While I’m on the subject of the Poles in the UK Parliament, I’ve got a question. Has Denis MacShane’s slide into absurdity been a gradual, steady thing, or has it gone in fits and starts? If the latter, are there key moments that one needs to know about? I can remember that I once used to think he was a more intelligent than average politician whose opinions were worth paying attention to — but that seems like a very long time ago now. Maybe it was just because he appeared to know something about European social democratic politics, and I have an unreasoned prejudice in favour of people who appear to know something about European social democratic politics?

5 thoughts on “MacShane”

  1. One theory about Denis MacShane which fits with all the available evidence is that he writes his articles in about 10 minutes and doesn’t check them for logical coherence, strength of argument etc. His thinking, presumably, being that there is no personal benefit in putting a lot of effort into something more thoughtful when he gets paid the same either way.

    Being known as an MP who will produce articles quickly on any subject is, after all, guaranteed to ensure a steady flow of requests.

  2. By the way, since you’re there — I forgot to take a proper bingo card to the meeting, but I did hear “Nordic countries” (in the panel on fair taxation), “Robin Cook” (from Neal Lawson at the beginning), “civil liberties” (almost certainly, probably from Helena Kennedy in the higher education session), “not new enough and not labour enough” (from someone or other, probably Neal Lawson), and “Inequality” (passim).

  3. I think it basically started during his short career as a Minister, when he was first called on to talk about matters he didn’t understand, and got much, much worse post 2005 when, political career over, he decided to reinvent himself as a foreign policy rentagob (he also joined the Scoop Society around the same time).

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