Friday, September 30, 2005
Tackling the New Labour culture
The scene was more Kate Moss than Kier Hardie. Then, to cries of "welcome back Walter" from a small crowd of supporters, he began to speak, his voice retaining a trace of his German origins. "What happened to me yesterday isn't really important," he said - but the lunatic scene all around him disproved the claim. Trapped inside a surging prison of cameramen he denouncing Labour for being "irresponsible enough to hire heavies. The party has to be open, it has to debate important issues," he said.
His message was simple and it stung Labour where it hurt. He wanted "a culture which is open and open to argument. This we are in danger of losing". He was certainly winning as he rolled forward in a media ruck that came close to crushing him and everyone else.
We already know that Labour are treating our civil liberties in the same cavalier and authoritarian way. Perhaps we should have guessed that they would do this by the way they run their own party. Walter Wolfgang should know better. He is not in danger of losing the fight for an open culture, he has already lost it.