Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Visions of Brown

Gordon Brown tells the Parliamentary Monitor it is time to "adapt and rethink New Labour policy." But his spin doctors have played down the comments and Nick Robinson thinks we should not get too excited.

Nevertheless, there are, to my mind, some intriguing straws in the wind in this article for those of us who had all but given up hope of seeing Mr Brown set out a distinctive post-Blair agenda, notably his admission that after more than 11 years in power Labour has not improved social mobility.

"We need to be honest with ourselves: while poverty has been reduced and the rise in inequality halted, social mobility has not improved in Britain as we would have wanted," he says.

"A child's social class background at birth is still the best predictor of how well he or she will do at school and later on in life. Our ambitions for a fairer Britain cannot be satisfied in the face of these injustices."

If this is an attempt to finally give his administration some moral purpose beyond remaining in power as long as possible, then it has to be said that he has waited until five minutes to midnight to do it.

He now needs to put some flesh on these bones in Manchester the week after next. If he doesn't, we really will have to conclude the long-awaited "vision" is simply not there. Indeed, some of us could surely be forgiven for having concluded that already.

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3 comments:

Letters From A Tory said...

The lurch to the left has begun.

UK Voter said...

It is quite simply too little, too late. This government has had 11 years to implement change, they were full of promise and have had both the majority and the opportunity. They have blown it.

They are now just hanging on and we are all waiting for a change.

Diablo said...

Interesting to see the flurry of media appearances over the last few days by Labour ministers telling us how well the schools building programme is going and how well local schools have done in the GCSEs and A-levels or how many innovative schemes there are for reducing obesity. In my own BBC area (Look North) I have seen new schemes for reducing graffiti or stopping (sorry, discouraging) parents parking on zig-zag lines outside schools by stationing PCSOs outside them for the next three weeks.

It can't be a coincidence, can it, that the Labour Party Conference is coming up in a week or so?

Your later post on the "Fear of the fear of crime" perhaps gives us a clue?