When were you last inspired by a British politician?

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slowmotion

Active Member
This question came up over a supper with friends recently. I was totally stumped. My voting habits are entirely based on "Oh well, they are slightly less bad than the other lot", not by an uplifting sense of optimism. After days of head scratching, I finally decided that Robin Cook's resignation speech was actually quite good.

[media]
]View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9CqiiI2Irg[/media]


Who inspired you?
 

BoldonLad

Old man on a bike. Not a member of a clique.
Location
South Tyneside
I suspect this may be a very short thread!
 

mudsticks

Squire
In no particular order of merit, with poor spelling and there's lots more to add.
Either for overall political integrity, or individual achievements over particular policies.

Mhairi Black
Caroline Lucas
Nicola Sturgeon
Diane Abott
Molly Scott Cato
Jeremy Corbyn
Tessa Jowell
Mo Mowlem
Stella Creasey

Who'd be a politician though ??
With the vast number of numbskulls in this country all going .

"Oh but politicians - they're all the same"
 

multitool

Shaman
The OP asks a good question.

I'm not entirely sure, but I tend to find retired politicians the most inspiring, because they are freed from two utterly constraining factors; they no longer have to tell people what they want to hear, and they can tell the truth.

The former is why we are doomed to perpetual disappointment with our leaders. We can all articulate what we want, but translating that into reality is never easy and often impossible, which is why it is so frustrating to hear the Corbynistas talking about "look what you could have had".

No, you couldn't.

The most striking thing about ex-politicians is how they describe the choices they have before them. Not the pipedreams, but the practical, available choices. They are generally all shît, and all of them have negative consequences, sometimes unforeseen. Not only that but decisions are often having to be made with incomplete and unreliable information.

To the latter, well, part of that is in the previous para, but again, it is always interesting to hear what was actually behind the rhetoric and the presentation. Sometimes, even in the hard Thatcher years, there was a humanity, a compassion and understanding that seems counter-intuitive.

That said, Thatcher was still a cūnt.
 

monkers

Legendary Member
Robin Cook's speech was powerful, from the heart. History proved him to be on the right side.

I quite like @mudsticks sticks list. I also like the points made by @multitool.

I'm particularly fond of the rights of the ordinary citizen ie human rights. Any politician UK or otherwise who defends human rights no matter what is something of a hero in my books. In my own set of values I place it above patriotism or anything else.

I sometimes get asked if I'm a patriot. To which I have to reply 'like many relationships it's complicated'. I'm proud of what the UK achieved in influencing human rights during and since WW2. I'm not pleased that we beat Germany - I'm proud that we helped to reset human rights across the world.

I'm not proud that we now have a government hostile to human rights, and actually abusing them. Would I 'fight' for this government visiting violence on any country, such as Germany in order to abuse convention rights. No I'd defect and fight for convention rights. I'm a 'traitor' right?

Actually I can't fight for toffees, so I'll stay and I'll stick up for politicians who defend rights, and I'll attack the words of those politicians who abuse our citizens.
 
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The old school Labour ones. Charles Kennedy of the LD. John Smith was a loss to British politics. A lot of the old school ones had integrity even if you didn't agree with everything they said, eg Tony Benn. I think the decent modern politicians are probably the ones you haven't heard of much. They're just grafting away without thinking about promotions, gongs, and coining it in consultancy work.
 

Salty seadog

Senior Member
Tony Benn.
Dennis Skinner.

Both great orators.

Somehow l posted this in the nasty party thread last night so I'll get it in the right thread this time.
 

Rusty Nails

Country Member
Despite my more recent cynicism about the character and motives of politicians as a whole, there are quite a few politicians that I have liked and admired over the years for their actions and principles, many of whom are named above, but I struggle to name anyone that I find truly inspirational.

My problem is that being honest, trustworthy and working to benefit the people of this country, not themselves or their cronies, are what should be the basic specifications for the job, and to be inspirational requires a lot more than that, including elements such as overcoming hurdles/disadvantages, personal sacrifice, and successful outcomes etc. Being good is just not enough.

I can see how someone like Angela Rayner could be an inspiration to young women because of her background and career so far but still has some way to go as far as successful outcomes for the people of this country are concerned. Likewise Dennis Skinner for overcoming hardship and staying true to his principles without actually achieving anything other than constantly reminding his party of what they should be about.
 

