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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Lord Sainsbury pulls funding from Progress and other political causes

The longstanding Labour donor will no longer fund party political causes. 

Centrist Labour MPs face a funding gap for their ideas after the longstanding Labour donor Lord Sainsbury announced he will stop financing party political causes.

Sainsbury, who served as a New Labour minister and also donated to the Liberal Democrats, is instead concentrating on charitable causes. 

Lord Sainsbury funded the centrist organisation Progress, dubbed the “original Blairite pressure group”, which was founded in mid Nineties and provided the intellectual underpinnings of New Labour.

The former supermarket boss is understood to still fund Policy Network, an international thinktank headed by New Labour veteran Peter Mandelson.

He has also funded the Remain campaign group Britain Stronger in Europe. The latter reinvented itself as Open Britain after the Leave vote, and has campaigned for a softer Brexit. Its supporters include former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and Labour's Chuka Umunna, and it now relies on grassroots funding.

Sainsbury said he wished to “hand the baton on to a new generation of donors” who supported progressive politics. 

Progress director Richard Angell said: “Progress is extremely grateful to Lord Sainsbury for the funding he has provided for over two decades. We always knew it would not last forever.”

The organisation has raised a third of its funding target from other donors, but is now appealing for financial support from Labour supporters. Its aims include “stopping a hard-left take over” of the Labour party and “renewing the ideas of the centre-left”. 

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. 

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