Good Riddance to Tristram Hunt 238

Super-posh Tristram Hunt was famously imposed on his Stoke on Trent constituency – with which his only connection is inheriting a lot of fine porcelain – by the Labour National Executive Committee as a “Mandelson ask”. A number of good local candidates were blocked from standing. A scion of Progress, he was the epitome of the decline of the UK political system into a choice between two groups of Tory, with the New Labour Tories being more right wing than the Conservative Tories.

Hunt always did have a sentimental attachment to supporters of political change, and he wrote about them. He liked them as long as they were Victorian and safely dead, plus with some additional attribute. They had to be literary like Thomas Carlyle, or arty crafty like William Morris, or very rich like Friedrich Engels. Hunt sent himself up as a kind of sanitised E P Thompson, writing romantically laced histories of pioneers of Victorian social progress, only leaving out the oiks of whom he found Thompson unaccountably fond.

Now he has resigned from parliament and will be paid £160,000 a year to potter round the Victoria and Albert looking at arty crafty things. I very much doubt we will see him much at the V&A’s new ghetto in Dundee.

Parliament is well-rid of him. A third rate posh historian and a fourth rate right wing politican.

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238 thoughts on “Good Riddance to Tristram Hunt

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  • George

    ” …. the decline of the UK political system into a choice between two groups of Tory, with the New Labour Tories being more right wing than the Conservative Tories.”

    Thank you for that Craig. In one line you have offered a more astute political observation than the entire mainstream press. I also like the bit about romanticising revolutionary figures as long as they are long dead and can be viewed from a hazy distance. Indeed – this might be the general trend for every progressive movement: it is strenuously resisted at the time but once the effects can no longer be disarmed or denied, the instigators are cheerfully absorbed with an air of “Look – they’ve done all the work. You don’t need to bother.”

  • michael norton

    But former UKIP leader Nigel Farage tweeted: “Tristram Hunt’s resignation from Stoke will be followed by many others. Labour is doomed.”

    • michael norton

      UKIP person came in second to Hunt
      at the last election.
      maybe Saint Nigel will
      GO 4 IT?

      • Shatnersrug

        Michael, you and me should have a friendly bet over stoke :-), me being an old labour and you a kipper!

    • Shatnersrug

      Michael, not very good at winning actual seats though UKIP, are they? It amazes me that anyone listens to Nige’s election punditry – he’s generally lost.

        • Shatnersrug

          Ha!! Spare me!!! you know dammed well popular vote means nothing – Nigel knows the rules just like trump and hills did

  • Sixer

    I’d rather he hadn’t decamped to the V&A, however. He thinks there should be entrance fees to all our free museums.

  • Richard Samson

    Thanks for this clear write-up, Craig. I too found Mr Hunt very hard to stomach in his disguise as a Labour MP.

    • michael norton

      I would bet that the husband of Jo Cox will try to stand.
      Probably backed by The White Helmets.

  • Sharp Ears

    ‘Respected historian’ according to the Heil.

    Lecturer at Queen Mary UofL. He must bump into the BLiar acolyte Rent A Tool there.

    Former British Prime Minister makes rare UK appearance to mark 100th meeting of Mile End Group
    Speaking to the Mile End Group at Queen Mary University of London this morning former Prime Minister Tony Blair spoke of the need for governments to modernise and adapt to a rapidly changing world
    28 October 2013

    ‘Blair addressed an audience of academics, students, politicians, civil servants, journalists and businesspeople on ‘How Government Really Works’.

    In a session chaired by John Rentoul of the Independent on Sunday, Mr Blair spoke of the need for governments to modernise and adapt to a rapidly changing world. Blair claimed that today’s more “assertive electorate” view the political system as old-fashioned, and that more politicians needed to have experience of the wider world before going into politics.’

    Hollow laughter.

    • Habbabkuk

      It may be of interest to readers that the “Mile End Group” at Queen Mary was founded by Professor Lord Hennessy, a longtime member of the politics/history faculty there. He’s a specialist in government and the Group was intended, I understand, to let his students have some direct contact with practitioners in Westminster and Whitehall (to be noted that the majority of those reading history and politics at QMUL are not from the socio-economic classes which are unlikely to have had the opportunity for much contact with such practitioners in the ordinary course of events. To be further noted that Peter’s classes and seminars were invariably over-subscribed)

      • bevin

        “..the majority of those reading history and politics at QMUL are not from the socio-economic classes which are unlikely to have had the opportunity for much contact with such practitioners in the ordinary course of events. ‘
        A rare instance of candour, though to what purpose…

        • Habbabkuk

          To show that Peter Hennessy cared enough about his students to think up an innovative way of trying to make the courses he taught better, more interesting and more relevant (by having his students meet, listen to and be able to question practictioners of governance and government).