Salty seadog

Senior Member
Despite my more recent cynicism about the character and motives of politicians as a whole, there are quite a few politicians that I have liked and admired over the years for their actions and principles, many of whom are named above, but I struggle to name anyone that I find truly inspirational.

My problem is that being honest, trustworthy and working to benefit the people of this country, not themselves or their cronies, are what should be the basic specifications for the job, and to be inspirational requires a lot more than that, including elements such as overcoming hurdles/disadvantages, personal sacrifice, and successful outcomes etc. Being good is just not enough.

I can see how someone like Angela Rayner could be an inspiration to young women because of her background and career so far but still has some way to go as far as successful outcomes for the people of this country are concerned. Likewise Dennis Skinner for overcoming hardship and staying true to his principles without actually achieving anything other than constantly reminding his party of what they should be about.

Actually now you mention Angela Rayner I feel similar, I'll also chuck in Jess Phillips.
 

monkers

Legendary Member
I very much like Natalie Bennett. Having met her a few times, I found her to be very charming, and having seen her chair a meeting with a strong opinions coming from all directions she was magnificent.

When I heard her I always found I wanted to dial out the tone of her voice, but liked what she was saying. The microphone just doesn't favour her voice though as in person her voice is not so bad. A good egg, sensible too, and now she's in the House of Lords, one of only two actually elected / selected to be there instead of being bumped up by a croney.
 

Ian H

Guru
Dennis Skinner voted consistently for equal rights, and talked out proposals to limit abortions and to ban stem-cell research.
Manny Shinwell deserves a mention for punching a Tory MP during a debate.
Michael Foot was too good for parliament. He was a superb orator.
I have a perverse fondness for the late Tom Driberg. If you wish to be shocked, read his posthumously published autobiography (with a brave foreword by Michael Foot).
John MacDonnell is a hard-working, principled & intelligent MP. He'd have made a good leader.
Diane Abbott for overcoming relentless misogynistic and racist attacks to become a leading parliamentarian.
Bessie Braddock, for her tireless campaigning.
 
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mudsticks

Squire
I'm not sure it's the meaning that Slowmo intended but Thatcher did indeed inspire me to become more politically minded.

Urggh,
Yes me too as regards Thatcher in so many ways.
She (and her cronies) normalised the idea that untrammelled capitalism is king, greed is good, sell off, privatise, and let the 'market' drive everything, exploit whatever and whoever you can - and let the devil take the hindmost, 'no such thing as society' (I know those might not have been the exact words she used but that was certainly the thrust of policy)
She was no particular friend to women, nor to any other already disadvantaged group.

So all that 'selfishness is OK' idea that was promoted in the eighties was what informed my
"There has to be a better way" political view which is still, pretty much in place now.

'Funny.thing' is that she would probably 'approve' my built up from nothing*, self sustaining businesses that now make me a secure living, and employ other people.

*Except I'm well aware it wasn't nothing, my decent free schooling, healthcare, social support, a bit of luck etc etc (plus educated parents, and no little graft) has got me where I am.

And I can totally see how others like me, nowadays do not have those same socially provided advantages, nor security that was around then.
Directly as a result of Tory policy undermining the social fabric of this country.

Imo it was in fact much easier to start businesses whilst also raising a family under the more enlightened policies of the last Labour government.


(And anyway, despite it being a commonly held position, you don't have to be a grasping @rshol to succeed in business)

In fact not being one, can often be a distinct advantage in many ways.
Some people thankfully, will actually 'buy into' stuff such as ethics, and integrity.
 

Salty seadog

Senior Member
Dennis Skinner voted consistently for equal rights, and talked out proposals to limit abortions and to ban stem-cell research.
Manny Shinwell deserves a mention for punching a Tory MP during a debate.
Michael Foot was too good for parliament. He was a superb orator.
I have a perverse fondness for the late Tom Driberg. If you wish to be shocked, read his posthumously published autobiography (with a brave foreword by Michael Foot).
John MacDonnell is a hard-working, principled & intelligent MP. He'd have made a good leader.
Diane Abbott for overcoming relentless misogynistic and racist attacks to become a leading parliamentarian.
Bessie Braddock, for her tireless campaigning.

John Mcdonnell, Crikey, another great speaker with good sense. He interviewed extremely well.
 
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