Clarification

In their article this morning “Gordon Brown follows Barack Obama’s lead with cut in Trident subs,” The Guardian referenced the exclusive YouGov poll for Left Foot Forward which we published on Monday.

In doing so, The Guardian erroneously referred to Left Foot Forward as a “New Labour website.” Left Foot Forward would like to reassure its readers that this is not the case. As we have clearly set out in our About section:

“Left Foot Forward is a political blog for progressives. We provide evidence-based analysis on British politics, news and policy developments.

“We are a non-partisan blog. 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.”

We have written to The Guardian to seek a clarification.

9 Responses to “Clarification”

  1. LondonStatto

    Anything can be set out in an About section. Not everything set out need necessarily be the truth.

  2. Rory

    I have the impression that this website is much more likely to criticise the Lib Dem leadership than the government.

    ‘Lib Dem cuts weaken fight against corruption and fraud’

    I cannot remember seeing such a hostile headline directed at the Labour leadership on this website.

  3. Derrin Zikks

    this is an interesting, evidence-based take:

    http://asajew.blogspot.com/2009/09/non-partisan.html

  4. Derrin Zikks

    You haven’t defined “progressive”, and most of your boo-hooray stuff is vapid. What exactly is “public greed”? As opposed to private greed? Who is in favour of “administrative incompetence”, or against “safe communities”?

    Your MO is quoting a viewpoint, then citing a New Labour-friendly think-tank report that disputes it, with the prefix “in fact”.

  5. willstraw

    Thanks for the comment, Derrin.

    We set out what “progressive” means to us on our About page: http://www.leftfootforward.org/about/

    Public greed is greed using public money. That is by politicians, public servants or publicly owned companies. We are, of course, opposed to private greed too but have chosen to focus on these examples.

    We don’t suppose that anyone is in favour of the four things we are fighting against yet they still happen and therefore require scrutiny. The four things we are fighting for are different. For example, we emphasise safe communities “where poverty and inequality” are tackled. The Conservative Party oppose this approach with their inheritance tax policy.

    You are wrong about our MO. We have cited the OECD and ONS more than any other bodies.

    Best wishes,

    Will

  6. Derrin Zikks

    It’s not a set of categories I would pick as “progressive”, I suppose is what I’m saying.

    You can’t tackle inequality and poverty at the level of communities; and bad as public greed, so defined, might be, private greed, the ultimate source of poverty and inequality, is surely a much greater priority, and not just on the back of banker-bashing headlines.

    In any case the real “public greed” is the great number of parasitic private firms enabled by PFI, etc., or the teams of consultants public servants seem addicted to hiring; firms like Capita; or, historically, the arms industry and big pharma. Actual public servants lack opportunities to really cash in while engaged by the state. (They get that opportunity later, but this is a sideshow.)

  7. willstraw

    Thanks for this. I agree with a lot of what you’re saying and it doesn’t prevent us from writing about these other issues under other headings (including our general heading). For example, we have also written about inequality under the economy heading since we talk about “A proactive and sustainable economic policy that creates jobs, pulls Britain out of recession and towards a low-carbon and more equitable future.”

    All the best,

    Will

  8. LondonStatto

    The Conservative Party oppose this approach with their inheritance tax policy.

    The one that Labour stole and implemented badly?

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