Alistair Darling, Benn political family, British Oligarchy, British political families, British political oligarchy, British politics, David Prescott, Ed Balls, Euan Blair, Ewan Blair, Harriet Harman, House of Commons Oligarchy, Peter Mandalson, Tony Benn., Tony Blair
We had quite a spectacle the other week. We were treated, or believed we were being treated, to the state funeral and lying in state of a man many believe took his political lineage from the Levellers of the English Civil War, a Cromwellian spirited great champion of the people. Britain’s liberal left establishment rushed to camera, red-eyed to engage in a public cathartic snot-fest.
Anthony Wedgewood Benn was born the son of William Wedgewood Benn, a Liberal politician, who jumped ship to Labour and who after a career as Secretary of State for India, and Secretary of State for Air was created Viscount Stansgate 1942. William was the second son of Sir John Benn 1st Baronet, of “The Old Knoll” himself an MP for Devonport in the early twentieth century. His other grandfather Daniel Holmes was also an MP. Tony was a solid built in with the bricks third generation politician and left wing oligarch.
Anthony Wedgewood Benn inherited the title of Viscount Stansgate but was able to discard it in 1963, and thereafter spent ages wondering if he should be called Anthony Wedgewood Benn, Wedgy Benn, Tony Benn or whatever. But what was not so clear was that our noble Tribune of the people had not renounced the title forever. What, cast it off for ever, a feudal irrelevance to be thrown into the dustbin of history? Dear me no, no, no, no, wherever did you get that idea? The title still exists and is taken by….? Well by Tony Benn’s eldest son of course one Stephen Benn now 3rd Viscount Stansgate. Stephen (62) is currently Director of Parliamentary Affairs at the Society of Biology. So perhaps we might not be too surprised to learn that this new Viscount is seeking to be elevated as a hereditary into the House of Lords.
He fancies being elected to this house, not by thee or me but by a cabal of Lords. Four existing Labour hereditary peers – Lord Rea, Lord Grantchester, Viscount Simon and Viscount Hanworth – all want to see Stephen, 62, currently Director of Parliamentary Affairs at the Society of Biology, on the benches
But Tony Benn’s family ambitions don’t stop with Stephen. Stephen’s wife Nita was an advisor to Tony (I’m a war criminal) Blair. Stephen’s daughter Emily has stood for Parliament too. No success yet but she has ability, is pushy and attractive so we can bet on her in the future.
Tony’s son Hilary (American readers note, this is a boy’s name in Britain) is also an MP and has been since 1999 (fourth generation please, a former Cabinet Minister and presently Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government).
The British left is as deep in oligarchy and privilege as anything we see in America or the Conservative party.
Take (please) Lord Mandelson former MP, former European Commissioner for Trade, he on whom Peytr Bayliss of Game of Thrones is based, the grandson of Herbert Morrison the depute Prime Minister during the Second World War.
Then we see that Tony (I am a War Criminal) Blair, is punting his son Euan for a seat in Parliament. Bootle in England’s north-west is the single safest seat in the country. So not taking any risks then Euan?
One time Depute Prime Minister, Fatty “Two Jags” Prescott has supported his son David – unknown elsewhere – to be shoved through the ranks to claim a seat at Woolwich and Greenwich. Seriously, would anyone ever have heard of this candidate if his father had not been Depute PM? Of course not, he has simple shoved aside a better, more meritocratic candidate for family ambition.
Squinty Shaw (think an evil Milhouse) the oily, slimy, oleaginous, appallingly legalistic lawyer and apologist for Blair, has punted his son Will (who was cautioned for selling cannabis in a pub) for the seat of Rossendale and Darwen come 2015. Bets whether he wins?
Alistair Darling, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, has been tasked with keeping Scotland in the Union in the referendum in September. His great-uncle, Sir William Darling, was Conservative MP for Edinburgh South for 12 years after the Second World War, a fact I doubt he needed to put on his selection CV.
Lisa Nandy, is a labour politician and her grandfather as Liberal MP Frank Byers MP for North Dorset 1945 – 50.
Neil Kinnock, a past leader of the Labour Party, has supported his son Stephen about whom I wrote previously here where his wife the Prime Minister of Denmark was cuddling up to Obama at Mandela’s funeral, taking selfies. He too is being touted for the safe seat at Aberavon.
Joe Dromey, younger son of Harriet Harman MP and Jack Dromey (Unionist and one-time Treasurer of the Labour Party) is also devoting a lot of time to work in another safe Labour seat of Lewisham Deptford, where the sitting MP, Joan Ruddock, will be 71 come the election. Oh yuck, I just realised Jack and Harriet have copulated ? Eaaagh! That’s disgusting.
Disgusting yes, but not as disgusting as these sprogs being given gifts of seats to guarantee their entry into politics. By being eased in they deny the party, the cause and the country the opportunity to see other possibly more suited candidates because they (as in America) are pushed out and the needs of the oligarchy are satisfied first.
In Britain, one in twelve politicians from both sides of the House of Commons come from established political families.
Angela and Maria Eagle, two Labour frontbenchers, are twin sisters.
As Elizabeth Truss says “It’s not just about public school boys or girls, it’s actually about people coming from the same family, people who have always been involved in politics being involved in politics. I think it’s about broadening it out beyond the usual suspects. If you look at the Labour team we’ve got a husband and wife in the top team, we’ve got brothers in the Labour party as well. What we want to do is enable everybody to aspire to be part of the political system.”
Yvette Cooper and her hubby Ed Balls sit together in Parliament, as do Clare Short and Alex Lyon.
Naturally, it’s not just the Labour left that engage in these practices, but it just sticks in the throat when they do. We are disappointed, we feel let down, we are revolted that the pigs are taking over the farm.
Copyright David Macadam 2014
Coda: It is INTENSELY satisfying to find that this post beat The Daily Mail, The Independent and Huffington Post with this post! You are always first with the Oligarch Kings :)