Two Years of Dead Socialists

Jennie Lee, below, marks the completion of two years’ worth of Dead Socialists: the series began on 17 November 2002 with the commemoration of Robert Owen, who may very well be commemorated again tomorrow, if I find the time to post. Fifty nine Dead Socialists were commemorated in the first year, a further sixty nine were added in the 2003-4 session, and there are a similar number in my notes, awaiting appropriate festivities.

Which brings me on to my annual call for More Dead Socialists: please send me the names of those you’d like to see celebrated in this ever-popular featuer at the Virtual Stoa: we still have very few Dead Socialists from Latin America, Africa and Asia, and I’d like to see an ever-greater eclecticism in those who are singled out for Dead Socialist attention.

Make your nominations in the Comments, or email me privately.

UPDATE [8pm]: Three dozen new Dead Socialists suggested by readers: many thanks! Keep ’em coming!


So it looked as if I was prescient to file Boris Johnson under “In the bin” on the sidebar. Except that he isn’t in the bin at all. Why would Johnson want to be on the front bench? The Tories are so short of potential ministerial talent that he’s bound to be offered ministerial office in the unlikely event of the Conservatives forming a government, and right now he’s best off with a national platform at the Spectator and no strong ties to the doomed Howard leadership.

UPDATE [2pm] Now here’s a much better idea (via Eric): Boris for the new Bond!

Stephen Pollard, Idiot

Also great fun, of course, over the last few days, has been the saga of Stephen Pollard and YouGov. Pollard wrote a characteristically irritating post about how YouGov wasn’t very good, in his opinion, which prompted a damning response from one of the chaps who works there in the comments box (reproduced here).

A little later, Pollard announced that “Some of you will notice that a post which was here earlier today about YouGov, the pollsters, has disappeared. I’m afraid that, for reasons which I can’t go in to, I have had to pull it.” This is mysterious, for the title of the original post was “Pollard Speaks, YouGov Quakes”, which makes it highly unlikely that Pollard pulled the post after YouGov pointed out that it was libellous, Pollard not being the kind of guy to quake in the face of any kind of legal threat.

All of this then left regular readers puzzled, first as to why Pollard continued to leave the offending post up on his site here, despite having told the world that he had pulled it, and second as to why he went on to insist that he’d won some famous victory over YouGov (“Game, set and match”), even though, quite patently, he hadn’t.


(For more discussion, see Anthony Wells’ blog here, and for a good point well made try here.)