          • Herbie

            “practictioners of governance and government”


            Satan’s apprentices, more like.

            They (the students) should be meeting people who make stuff and do stuff.

            Real people.

            Not the manipulators of people.

            PR and Advertising goonies and whatnot.

            What use are they.

            Anyway, that college Queen Mary went from being down on its uppers in the 80s to Russell Group member just recently.

            The investment of money in 90s was unbelievable.

            Like incredible.

            Its funders, no longer the local garment makers and guilds.

            No. Now they’re Bankers. And Big bankers.

            It’s a whole new multi-faceted university, a long long way from the People’s Palace that Pinter knew.

            It’s a new thing.

            I view it as something similar to the buying out of the universities that went on in the US.

            That old awkwardness, just dies.

          • Habbabkuk

            Oh dear, Herbie now reveals he has a down on Queen Mary in addition to all his other downs about almost everything. 🙂 Has the Russell Group got anything to do with it, I wonder?

            “They (the students) should be meeting people who make stuff and do stuff.”

            I’m sure they’ve already done that in their “ordinary” lives, Herbie. That’s the whole point.

  • Habbabkuk

    I should be interested to hear if any of the commenters – or at least those who are apparently voracious readers of history (Lysias, perhaps?) share your judgement of Mr Hunt being a “third rate” historian and for what reason(s).

    • Herbie

      I think there’s an imbalance between Tristram and Hunt.

      I’m not convinced he’s proper posh with a name like Hunt.

      I mean, Tristram is just a parental choice, a hope.

      Hunt is his breeding.

      You can’t just wipe that out with a posh Christian name.

      Is he Christian?

      Probably a materialist.

      Definitely not proper posh.

  • Sharp Ears

    I have just confirmed a recollection that he is a member of Labour Friends of I s r a e l. He visited the plucky little democracy in 2013 under their auspices.

    Purpose of visit: Fact-finding visit to I….and the Palestinian territories with defence and security focus. (Registered 30 October 2013)

    Literary fees, writing fees, £12k pa from Queen Mary. Several large donations, £70k odd from PwC who provided him with a research asst., a fair amount of jazzing around the planet and so. He’s done well for himself from his time in the HoC.

    • Hmmm

      Your silly and pointless post encapsulates your entire existence.
      And this post encapsulates etc etc…

    • Habbabkuk

      “I have just confirmed a recollection that he is a member of Labour Friends of I s r a e l. He visited the plucky little democracy in 2013 under their auspices.”

      Relevance to anything?

      Apart from introducing the subject of Israel and the FoI into every single thread, that is.

      • Sharp Ears

        Suggest you do some research to establish the percentage of FoI members in each party.

        It is said to be 80% of Conservative MPs. Labour similar. Ask yourself why British MPs show allegiance to a foreign country.

      • AliB

        Suggest you watch the Al Jazeera documentary- available in Criags earlier post on 12th Jan – The Lobby.

  • Conan

    Was he ‘head hunted’, as most of these jobs are these days? Be interesting to know if recruitment consultants were engaged and, if there were, who they were.

    • Sharp Ears

      Saxon Bamfylde Conan. Nice fat fee of course.

      ‘Martin Roth, the former Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, left the Museum at the end of October. The recruitment process to appoint his successor is underway, led by the V&A’s Chairman of Trustees, Nicholas Coleridge, supported by a core group of Trustees, and recruitment consultants Saxton Bamfylde. In the interim the Deputy Director, Tim Reeve, will be Acting Director, working with the Senior Management team to oversee the day to day running of the Museum until the new Director is in post. The appointment of the new Director will be announced once the process is complete in Spring 2017.’


  • Sharp Ears

    The Mile End Group appears to be history. LOL.

    This site is temporarily unavailable.
    If you own this site, please call customer support at (480) 505-8877

    Other attempts to find it lead to Go Daddy Go – a domain site.

    I read their Previous Events and saw Ed Balls listed. Was he speaking about his and Yvette’s double main home flipping or similar? Scraping the barrel (of lard) there.

  • Anon1

    Point taken about Hunt, but since when have socialist politicians been close to the working class? They are almost invariably middle-class, quite often public-school educated, wealthy, sneering, patronising, hypocrites. Look at Michael Foot, or Tony Benn, or Jeremy Corbyn (check out the house he grew up in). This is why the UKIP is taking the working class vote in old Labour areas. They despise the arrogant, condescending, middle-class leftist who knows what’s best for them.

