An Andy Davy cartoon of 21 August 2006 when Stephen Byers came up with the idea of solving our problems by cutting inheritance tax. Gordon was still Chancellor.
Before it was absorbed and included in this article, The Observer gave today's front page coverage over exclusively to comments from that political has-been (and never-was) Stephen Byers in order to continue to stir the pot against Gordon Brown.
The Observer states that Byers "told The Observer it was time for radical new ideas big enough to capture voters' imagination and claw back marginal seats".
Is Byers suggesting that Brown should emulate his friend Tony Blair with equivalents to (a) the embracing of a pro-capitalist agenda, (b) the invasion of Iraq without understanding anything about it and (c) the destruction of Britain's manufacturing industry?
We have memories in this area over Stephen Byers' clear failure as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to take moves which could have saved 700 jobs at Biwaters in Clay Cross in the year 2000. Matthew Carr in Red Pepper covered the shameful issue tellingly in their issue of January 2001. Unfortunately I can't find a link to the article, but I keep it on file.
I am no great enthusiast for Gordon Brown's political stance, but I am very much aware that it is Stephen Byers' form of extreme New Labourism that it at the root of Labour's current problems (problems which the media are stirring for its own news-making and ideological purposes). For as I said to Red Pepper, "you can try to reconcile the free market and social justice, but in the end you have to come off the fence and when they (New Labour) do so it is in the interests of capitalism".
It is not that I am biased against Byers, its just that I am not bothered who stops him.