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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Geoffrey Howe dies, aged 88

Howe was Margaret Thatcher's longest serving Cabinet minister – and the man credited with precipitating her downfall.

The former Conservative chancellor Lord Howe, a key figure in the Thatcher government, has died of a suspected heart attack, his family has said. He was 88.

Geoffrey Howe was the longest-serving member of Margaret Thatcher's Cabinet, playing a key role in both her government and her downfall. Born in Port Talbot in 1926, he began his career as a lawyer, and was first elected to parliament in 1964, but lost his seat just 18 months later.

Returning as MP for Reigate in the Conservative election victory of 1970, he served in the government of Edward Heath, first as Solicitor General for England & Wales, then as a Minister of State for Trade. When Margaret Thatcher became opposition leader in 1975, she named Howe as her shadow chancellor.

He retained this brief when the party returned to government in 1979. In the controversial budget of 1981, he outlined a radical monetarist programme, abandoning then-mainstream economic thinking by attempting to rapidly tackle the deficit at a time of recession and unemployment. Following the 1983 election, he was appointed as foreign secretary, in which post he negotiated the return of Hong Kong to China.

In 1989, Thatcher demoted Howe to the position of leader of the house and deputy prime minister. And on 1 November 1990, following disagreements over Britain's relationship with Europe, he resigned from the Cabinet altogether. 

Twelve days later, in a powerful speech explaining his resignation, he attacked the prime minister's attitude to Brussels, and called on his former colleagues to "consider their own response to the tragic conflict of loyalties with which I have myself wrestled for perhaps too long".

Labour Chancellor Denis Healey once described an attack from Howe as "like being savaged by a dead sheep" - but his resignation speech is widely credited for triggering the process that led to Thatcher's downfall. Nine days later, her premiership was over.

Howe retired from the Commons in 1992, and was made a life peer as Baron Howe of Aberavon. He later said that his resignation speech "was not intended as a challenge, it was intended as a way of summarising the importance of Europe". 

Nonetheless, he added: "I am sure that, without [Thatcher's] resignation, we would not have won the 1992 election... If there had been a Labour government from 1992 onwards, New Labour would never have been born."

Jonn Elledge is the editor of the New Statesman's sister site CityMetric. He is on Twitter, far too much, as @JonnElledge.