Along with Bob Crow, Serwotka is one of the most extreme left union leaders in the country. He supports George Galloway’s Respect party. He won’t accept his full salary entitlement and sounds far more moderate in media interviews than he actually is.
55. GEORGE MONBIOT
The son of a Tory grandee, Monbiot is an ideological green purist who has an uncanny ability to court media interest in his causes. He’s replaced Jonathan Porritt as the acceptable face of environmentalism.
76. LEE JASPER
Trevor Phillips aside, Lee Jasper is the most powerful advocate of the burgeoning race relations industry. He’s a controversial figure in London and has a finger in just about every pie imaginable. His influence over Ken Livingstone is said to be immense.
Though his political influence is essentially negative, expressed through his ability to stop the political process in the Province by withdrawal, it remains real.
99. TARIQ ALI
Like so many from the far left he was confused by the rise of Islamic fascism but saved by the Iraq war into a more comfortable view of who the villains in the world are. At his best at satirising the tiny far left world from which he sprung.
100. JOHN PILGER
Pilger remains able to command the front pages of left wing journals at will. Though he has been writing essentially the same story for the last thirty years – everything that is wrong in the world is the fault of the USA – he continues to exert a waning but visible influence on the younger and more impressionable parts of the left.
So, the archetypal leftie is an ideological green purist with a looney left ideology, belligerently bringing London to a standstill at regular intervals and destroying the Northern Ireland peace process, confused by the rise of Islamic fascism while using moderate statements to mask their left-wing extremism. Well, they certainly don't leave you guessing where their political sympathies lie!