    And think of all the Bernie supporters in the States. Were they not for the most part young, privileged middle-class types? The working class in the deprived areas of the US voted for the billionaire Trump. They don’t want radical socialism. They want the opportunity to work hard and succeed.

    Craig is absolutely a part of this patronising left-wing elitism. Recall his arrogant sneering at deprived voters in the South East and their “little Englander” concerns. He couldn’t bear to be around them.

    • Pete

      @Anon1, “And think of all the Bernie supporters in the States. Were they not for the most part young, privileged middle-class types? The working class in the deprived areas of the US voted for the billionaire Trump.”

      In fact, most white working class Trump voter I heard interviewed said they’d have voted for Bernie, but that Hillary had stitched him up in the primaries so they didn’t get the chance.

      As regards professional politicians, they’re all middle class by definition, whatever their political persuasion, as they all have quite well paid jobs in offices reading and writing papers, attending meetings, and telling other people what to do. When a politician is said to be “working class” it merely means they have working class parents and were working class themselves before they became full time politicians.

      “Arrogant condescending middle class leftist who knows what’s best for them???” This could apply to some, e.g. the repulsive Diane Abbott, but not to Corbyn. Have you ever actually listened to him? As for Michael Foot, my mum remembered seeing him speak in Plymouth in the 1940s, he was massively respected by working class people like her family.

    • Paul Miller

      And Farages background? The problem is people seem to think he is some working class savior which is as far from the truth as you can get.

      When you talk about ‘lefties’ what is it that makes you right wing? privitisation? not taxing companies/the rich? Paying at the point of use for the NHS? The opposite of all these are not radical as some of the press and politicians like to make out, rather they don’t make them and their pals, the 1%, as much as money. If you’re part of that 1% or a well off and not in need of the state ‘at present’ to help you out then fair enough but you never know what the future holds. Some people hold that view along with compassion with their fellow humans in a country/system that works for all. I’d rather be a lefty than someone that only thinks for what they can get in their own wee bubble.

      • Harry Vimes

        It’s a fact of life, Paul, that the Uriah Heep brigade are always with us and holding us back, doffing their caps and tugging their pathetic little forelock ‘s.

    • Geoffrey

      Yes,I don’t think he is too keen on the local working class of where he used to live. He would much prefer them to be replaced with better educated hard working Eastern Europeans.

    • K Crosby

      That’s because the histori role of Liarbour is to be the Judas goat of British fascism. Has Liarbour ever endorsed a strike?

  • michael norton

    The Last General Election

    Party Candidate Votes % ±
    Labour Tristram Hunt 12,220 39.3 +0.5
    UKIP Mick Harold 7,041 22.7 +18.3
    Conservative Liam Marshall-Ascough 7,008 22.5 +1.5

    So Labour increased their vote by 0.5%
    but UKIP increased their vote by 18.5%

    There is a fairly good chance that UKIP can STUFF LABOUR

    • Hmmm

      Stoke folk hate Tories. That’s why they didn’t want to vote for the cheeky Hunt… A proper Labour candidate will win, as Corbyn continues his run in winnable elections.

      • Shatnersrug

        Labour will only win in Stoke if they run a local with good ties with the community. I’m sure Corbyn and McDonnel would insist on it, but the NEC still will not accept that blairism is the rot in the party, and will undoubtedly try to scupper any non progress/Fabian approved Oxford PPE thicky yes men/headgirl.

        • Hmmm

          I think they will try to scupper Corbyn and to hell with Blairism. They will want a candidate that resembles a tory. That way UKIP win and Corbyn can be bashed by Kuennsberg again…

  • Jo

    Is this the latest chapter in Labour? Are those MPs able to secure new jobs planning to sacrifice their current ones for the causes of “Saving Labour”?

    Will it be like the staggered shadow-cabinet resignations by all those “moderates” we saw in the summer last year? Will, like then, we see some MPs announcing their final resignations live on the BBC and breaking down in “tears” like Angela Eagle did (so unconvincingly) when it was her turn? Will Laura Kuennsberg still be the one to run breathlessly into the Daily Politics studio in to announce the contents of her latest text from her contacts inside the PLP?

    • AliB

      Hunt and Jamie Reed in Copeland were both going to have problems as the boundary changes means their constituencies will disappear, so perhaps its not surprising they are jumping ship as they may well not have had an alternative place to stand as MP.

      • Jo

        Indeed, AliB, but I wonder if the “moderates” among those affected by the boundary changes will take the opportunity to resign but cite Corbyn’s leadership as the reason in order to keep up their games, and the pressure, on him.

