Will Straw, puts his foot in it?

The Nulabour extended family overreaches itself?

Our Will (collective will?) Our Will (collective will?)
One of the many strange things about Nulabour is its stance on the hereditary principle. On the one hand they do all they can to mess up the House of Lords, which was not without faults but working well when they came to power. But on the other hand they are without shame when it comes to finding jobs for their own kith and kin. The ever tedious Tony Benn is always willing to push one of his younger relatives into 'a nice little earner', a job in politics. And of course the ultimate job, seen as a birthright for some Nulabour heavyweights, is a seat in the House of Commons. Philip Gould, the pollster Tony Blair depended on, has watched his daughter, Georgia, try and fail to get a seat. Also Tamsin Dunwoody tried and failed to win her mother's old seat, Crewe and Nantwich.

As said before, strange is the word. Emily Benn, the latest member of Clan Benn with natural governing tendencies, was just three years old when grandpa quit the House of Commons. But there she is with him in tow on the campaign trail without a hint of embarrassment; was he really an advantage? What will she do next, wear her mother's clothes? Very strange as us older folk remember Tony working his socks off to get rid of the family title via Peerage reform; how times change.

In the Gould case quite a lot of opposition to Gould junior came from within Nulabour but that was the Blairites versus the Brownites, again! But clear for all to see was the fact that had her name been Jones she would have wasted her time even thinking about it.

The Dunwoody saga is equally interesting. For it shows how out of touch a party machine can be. Losing the Crewe and Nantwich by-election, with that name, was a double blow to Nulabour. True there is, always will be, an element of risk in an election but it's clear a 'good name' makes them go all funny and lose their objectivity.

So now to Will Straw, the son of Jack Straw. The lad, thus far, has not been put forward for a seat but he does run the blog, 'Left Foot Forward'. Again we can assume the name helps, he's not making the tea for the bloggers he writes it. His father Jack was, on his way up the greasy pole, employed by Barbara Castle. It is said she liked him a lot hinting that he had a useful touch of cunning about him. Is this trait found in the son? Well sort of. Thanks to the super-smart editor of the Spectator, Fraser Nelson, we get a post on the online version with the title 'No place for porkies in digital politics'.

Yes, politics is a bit nerdy at times so here is a summary. Young Will has, according to Nelson, been a bit naughty and perhaps not too clever. Are the problems with Straw's blogging a misunderstanding, did Straw miss important detail or did he set out to move from the gentle world of blogging to the rough and tumble of spinning?

Here is the link to the Spectator article so, as they say in the best thrillers (!), now read on -


Will Straw once worked at the Treasury under Gordon Brown. I wonder if he would have got through the door with a name like Wheat or Corn?