Monday, 14 September 2009


Over at Harry's Place they have a guest post from Will Straw introducing his blog "Left Foot Forward". The blog, apparently launched in late August, makes the following claim:
We are a non-partisan blog
Sorry guys but that just doesn't seem to be true.

Where to start? Well, the editor, Will Straw, is son of Jack Straw MP. He is a contributor to LabourList and declares himself a "Labour member and supporter" on the website Change We Need which is about a book he co-edited published by the Fabian Society.

The Assistan Editor of LFF is Shamik Das who also contributes to LabourList.

Other authors include Tony Dolphin (works for the IPPR which has strong links to Labour according to wikipedia), Laura Chappel (also works for the IPPR), Martin McCluskey (who tweeted "makes me proud to be Labour" 10th Sep).

Things get worse. On their "Thanks" page (presumably listing the people who have paid money to set this blog up, they ask for donations on the site) they give thanks to Progress which describes itself as, "the independent organisation for Labour party members and trade unionists." Also mentioned are Cathy Ashton (any relation to the Cathy Ashton who is a Labour member of the House of Lords?) and Peter Kellner (any relation to the Peter Kellner who is married to Cathy Ashton from the House of Lords?). There's also room to thank Marcus Roberts and Karin Christiansen who presumably are the same people who used those names to write contributions to the book mentioned above edited by Will Straw by "Labour members and supporters".

I'd be very interested to hear what definition Left Foot Forward has for "partisan" that allows such a blatantly Labour-supporting bunch to be called "non-partisan".


Will Straw said...

We are a non-partisan blog because we do not have a slavish commitment to any particular party. Instead, we have clearly set out our progressive values and stated that, "Because we are progressive and because of the aims we’re committed to, we often find ourselves in agreement with left of centre policies and politicians. But we are focused purely on the quality of policies and furthering progressive goals, rather than on promoting individual politicians and parties."

Yes, there are Labour party members who have supported the blog or written for it but there are others who are not associated with the Labour party at all. We are constantly on the look out for new contributors so long as they share our values and are not afraid to challenge the Labour Government when we believe they are wrong.

We have already posted articles opposing the Government's position for example



A Jew said...

Thanks for replying.

I can't agree that not being slavish is the same as being non-partisan. ConservativeHome, for example, is not slavish to the Tory Party but is clearly partisan. Your blog is the same. The links to the Labour Party are so great that you cannot be anything other than partisan. To pretend otherwise is, in my opinion, a little dishonest.