Not a Tory supporter, Stephen?

Hold the press -- JC editor comes out for Cameron.

Stephen Pollard, the Brown-hating, Kaminski-supporting editor of the Jewish Chronicle, on his blog, 9 October 2009:

On a couple of blogs today I've been described as a Tory, as if that somehow undemines my arguments because I am parti pris in Kaminski's favour.

Problem is, it's nonsense . . . James Macintyre of the New Statesman, however, has behaved rather differently. In two posts at 13.14 he called me a "Tory supporter" and a "Tory sympathiser".

I emailed him to point out that I am not a Tory supporter.

Stephen Pollard, the Brown-hating, Kaminski-supporting editor of the Jewish Chronicle, in the Times, 27 April 2010:

Next week I will vote Conservative for the first time . . . It's strange looking at the election campaign and hoping for a Tory victory. But since Tony Blair went, Labour offers only tax-and-spend big government. I've encountered far worse racism from Labour supporters than Conservatives. And only one party offers to transform opportunities for the poor and the struggling middle classes. It's not Labour.

Surprise, surprise!

Update: Egomaniac Pollard has been quick to respond to my playful post above with a rather weird and intense post on his JC blog:

Hasan is clearly unable to comprehend the concept that someone might vote for more than one party in their lifetime. I have always voted Labour. Were Brown not leader and the party instead had a leader who did not disgrace the office of Prime Minister, I would probably have carried on doing so. But for reasons I outlined in my piece, I've decided now that I'll be voting Tory.

You might not agree with my reasoning, but I'm sure most people understand the idea that you can make up your mind about which party to vote for based on the evidence available to you.

Pollard is "clearly unable to comprehend" that I'm not questioning his right to vote for a party other than Labour; I'm just questioning the idea that he wasn't a Tory back in October when he was getting all high and mighty about James calling him a "Tory supporter" and a "Tory sympathiser". The idea that he only converted to the Tory cause in the period between October and April is, frankly, laughable.

As for him rejecting a party leader who has "disgraced the office of Prime Minister", why then did he vote for Tony Blair in 2005? As his own JC columnist Jonathan Freedland pointed out, back in October, he has long been a "fierce anti-Brown partisan". And I have no doubt that he'd decided to vote Cameron in October when he was shamefully defending the indefensible Tory alliance with nutjobs and loons from Poland, Latvia and the Czech Republic.

Ideologically, as Pollard himself concedes in his Times piece, he hasn't been on the left since the mid-1990s. He is a market-worshipper. In fact, he is a Murdoch-worshipper. From his blog, 28 August 2009:

This is to whoever wrote James Murdoch's speech today at the Edinburgh TV Festival (maybe the man himself?):

I worship you.

Mehdi Hasan is a contributing writer for the New Statesman and the co-author of Ed: The Milibands and the Making of a Labour Leader. He was the New Statesman's senior editor (politics) from 2009-12.

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Commons confidential: Vive May's revolution

It's a risky time to be an old Etonian in the Tory party. . . 

The blond insulter-in-chief, Boris Johnson, survives as Theresa May’s pet Old Etonian but the purge of the Notting Hell set has left Tory sons of privilege suddenly hiding their poshness. The trustafundian Zac Goldsmith was expelled from Eton at the age of 16 after marijuana was found in his room, unlike David Cameron, who survived a cannabis bust at the school. The disgrace left Richmond MP Goldsmith shunned by his alma mater. My snout whispered that he is telling colleagues that Eton is now asking if he would like to be listed as a distinguished old boy. With the Tory party under new, middle-class management, he informed MPs that it was wise to decline.

Smart operator, David Davis. The broken-nosed Action Man is a keen student of geopolitics. While the unlikely Foreign Secretary Johnson is on his world apology tour, the Brexit Secretary has based himself in 9 Downing Street, where the whips used to congregate until Tony Blair annexed the space. The proximity to power gives Davis the ear of May, and the SAS reservist stresses menacingly to visitors that he won’t accept Johnson’s Foreign Office tanks on his Brexit lawn. King Charles Street never felt so far from Downing Street.

No prisoners are taken by either side in Labour’s civil war. The Tories are equally vicious, if sneakier, preferring to attack each other in private rather than in public. No reshuffle appointment caused greater upset than that of the Humberside grumbler Andrew Percy as Northern Powerhouse minister. He was a teacher, and the seething overlooked disdainfully refer to his role as the Northern Schoolhouse job.

Philip Hammond has the air of an undertaker and an unenviable reputation as the dullest of Tory speakers. During a life-sapping address for a fundraiser at Rutland Golf Club, the rebellious Leicestershire lip Andrew Bridgen was overheard saying in sotto voce: “His speech is drier than the bloody chicken.” The mad axeman Hammond’s economics are also frighteningly dry.

The Corbynista revolution has reached communist China, where an informant reports that the Hong Kong branch of the Labour Party is now in the hands of Britain’s red leader. Of all the groups backing Jezza, Bankers 4 Corbyn is surely the most incongruous.

Labour’s newest MP, Rosena Allin-Khan of Tooting, arrived in a Westminster at its back-stabbing height. Leaving a particularly poisonous gathering of the parliamentary party, the concerned deputy leader, Tom Watson, inquired paternalistically if she was OK. “I’m loving it,” the doctor shot back with a smile. Years of rowdy Friday nights in A&E are obviously good training for politics.

Kevin Maguire is the associate editor (politics) of the Daily Mirror

Kevin Maguire is Associate Editor (Politics) on the Daily Mirror and author of our Commons Confidential column on the high politics and low life in Westminster. An award-winning journalist, he is in frequent demand on television and radio and co-authored a book on great parliamentary scandals. He was formerly Chief Reporter on the Guardian and Labour Correspondent on the Daily Telegraph.

This article first appeared in the 28 July 2016 issue of the New Statesman, Summer Double Issue