Shorter Bob Piper

On the launch of Liberty Central:

Civil liberties are all very well, but if it’s the Labour Party shitting on them there’s no way I’m getting in their way.”

That just sums it up doesn’t it?

Here’s a good one.

I’ve got an immediate aversion to anything which smells of coalition…

Interesting. What does that even mean? A bit of Labour Party history may be a help here. Because the Labour Party began as a coalition of various left-wing political parties, the Fabian Society, trade unions and other working class organisations. And there’s this from Wikipedia:

The [Labour Representation Committee] won 29 seats in the 1906 election, helped by the secret 1903 pact between Ramsay Macdonald and Liberal Chief Whip Herbert Gladstone which aimed at avoiding Labour/Liberal contests in the interest of removing the Conservatives from office. In their first meeting after the election, the group’s Members of Parliament decided to take the name “The Labour Party”… [T]he party did not have an individual membership until 1918 and operated as a conglomerate of affiliated bodies until that date.

I suppose he’ll be ripping up his Labour membership card this evening then, especially given that his party today is in coalition with the Co-operative Party. Besides which, surely all political parties are coalitions of one form or another, given that they are all alliances of people who, given that they are individuals (although you can never quite be sure of this with Labour), must have subtly differing political views?

Let’s see if Bob Piper can reply with something that isn’t just abusive name-calling, which is his usual debating technique.


  1. Your quote would be faintly amusing if it was even vaguely similar to what I had said, but still, don’t let the truth get in the way of posting your sinde remarks. You may be engrossed in the events of 1903, but they are not big news around here. Try this: I dislike intensely Liberal Democrats. I consider them to be, broadly speaking, spineless, hypocritical snivelling shits. I do hope that is abusive enough for you, but honestly, I can do better. I don’t want to be in coalition with them. I, that is, meaning me, gettit. I hope that is easy enough for you to understand. If others in my own party have a less hostile attitude to coalition in general, and the yellow tories in particular, that is up to them. See… we are individuals after all. I welcomed Liberty Central, but with reservations. The reservation being I have no wish to be involved in an organisation, however loose a federation, which simply wants to engage in Labour bashing. As I understand it, many of those behind Liberty Central have accepted that principle. Hence my post.

  2. So you say it’s not okay to bash Labour, then you say that’s not what you said, then you say it’s not okay to bash Labour.

    Loud and clear, thanks for the clarification.

  3. Are you being deliberately obtuse? There is a difference between those who engage in criticism of the Government and those who want to use any excuse to attack Labour. I am convinced that Unity wants a genuine debate on civil liberty issues. Others will just find his bandwagon and jump on it.

    Longrider, I never criticised you for swearing at Blair. My criticism was that you had the potential for an interesting post on Blair’s article, but blew it and drowned in your own bile.

  4. Bob, if you are an individual, then you have no place in New Labour – they are only interested in the collective… Listen to some of Big Blunkett’s speeches sometime, so too Blair’s. Individualism is Thatcherism, doncha know? 😉

    Oh, I didn’t drown in my own bile, nor did I blow anything – it was a deliberate and considered piece of vitriol. When dealing with the big lie as we are here, shouting loudly from the rooftops is rather more effective than a careful dissection. Frankly, my bile had more consideration in it than the tissue of lies written by (or for) Blair. I knew exactly what I was doing. Indeed, if anything, I was too gentle.

  5. Coalitions DO work – but only where the parties concerned have “aligned” interests. There’s a good few examples, like the Labour party itself, and those multi-union campaigns where this has worked.
    Unfortunately, up here in sunny Scotland we’ve got a first class example of where it didn’t, namely the Lib-Lab pact. Instead of getting the worthwhile policies of the Liberals, (childcare, health, environment) we got Jim “Big-Brother-Is-Watching-You” Wallace and – worst still – Tavish “Get-On-Yer-Bike-Peasant” Scott. The soon THAT particular coalition goes the way of the dodo, the better this particular voter likes it!
    I think it’s a bit unfair to tar all of Labour with the we-hate-liberties banner – there’s certainly MP’s and activitists who definitely don’t agree with Tony Bush’s, sorry Tony Blair’s, line on “terrorism” (ha!) and “security” (ha again!) and other matters. Tony B’s achieved his aims to be like La Thatcher – long term in power, and a second career as the US President’s proctologist!
    Brown’s probably no better, but at least we’ll have the honeymoon period before he gets “housetrained” 🙁
    As far as the government goes, they say “a change is as good as a rest” and boy am I tired!
    (Thanks for an interesting lunchtime read folks!)

  6. I think that Liberty Central will put forward some great ideas and I’m sure I’ll personally find worth supporting. The good thing about Liberty Central seems to be that aspires to be a place to share ideas as much as anything else.

    However, I’m a ‘coalitition sceptic’ generally. Great for limited short term aims, but then what? What are the good people at ‘Lib Cent’ going to do with their new found liberty?

    The question is an important one because slogans centred on British consitutional renewal will be difficult to sell, and I think part of the reason is because it’s not embedded in any bigger vision or ideal. It will unfortunately only be yet another minority interest issue that will excite a few bloggers and maybe (hopefully) attract some media coverage further down the road… but that’s all. That doesn’t (for me at least) make it any less important – like the others key players behing ‘Lib Cent’, I feel that we need to do something.

    However, the point I think I’m trying to make is a more general one about the state of British society and politics generally. I think the actions of New Labour and Blair are in part of a symptom of a wider change taking place, and not merely the cause. It’s something that I intend to post on in more detail (I’m sure the entire blogging world will hold its collective breath!! lol).

  7. Also Longrider, why do you think you’re some sort of enigmatic Byron/Heathcliff character? To your choice of attire (ie. the jacobean shirts) I could say ‘each to there own’, but what on earth were you thinking when you decided to utilise that ‘Zorro’ style picture? Were you going for the mystical yet romantic hero look? I find it laughable, quite frankly. You call Bob a pretentious egoist, take a look in the mirror matey.

  8. Apologies if you found that at all offensive Longrider, I was merley highlighting your hypocrisy.

  9. […] For reference, here are some links to Bob Piper in action in the comments here. And, from roughly the same time, at Longrider’s blog including the priceless moment when he accused me of being “tired and emotional” when I said that I prefered the Conservatives to Labour — presumably because only people who are mentally incapable could possibly prefer the evil Tories to golden boy Blair. This is what Jawbox said at the time. […]