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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Guest Post: Staines and Hain - The Wonder Years

Much hilarity over on Guido's blog this week as our fearless watchdog of public morality catches Peter Hain, candidate for deputy leader of the Labour Party, bang to rights.

Here's what Hain plans to do in the first 100 days of a new Labour government.

"By the Monday, after polling, the new government should be launching the next phase: the first 100 days during which it must stamp a new approach on the nation.Exchange controls will need to be quickly imposed with new powers over foreign capital movements. All financial institutions and companies should be required to halt new investment overseas. The pension funds and other financial institutions should be required to purchase government stocks to fund a massive expansion of a rejuvenated National Enterprise Board. Immediate import controls should be imposed, pending full negotiations in the context of planned trade and planning agreements. Privatisation of British Telecom should be reversed......price controls should also figure during these first 100 days....It is essential to involve the unions directly over decisions in all economic activities etc etc

Shocking stuff, we're sure you'll agree, particularly if your a rabid libertarian with a thing for offshore investments and a flexible attitude towards taxation.

The trouble is, Hain's manifesto was written in 1983.

Of course, we've all done silly things when young. We'd like to tell you the silly things Paul Staines got up to when he was at university in 1986 but the last time we tried everyone's favourite libertarian champion of freedom of speech reached for his lawyer.

After their youthful hijinks, however, the similarities between our two heroes end.

Hain, needless to say, has long since disavowed the naive attitudes of his youth. A "political journey" he calls it. A euphemism which means he now votes for Apartheid-esque policies like house arrest instead of protesting against them as he used to.

Staines however is still the staunch anti-racist as he was in his younger years as his tolerance of characters such as 'little black sambo' in his comment threads testifies. We've yet to see him modify his views on taxation either.

Still, you can see why Staines would feel superior to the hapless Hain. Hain is fighting to be deputy leader of the Labour Party. Paul Staines blogs about Gordon Brown picking his nose.

(This is a guest post by Justin McKeating. You may remember him from such blogs such as Chicken Yoghurt and Iain Dale's Dairy)


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