Wednesday, November 21, 2007

logical cross-dressing

There's a very interesting interview over at LabourHome with John Cruddas, the faintly rebellious Labour MP who many agree invigorated the contest for Deputy Leader earlier this year, even if he didn't win it. I for one have been disappointed by the fact that we've not seen more of Cruddas since Brown took over - he's far more rational and sensible than the likes of Tony Benn, and a politician I genuinely admire, not just for his left wing principles, but for the fact that he clearly regards public service as his single consistent priority. In short, he cares. He's also a lucid analyst of the current political scene:

"Cross-dressing is a logical consequence … If Tony Blair was still Labour leader, Nick Clegg had become Liberal leader and Dave Cameron was leader of the Conservative Party it’s almost physiologically they’re all merging into one. But that doesn’t just drop out of the sky. That is the deductive product of the political system we have. I think the BNP in Dagenham or Respect 4/5 miles down the road are part of the same reaction to that that ever precise political positioning because it reflects the disenfranchisement of the people who are disenfranchised because they don’t have power in that system."
He's good on tuition fees, too, which is a subject I've changed my mind on over the years, not least because I spend so much time talking to academics and visiting universities:

"That was the first time I voted against [the government] because I thought they had an approach to higher education that was just extraordinary, absolutely extraordinary. It was all about this is a rational economic investment ’cos you go and get more money out of it in the end ’cos you get a better paid job. Oh is that why you go to university? I didn’t. I was on the rebel benches on that vote, 2003. Dreadful. It had a very precise view of knowledge right and it was a very utilitarian approach to the world which actually I always thought was a hallmark of the right."
Read the full interview here.

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