Friday, February 22, 2008

When "hostility" to nationalisation means being in favour of it

Another day goes by. And so does another posture from David Anderson, the "working class" former Unison big knob who now trots about Westminster as Labour MP for Blaydon.

Mr Anderson was a fan of nationalisation. Rail, coal, utilities, and plenty of others I can mention and he's called for them to be nationalised in the past.

On 19th November last year, he praised Unison members for "taking action in opposition to privatisation, marketisation and cuts in our public services". Then later the same day he laid into the Liberal Democrats who were by then supporting nationalisation of Northern Rock.

On 12th December he voted against nationalisation of the bank. Let's be charitable and describe his speech as erratic and his claims as unusual on that day. Nevertheless, he put the boot into the government, claiming:

I have a very different ideological view from that of my party's Front Benchers: their view is that public ownership is a good thing and we should have more of it.

Well, that's pretty clear to me. He thinks the government is too much in favour of public ownership. So any attempt to nationalise Northern Rock, clearly ran counter to the heartfelt beliefs of Dave New Labour New Capitalist Anderson. His views may have been different to those he had in the morning but perhaps he simply saw the error of his ways over lunch.

So, in the morning he is for public ownership, in the afternoon he is hostile to it.

Mr Anderson however had spun around yet again by February. Now he's in favour of nationalising Northern Rock after all. Well, at least that's what we assume as he voted for it earlier this week.

He has, however, kept very quiet about this. Nothing on his website about his double u-turn. No public statements. No deeply forensic and analytical Commons speeches about the structural weaknesses of the financial services sector. No, this time he is keeping his head down.

But where's the fun in that? So come on Dave, say something and keep us entertained!

Hold on, what's this!? Just arrived - an email from a worker in Mr Anderson's office. This email is to Peter Maughan, Lib Dem candidate in Blaydon. Peter emailed Capitalist Dave on Sunday to urge him to overcome his hostility to nationalising Northern Rock and to back taking it into temporary public ownership. Here's the reply:

I can confirm that he [Mr Anderson] supported the Government's actions re Northern Rock. Contrary to your comments he was not "hostile" to nationalisation in December but was determined that every avenue should be explored before taking such action.

Funny way to show he was not hostile! I guess we are now back to Socialist Dave.

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