  • John O'Dowd

    Hunt really does epitomise New Labour. His manner of leaving is as telling as his means of selection and imposition on his constituency. If ever proof were needed that his type, and the numerous other Oxbridge refugees whose careerist entryism (and many with motives more sinister than ‘careerist’) destroyed a party founded to represent the working class in Parliament, we need look no further.

    (The question as to whether the Westminster Parliament could ever provide a forum for the interests of workers – and those deprived of work – is moot)

    As soon as it became obvious that a *career* is no longer on offer with Labour, he’s off like a whippet out of a trap – or rather, more fittingly, a thoroughbred out of the stalls at Royal Ascot.

    As it becomes ever clearer that the Labour Party is finished in England as well as Scotland, the requirement to detach ourselves from a PermaTory UK grows ever more urgent.

    • michael norton

      I do not think Tony Blair did too bad at ammassing a vast fortune since he left NULABOUR

      so many, many houses and flats

  • Martin McCausland

    Is it necessary to use the sneering phrase “arty crafty”, as if arts and crafts are not for working-class people?

    • Martyn Wood-Bevan

      Lots of “crafty” working-class people end up in prison. Not so sure whether there are many “arty”ones, though.

    • Shatnersrug

      I think you’re showing your own insecurity there Martin. Craig wasn’t being sneery at the arts and crafts movement, just approval by members of the liberal establishment. If they actually read the words of William Morris rather than just decorating their living rooms with his wallpaper they’d probably run a mile.

  • Paul W Mower

    The Labour Party has for a long time been totally detached from the electorate and has no chance of election success with the old guard of 1970’s dinosaurs. Tristram Hunt has done the right thing by leaving a near defunct institution with its weird inward looking attitude. The death knell for the Labour Party is ringing and it will get ever louder as time progresses. There are “None so blind as those who will not see!”

    • Anon1

      Careful. There are people here who actually believe Labour will win the next general election.

      • Hamish McGordon

        I’ll start to believe that Labour could win in 2020 if at the Copeland by-election UKIP don’t stand, urging their supporters to vote Conservative, and Labour hold on to the seat in spite of that. If Labour lose the seat, surely Corbyn should quit. He won’t, though.

        • bevin

          Supposing that Corbyn did quit, with what would you replace him? A more telegenic, Murdoch friendly neo-liberal I suppose.
          Is it impossible to conceive of politics being about issues-living standards, individual rights, preserving the planet, treating everyone with consideration, defending the weak, controlling the powerful- rather than the images that they evoke in the fevered minds of prostitute pundits?

          • Hamish McGordon

            However principled Mr Corbyn may be, the Labour party will be in a state of panic if they lose the Copeland seat and he refuses to go.

        • Jo

          You didn’t answer Bevin when he asked this so I’ll ask you. Who would you replace Corbyn with?

          For while many say Labour’s collapse is all down to him I happen to believe it’s a combination of things, including the behaviour of many within the PLP, that have switched people off. A great many things were going on last year politically yet all this lot could concentrate on was bringing down their own leader and staging phoney resignations, signing letters attacking their leader, telling lies about offices being broken into and crying fake tears all with the BBC close enough in the loop to be right there to report these events almost live. What sort of message did that send out to people out here who are struggling, seeing these idiots behaving like children?

          So, who would you put in there instead? Serious question.

          • Hamish McGordon

            If Lab win in Copeland, no immediate change of leader is necessary. If Lab lose, they’re doomed, and the person I’d recommend for the leadership would be the one who responds most constructively and realistically to that defeat.

  • Harry Vimes

    WTF just happened to the honey trap thread? It disappeared from the blog the moment I posted on it.

    • John Goss

      I think it might be because we all get those spam dolly-bird requests if we have a FB account. Or some may have been genuine requests from people who admire Craig. I usually check whether they are genuine. The best way to check is by looking at their Friends. If they are all men it is dick-bait.

  • bevin

    The challenge to Labour is to use this occasion to put an end to the NEC management of nominations which has been used to prevent socialists or local persons with community loyalties from getting into Parliament.
    I noted with dismay that the transparently fake “women only” panel is being employed at another bye-election. Nothing could be more ridiculous than for sensible democrats to go along with this manipulation because they haven’t got the guts to say boo to the goose of identity politics.
    Benches full of empty headed vicious careerists in skirts and pant suits- all doing what Blair and Mandelson order- is what you get from these quotas. Labour is living on borrowed time, it must reform itself, its leadership cannoyt keep putting off the dreadful moment of confronting the crypto fascist scum who have been running the party-and riding the Trade Unions into destruction- for decades. The rank and file’s ability to overcome diseases in human form such as Ian McNichol is almost worn out, as the successful purging of the membership rolls and the near cancellation of Corbyn’s candidacy showed last year. (They need to take a look at Momentum too.)

