November 3, 2007

MAYBE THE NEOCONS DO RUN EVERYTHING...:

Gertrude Himmelfarb: Brown's guru: It is the unashamed moralism of the doyenne of US necons that appeals (Paul Vallely, 03 November 2007, Independent)

Tony Blair, you will recall, was the chap with the Big Tent. Nothing so crass as that for Gordon Brown. But consider the speech he gave on liberty and the need for a new Bill of Rights earlier this month. And look at the list of sources he cited: the Magna Carta, Milton, Locke, Voltaire, John Stuart Mill, Macaulay, de Tocqueville, Orwell, Churchill, Green, Hobson and Tawney, Jonathan Sacks, Gertrude Himmelfarb...

Hang on a minute. Gertrude Himmelfarb? Isn't she the extraordinarily right-wing historian who has been described as "Queen Bee of US conservative intellectuals and cheerleader for the Bush administration"?

Er, yes, that's the one. And the Labour leader is not just quoting her. He's written the introduction to the British edition of her new book The Roads to Modernity: the British, French and American Enlightenments. More than that, he invited her to lead a seminar at No 11 Downing Street when he was Chancellor. And if the doyenne of American neocons feels well enough – she's 85 now – he's promised her she can have the launch party for the new volume in No 10.


What next for the other Tory party? Arthur Laffer for Chancellor of the Exchequer?


Posted by Orrin Judd at November 3, 2007 9:07 AM
Comments

I think most people who read her books will find that, politics aside, she writes very well and is a very accomplished historian. She knows the Victorian age upside-down and inside-out.

Meanwhile, Gordon Brown is not a blinkered ideologue who immediately rejects a person's counsel because of some political differences. How "Anglo" of him. The chatterers won't forgive that easily.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at November 3, 2007 9:56 AM
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