The Daily Telegraph recently published a list of Britain's '100 Most Influential Lefties' - the list being chosen by that wonderfully impartial pair, the pro-war Conservative blogger Iain Dale and the pro-war Euston Manifesto signatory Brian Brivati.
Have a butchers at what they've come up with.
77. NORMAN GERAS
Author of the Normblog. Geras was Professor of Government, University of Manchester until 2003 but now writes one of the most influential left of centre blogs in Britain. A founder of the Euston Manifesto, Geras’s views were important in shaping the pro war left’s view of the war in Iraq.
84. DAVID AARONOVITCH
Columnist, The Times
David Aaronovitch’s influence on the left probably suffered from his move from The Guardian to The Times but he remains one of the essential reads in left wing political journalism in the UK. He was a leading figure in the “pro-war” or decent left before the invasion of Iraq but has since changed his mind about the conflict.
With one or two exceptions, you have to get down to Number 100 until you find a real leftie. And here of course, Brivati and Dale's pen portrait is rather less fawning.
100. JOHN PILGER
Pilger remains able to command the front pages of left wing journals at will. Though he has been writing essentially the same story for the last thirty years – everything that is wrong in the world is the fault of the USA – he continues to exert a waning but visible influence on the younger and more impressionable parts of the left.
Yeh, sure Brian and Iain. Only in a deluded neo-con universe could Norman Geras, the author of a mind-numbingly boring blog which gives details about how its author queues up to buy tickets for cricket matches, be called more 'influential' than a world-famous and hugely respected journalist whose writings, films and television documentaries continue to inspire millions.
And who, I hear you ask, do our two 'expert' judges rate as Number One and Two on the list of 'Influential Lefties'? Yup, Gordon Brown and Tony Blair. That invasion of Iraq was oh, so, 'left-wing' wasn't it? And PFI really defines socialism, doesn't it? Pass the sick bag.