  • Sharp Ears

    Bradshaw (the master of coiffure) to follow Hunt, hopefully, if he can find a suitable niche like Tristram’s.

    He is also LFoI as well as on the Advisory board of the Henry Jackson Society.

    The sooner these Bliarites are cleared out from the Labour party, the better.

    Hunt’s resignation letter was being read out on WATO just now. You have never heard so much bilge when the content was compared to what he said when elected.

    • Habbabkuk

      “Bradshaw (the master of coiffure) to follow Hunt, hopefully, if he can find a suitable niche like Tristram’s.

      He is also LFoI…”

      There we go again – those devilish Friends of Israel.

      Personally I believe the Friends of Israel have as little to be ashamed of as would Sharp Ears were someone to dig out and make public her true identity.

      • Chris Rogers


        What about actually standing up for their own constituents, rather than promoting a racist state with racial policies followed not dissimilar to those pursued by the NAZIS. That these buggers care more about Israel – a very small county with approx. six million in population – rather than their own constituents and the UK in general sums it all up for me – most are traitors to our nation and certainly not friends of their own Jewish constituents or non-Jewish constituents – which is why having actual local persons as representatives in Parliament must be a priority, not middle-class non-entities who’s only interest is their bloody career – see David Miliband as a classic example.

  • Sharp Ears

    The V&A is not a happy ship by all accounts, including this one in the Torygraph.

    Martin Roth didn’t like the V&A any more than the V&A liked him
    5 SEPTEMBER 2016
    Interviewed last year on BBC4 by Lucy Worsley, Sir Roy Strong discussed his tenure as Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum between 1973 and 1987. Worsley suggested that his time there had been largely unhappy, to which Strong wearily replied that the V&A had always been unhappy and always would be.

    For a place that gives its millions of annual visitors so much pleasure, this seems sadly true. A Byzantine maze of conflicting departments and interests, in which curators are at daggers drawn and administrators and accountants vainly try to rationalise and modernise encrusted ways of working and entrenched positions, the V&A remains an endemically dysfunctional and ungovernable institution.


    And today’s effort from the same writer which I am not registered to read unsurprisingly..

    Tristram Hunt is too cultured for today’s anti-elitist Labour Party but does he have the strength to unite the V&A?
    13 JANUARY 2017

    ‘Although he never featured on anyone’s list of runners and riders and has no direct experience of working in the cultural sector beyond membership of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s board, Tristram Hunt’s appointment to the directorship of the Victoria and Albert Museum is a daring and intriguing one that opens up new possibilities for a much-loved institution suffering from complex internal problems and divisions.

    Hunt was awarded a doctorate in urban history at Cambridge before he became MP for Stoke on Trent in 2010, and as well as fronting several television series, he has published substantial books on the culture of the Victorian era.

    His privileged background, private education and sophisticated intellectual bent has prevented him from ….’

  • MBC

    Wow! Blistering, but a really sharp piece of writing. He is the second to vote with his feet and leave the collapsing Labour Party. Interesting where they find shelter, in their natural habitats, isn’t it? He to the V&A and the other one, Reed, to the nuclear industry. I wonder if Owen Smith will go back to big pharma?

    • harrylaw

      Will Owen Smith go back to big Pharma, I think he will, but he did complain about his last company still sending viagra pills to him long after he left them, when he had not ordered any. Someone said his wife ordered them.

  • Mark Golding

    I rather like the flippant somewhat satirical tone Craig has used for the welcome departure of Tristram Hunt, a man deluded by regal manliness and his anticipated connection between militarism and monarchy i.e. a vision of a Prince (er.. Harry?) at war with grisly natives in some far off land…


  • Mark Golding

    In the same vein of militarism, war, deceit and lies that contaminate the event horizon I must supplant a further attempt by MI6 and the CIA to construct another strike on Damascus in the next five days which according to a senior commander would involve a miscalculation expediting an air attack within the area of Mount Mezzeh North of Mezzeh neighborhood.

  • Tom

    No surprise that John McTurncoat has already taken to the airwaves to stick the knife in a little further.

    • Harry Vimes

      Talking of which I’ve just noticed this site’s village idiot is still lurking about the blog, blissfully sat in his self constructed metaphorical stocks polishing his turd collection.

      Excuse me for a while. I have to pop round to the shops for a fresh supply of popcorn.

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