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Matthew TaylorI don’t know whether to be flattered or insulted – my old friend, John Prescott, has launched an attack on me on his website which has been picked up in several other places.

JP describes me as a ‘pointy head’, a policy wonk’ and ‘the type of person I would describe as a Mekon’.  I am flattered by the suggestion that I am an intellectual; I have never really got over someone introducing me as ‘Matthew Taylor – he runs a think tank, but is more tank than think’. 

Unfortunately, JP, in attacking me, is misleading his readers.  He says that I said that Labour should ‘host the white flag’ and ‘give up’.  In fact, what I advocated in my blog was what I saw as Labour’s best chance of staying electorally competitive – to focus on the economic crisis and try to put party politics on the back burner until there is some good news.

Maybe John’s definition of a Mekon is someone who tries to understand an argument before attacking it.  On this basis many more of us would qualify as being ‘pointy headed intellectuals'. 

All of which reminds me of the old Soviet joke:

Q. Why do the Polish secret police go round in three’s?

A:  One who can read, one who can write and one to keep an eye on the two dangerous intellectuals!


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