Blair’s former chief speech-writer shares tweet by Guardian journalist – who shared Times hit-piece. But sharp-eyed Twitter user spots uncomfortable connection
Philip Collins writes for the Murdoch Times, among other publications – and used to be chief speech-writer for one Tony Blair. He was not slow to share a tweet by a fellow centrist, the Guardian’s Rafael Behr, when Behr shared a Times article written by one of Collins’ colleagues.
The article was an attack on Jeremy Corbyn for his foreword in 2011 edition of “Imperialism: A Study”, by JA Hobson. Hobson’s writings, like many of his contemporaries, such as the likes of Winston Churchill, include antisemitic comments.
But Collins has an issue – and it was spotted by Twitter user Tom Williams:
As Williams observed, Collins’ 2008 Prospect piece titled, “Liberalise or die“, referred in glowing terms to the achievements of ‘radical liberals’ of the early twentieth century – and JA Hobson specifically:
Williams assessment was brutal: “opportunism and hypocrisy”.
Philip Collins has been contacted for comment.
As the SKWAWKBOX showed earlier, the centrists who idolise the likes of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and others – and who have attacked Corbyn today for writing a foreword to a book – have a problem. Their heroes also praised Hobson – and others who have said and done awful things.
Gordon Brown even wrote a glowing foreword to a book about another historical character known for racist comments, as one of Collins’ colleagues found out to his embarrassment.
Most people, most of the time, can separate historical characters’ achievements from their almost inevitable unsavoury side. Surely Philip Collins is among those who can exercise that discernment.
So why did he – along with many of his fellow centrist politicians and writers – fail to do so this time?
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