People of Influence Whom You hardly Know – The Julia Hobsbawn – Sarah Macaulay (Brown) Partnership And Other Events of Interest



Julia Hobsbawm: is the daughter of the Russian Jewish Marxist historian Professor Eric Hobsbawm.


Eric Hobsbawm enjoyed a close friendship with  fellow Marxist Ralph Miliband, father of Ed and David Miliband but they never agreed over the Hobcbawn’s  refusal to condemn Stalinism’s 30 million dead, or the brutal Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956, on the grounds that the socialist end always justified the means. Relations between them deteriorated when Hobsbawn suggested in an article in Marxism Today in 1983 that the Left might prefer ‘a Thatcher government to a reformist Labour government’ in which they had lost faith. Hobsbawn was invited to the Milibands’ for New Year’s Eve and the two ended up having a terrific row, but they later made it up. Like all Left-wing thinkers, Ralph Miliband knew how to explain away awkward events.


She became involved with the Labour Party at the suggestion of Ken Follet who introduced her to the late Mo Mowlam and her late husband John Norton. Between them they founded and ran the Tony Blair  networking fund raiser, called The Thousand Club. In 1991, Julia persuaded the De Beers diamond mining and marketing conglomerate to become a major donor to the Labour Party.

From 1993 to 2001, she was in partnership with Sarah Macaulay in the PR firm Hobsbawm Macaulay Communications. Ever the matchmaker Julia was an influence encouraging the romance of Gordon Brown and Sarah who were clearly compatible. Sarah married Brown in August 2000 and left the partnership in May 2001.




More about the Tony Blair inspired fund raiser 1000 Club. McCaulay & Hobsbawm’s party-plan networking organisation for those with an annual £1,000 or so to give to Tony, which had existed since the early 1990s. It was described as a way to, “make middle-class participants feel like big shots” and we now know the sum falls far from that of a peerage.  “The covering letter accompanying the club’s promotional literature in March 1996 – laden with such Blair clichés as, “young country” and, “new economy” — promised invitations to special summer and Christmas receptions, an annual conference dinner, campaign briefings and chances to meet members of the Shadow Cabinet. The reply-paid envelope was addressed to Hobsbawm Macaulay Communications in Soho’s Poland Street. Within five years, the event had grown considerably in stature. The 1996 dinner saw 450 tickets sold out a month before it was held in July. Hobsbawm Macaulay refused to release the guest list. “This is a private function”, an employee explained. “People who have bought tickets have asked not to have their names disclosed.” Names that did slip out included Bruce Shepherd, managing director of Shepherd Offshore; Caparo’s Swraj Paul; Ulster Unionist David Montgomery, chief executive of the Mirror Group; and Hanson director Peter Harper, the company’s linkman to Labour.”




Much of their work involved pandering to the vanity of the rich who wish to meet the famous: “But the prize for hypocrisy goes to the Labour politicians who condemned Prince Edward’s wife for exploiting her royal connections, while averting their gaze from the Chancellor’s wife, Sarah Macaulay. Over the years she and Julia Hobsbawm built up a successful public-relations firm. Early on, they had significant help, from Geoffrey Robinson, who was then buying his way into Gordon Brown’s favour and Tony Blair’s government. He lavished some £100,000 on fees to Hobsbawm Macaulay, partly in payment for organising his hospitality: once again, the rich met the famous.”(Bruce Anderson The Spectator, April 14, 2001)




The summer of 1997 was an extraordinary time for Britain. Tony Blair had just won a triumphant election, the Spice Girls had goosed Prince Charles, and a bubbling London scene was busy ushering in a new era of Cool Britannia. Last but not least, Michael Bloomberg was about to burst onto the social scene. Bloomberg hired a modish public-relations outfit to set up his own private party network. Hobsbawm & McCaulay (HMC) offered a sort of bespoke introduction service to the city’s elite, organizing a series of discreet, informal dinners with social tastemakers like newspaper baron Conrad Black (now Lord Black of Crossharbour to you) and his wife, the conservative commentator Barbara Amiel, through to the influential art dealer Jay Jopling. “Mike wanted to be launched, and it was our job to introduce him, judiciously, to everyone who mattered,” says one who works with Hobsbawm, whom the industry describes as having “one of the most envied little black books” in London. “He was unknown one minute — and very hot the next.”




Hobsbawn is a member of the, “British American Project for the Successor Generation”, to give it its original, and now quietly forgotten, title, is an elite corporate/political talking and networking organisation. Its aims are to ensure that the left and liberal intelligentsia are not hostile to US foreign policy interests. It was founded in 1985.



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