Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Dull, uninspiring - or just plain honest?

Margaret Thatcher quoted St Francis of Assisi and promised "where there is discord, may we bring harmony," before going on to run a government that left the country bitterly divided between those who caught the 1980s zeitgeist and got rich on privatisation and financial deregulation, and those, like the Durham miners and the Sheffield steelworkers, whose jobs were deemed surplus to requirements in the modern service economy.

John Major promised a "classless society" and "a nation at ease with itself," noble aspirations maybe but well beyond his power to deliver, eventually leaving six and a half years later with the country in a state of deep ennui and as class-ridden as ever.

Tony Blair said "we were elected as New Labour, we will govern as New Labour," before proceding to govern for ten years like an Old Tory, defining his premiership in opposition to the views of his own party to the extent that, though it might have been new, it ceased to be Labour in any meaningful sense.

Today, Gordon Brown simply said he would "try his utmost," and get on with the work of bringing about change. No, it's not the kind of political leadership we're used to in this country. But after the disingenuity, false hopes and vacuousness that has gone before, it's the kind we desperately need.

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7 comments:

Justin said...

...before proceding to govern for ten years like an Old Tory

But Paul, he did it with the complicity of all those around him including his next door neighbour.

maria said...

Gordon Brown has NO MANDATE and aims to continue discriminating against the English. Call yourself a socialist? Health apartheid might not matter to you but it does to me. So does the West Lothian question.

Stop wittering about the 1980s - you are far more arrogant and smug than anybody back then. You are a smug, self righteous hypocrite. You support somebody who has NO MANDATE TO GOVERN US and make it out to be a virtue.

I just can't believe you.

Anonymous said...

Dear Maria

Steady the Ship

I do not understand Paul's strange confidence (or is it desperate hope) in Mr Brown, whose excessive taxation & over-regulation of our Pensions and Everything Else is bringing our Economy to its Knees, now that the UK's Manufacturing Industry is disappearing abroad

However, Paul (of all people) cannot justifiably be accused of being smug arrogant etc

I may be all of these things but Paul isn't

and certainly I always find myself better-informed, after Paul's posts, however much I may not share his views



hypocrite -

Bryan McGrath said...

Paul, I agree with the sentiments expressed here, GB is not Sleeping Beauty, awoken with a kiss to find the kingdom in a mess. He is either a wimp or a Blair co-conspirator, probably a bit of both.

The dash for nukes over the last year, both Trident and power, I believe to be the price GB paid for Blair's last year.

GB got the policies he wanted, but Blair can take the wrap. GB couldn't afford to allow the old Party Political Broadcast of him condemning Trident to play a part of the next election: clever politics, bad financial management.

My forecast is the only significant change, as against the 'business as usual' Nu Lab spin, will be a watering down of ID cards. Not because of any principled position of GB, just the fact the cost can't be justified. A voluntary ID card produced at the same time as passports will come in, the rest will be scraped. So joke schemes like the NHS buying in biometric scanning equipment will be dropped. GB will, off course, spin it as listening to the concerns of the people: more likely the concerns of financing the Public Sector Borrowing Requirement.

Roger said...

Maria, I do wish you'd stop saying that Gordon Brown has no mandate. He does. He is the accepted leader of the party with the largest number of MPs. It's pretty basic stuff really. Anyway, the Tories and the Press made sure that everybody knew at the last General Election that GB was likely to take over from TB as Prime Minister, and Labout still got the most votes.

Roger said...

Maria, I do wish you'd stop saying that Gordon Brown has no mandate. He does. He is the accepted leader of the party with the largest number of MPs. It's pretty basic stuff really. Anyway, the Tories and the Press made sure that everybody knew at the last General Election that GB was likely to take over from TB as Prime Minister, and Labout still got the most votes.

Anonymous said...

Dear Paul

I do wish that I were a better proof-reader and did not keep on making typing errors

Please delete "hypocrite" from my last comment !!!

Yours ever

G E