Web Only: the best of the blogs

The five must-read posts from today, on Blair, Pakistan and illegal drugs.

1. Has the Telegraph been got at during the morning?

Mike Smithson at PoliticalBetting has screen grabs showing an interesting change of wording in the Telegraph's Blair coverage.

2. Don't talk to Frank

At Left Outside, otimtom blogs on the collision of politics with recreational drug use.

3. Blair, Wakefield, climate change -- beware of scapegoats

There's masses of zeal in the air this week. Michael White says he doesn't like witch-hunts, not even of people he mistrusts, because our minds are best kept open against the pressures of conformity.

4. Pakistan massacres sabotage Baloch peace deal

Peter Tatchell writes a guest blog on Pickled Politics about the scant chances for peace between Islamabad and Balochistan, following massacres of peaceful protesters by security forces.

5. Vintage Blair

Another excellent Chilcot inquiry blog from Paul Waugh, this time analysing Tony Blair's performance today.

 

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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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