George Monbiot and Hazel Blears in Savage Back and Forth

Ben Cohen
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By Ben Cohen

George Monbiot wrote a very accurate piece in the Guardian on the broken political system in the U.K accusing the political classes of selling the public out for corporate money. Days later, Hazel Blears, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, fired back accusing Monbiot of being an armchair warrior, afraid to test his values where they would count. She wrote:

Seldom have I come across such cynical and corrosive commentary as that written by George Monbiot (

Politics is broken, so what do we do? We leave it to the politicians, 3 February


He starts with an attack on selected members of the government, calling

us "heartless, soulless, gutless technocrats" and "political ghosts"........

Ultimately, Monbiot misses the point: we need more people standing for
office and serving their communities, more people debating, engaging
and voting; not more people waving placards on the sidelines. His
entire political outlook is based on protesting about what someone else
is doing.

As many politicians, business leaders and climate change skeptics have recently found out, Monbiot is not a man to be messed with, and he fired back with a scathing piece tearing Blears record as a public servant to pieces. Some choice excerpts:

Courage in politics is measured by the consistent application of principles. The website

records votes on key issues since 2001. It reveals that you voted "very

strongly for the Iraq war", "very strongly against an investigation

into the Iraq war" and "very strongly for replacing Trident" ("very

strongly" means an unbroken record). You have voted in favour of

detaining terror suspects without charge for 42 days, in favour of

identity cards and in favour of a long series of bills curtailing the

freedom to protest. There's certainly consistency here, though it is

not clear what principles you are defending.

Then, it gets nasty:

You remained silent while the government endorsed the kidnap and the

torture of innocent people; blocked a ceasefire in Lebanon and backed a

dictator in Uzbekistan who boils his prisoners to death. You voiced no

public concern while it instructed the Serious Fraud Office to drop the

corruption case against BAE, announced a policy of pre-emptive nuclear

war, signed a one-sided extradition treaty with the United States and

left our citizens to languish in Guantánamo Bay. You remained loyal

while it oversaw the stealthy privatisation of our public services and

the collapse of Britain's social housing programme, closed hundreds of

post offices and shifted taxation from the rich to the poor. What

exactly do you stand for Hazel, except election?

And finally:

The only consistent political principle I can deduce from these positions is slavish obedience to your masters.

Blears hasn't responded as yet, but I'm not sure how she can come back from that. I report on Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts, and am familiar with the art of combat - in my humble (and some would say 'expert' opinion), I'd call it a KO in the 3rd.