Dead Men Left

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Lloyd George knew my father, Father knew Lloyd George...

Oh joy! From The Times, through (variously) Blood and Treasure, Nick Barlow and Labour Watch:

'Alpha' courses to restore Labour faith


LABOUR is to start conducting weekend “academies” to win wavering supporters back to the moral values upon which the party was founded.

The idea is pioneered by Hazel Blears, the Home Office Minister of State, who said that they would run along similar lines to the Alpha courses, the popular beginners’ guide to Christianity.


Groups of 25 people will commit themselves to two full Saturdays, as well as homework in the form of reading key texts on Labour’s history — including works by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown — to serve as the basis for discussions of personal morality.

She felt that they were necessary to restore idealism in the party after the Iraq war, two terms in government, and the Conservative Party moving on to Labour’s ground.

Labour Watch wonders of the lucky 25 "how much Keir Hardie they'll be reading". It's fair to say that after a giddy day awash with such dangerous concepts as "personal morality" and "idealism", they'll need the sure and steady anchor of Keir Hardie to stop them becoming quite delirious:

[Hardie's] most marked characteristic is his love of animals. He is often to be seen stopped to talk to a horse in the street.
(Daily Mirror, 18 May 1906)

To be fair, a faddish belief in reincarnation (and the resulting desire to natter with horses) is no worse than smearing your naked, screaming body with papaya juice to become "reborn", buying "bio-electric" pendants to ward off the evil spirits aroused by computers, or subscribing to a fervent belief in the existence of Iraq's WMDs. Actually, it seems considerably less worrying than all of the mysticism the Blairs have indulged themselves in. Anyone for a seance?