Sunday, April 23, 2006

Goin back to Euston, Euston, Euston

The new Euston manifesto is attracting much attention in blogs and even some in the press. Will Hutton writes about it today in the Observer. Neatly summing up the problem all lefties must confront he starts marvellously: "To be on the left is to be both temperamentally inclined to dissent and to be passionate about your own utopia, which can never be achieved......Relative peace comes when the right is in power and the left temporarily sinks its survive in office, the left leader must keep utopian factionalism at bay and that means making your followers understand hard realities and tough trade-offs and selling them the ones you make yourself.".

He seems more impressed with the manifesto than Martin Kettle did yesterday in the Guardian: "It isn't difficult to pick holes, including large ones, in the Euston group's work. For something that apparently aims at creating "a fresh political alignment", theirs is a surprisingly loosely drafted document.". Ouch!

Someone damningly wrote that it seemed like a re-birth of the SDP that curious party which seemed such a good idea at the time (when Labour was busy making itself unelectable). It went on to become half of the ill-conceived LibDem party (many of the problems now facing the yellow party stem from this marriage of two ideologically incompatible parties).

Thing is, I'm rather attracted to established political parties. For all their many faults they're admirable places for people interested in the practicalities of politics rather than just the theory.

I asked the splendid PooterGeek (he's one of the authors I think) via his site why Euston rather than a nicer London railway station. He replied that it was "because it was where Norm was adopted by his host family when he arrived in Britain from (what was then) Rhodesia. He was found wandering around the platform with a luggage label tied to his coat. The label said: "Please look after this Marxist. Thank you."" but I think he may have been fibbing and teasing me for saying what a much finer place Paddington is (marmalade sandwiches, bear, Peru geddit?).

The best London terminus is Marylebone. It scores many points for its name alone. But I couldn't mention it on Mr Counnsell's comment box because I'm biased having worked for four years in an office above what was then the ticket office but which is now part of a shop. Most of the world's a shop nowadays, have you been thru an airport recently?


At 17:13, Blogger Aunty Marianne said...

I am disappointed. Surely the Elephant and Castle Manifesto would have been better.

At 18:55, Blogger Hughes Views said...

But Elephant and Castle's only a terminus underground so hardly appropriate one would have thought. They should have met at the lovely Ship and Shovel pub (I'm a regular - I go there once every three years) nearly underneath Charing Cross Station (mainline) then it could have been a cross manifesto in addition to being a cross party one....


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