Saturday, 9 October 2010

Imitation - the Sincerest Flattery

I am reading Tony Blair’s book A Journey. It is far superior to most political biographies so it is easy to see why it has become the fastest selling political biography of recent times. Blair clearly divides many people but there are many nuggets of information and insights into the political process, so if you follow politics I recommend a read.

I have got a fair way to go still but was struck by what Tony Blair wrote about his speech to Labour Party Conference in 1997:

“I specifically went out of my way to pay tribute in my own political heritage to Lloyd George, Keynes and Beveridge..” p118

His actual words were:

"I'll tell you: my heroes aren't just Ernie Bevin, Nye Bevan and Attlee. They are also Keynes, Beveridge, Lloyd George."

In this year’s speech to the Labour Party’s Conference, Labour's new leader Ed Miliband said...

"I also know something else. Wisdom is not the preserve of any one party. Some of the political figures in history who I admire most are Keynes, Lloyd George, Beveridge, who were not members of the Labour Party."

Ed Miliband then generalisedin his speech, but I doubt his conclusion is that different from Tony Blair's 13 years ago:

"Division among radicals almost one hundred years ago resulted in a 20th century dominated by Conservatives. I want the 21st century to be the century of the radicals."

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