Liam Byrne says that we are not a nation of Alf Garnetts. All this in a week when Martin Amis and Morrissey have had their own brushes with controversy on related issues. Could recent news lead one to conclude that we are however a nation of Reggie Perrins though? Or that the spirit of one-time friend of Bangladesh and Labour MP John Stonehouse is alive (after being presumed dead)? Perhaps Hazel Blears’ declaration during Labour’s deputy leadership contest that there would be “no return to the era of Life On Mars” was a tad premature. This link with containing the quip (where sadly women politicians including Harriet Harman are reduced to a comparison of handbags) seems to be from an age ago.

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