Web Only: the best of the blogs

The top five posts from this weekend, on China, John Terry and Angela Merkel.

1. China is a very bad model for the left

At Liberal Conspiracy, Paul Sagar attacks left-wingers who admire the Chinese model of development. The country's phenomenal growth is achieved by systematically denying the civil and economic rights of its people.

2. Why's this been pulled from the Sky News paper review?

PoliticalBetting's Mike Smithson wonders whether the Mail on Sunday's front page was pulled from the Sky News website under orders from No 10. The paper reports on claims that Gordon Brown physically attacked a member of his staff.

3. What Dave should be asked about JT

David Cameron should be asked why John Terry, worth an estimated £17m, merits the Tories' pro-marriage tax break, says Sunder Katwala.

4. Disagreements with conservative base upset Merkel's second term

ConservativeHome looks at five factors damaging Angela Merkel's second term as German chancellor.

5. John McFall to stand down

J Arthur MacNumpty looks at the possible runners to replace John McFall, Labour MP for West Dunbartonshire.


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Jeremy Corbyn fans are getting extremely angry at the wrong Michael Foster

He didn't try to block the Labour leader off a ballot. He's just against hunting with dogs. 

Michael Foster was a Labour MP for Worcester from 1997 to 2010, where he was best known for trying to ban hunting with dogs. After losing his seat to Tory Robin Walker, he settled back into private life.

He quietly worked for a charity, and then a trade association. That is, until his doppelganger tried to get Jeremy Corbyn struck off the ballot paper. 

The Labour donor Michael Foster challenged Labour's National Executive Committee's decision to let Corbyn automatically run for leadership in court. He lost his bid, and Corbyn supporters celebrated.

And some of the most jubilant decided to tell Foster where to go. 

Foster told The Staggers he had received aggressive tweets: "I have had my photograph in the online edition of The Sun with the story. I had to ring them up and suggest they take it down. It is quite a common name."

Indeed, Michael Foster is such a common name that there were two Labour MPs with that name between 1997 and 2010. The other was Michael Jabez Foster, MP for Hastings and Rye. 

One senior Labour MP rang the Worcester Michael Foster up this week, believing he was the donor. 

Foster explained: "When I said I wasn't him, then he began to talk about the time he spent in Hastings with me which was the other Michael Foster."

Having two Michael Fosters in Parliament at the same time (the donor Michael Foster was never an MP) could sometimes prove useful. 

Foster said: "When I took the bill forward to ban hunting, he used to get quite a few of my death threats.

"Once I paid his pension - it came out of my salary."

Foster has never met the donor Michael Foster. An Owen Smith supporter, he admits "part of me" would have been pleased if he had managed to block Corbyn from the ballot paper, but believes it could have caused problems down the line.

He does however have a warning for Corbyn supporters: "If Jeremy wins, a place like Worcester will never have a Labour MP.

"I say that having years of working in the constituency. And Worcester has to be won by Labour as part of that tranche of seats to enable it to form a government."