September 01, 2006

Headline news?

Interesting news headline on the BBC breakfast program…

“Tony Blair doesn’t say when he’s going to leave office”

Wow, spectacular, someone didn’t say something..

Does anyone else find this “Will he, won’t he leave” thing a bit tiresome… Even for the Blair haters, surely they realise he has an army of Blairites ready to take over… What about Brownites? Rubbish.. they’re ideologically identical. Brown said himself he’s commited the Blairite reform of public services, and to pull off any futher radical reform, the resentment in the Labour Parliamentary party will mean he will have to (eventually at least) resort to the arrogant, top down leadership style for which Blair is so infamous.

It’s all pretty insignificant anyway, the tories will win in 2009 and they can start happily start destroying everything Labour has achieved since they came into power.

The Third Way is starting to crumble, and I’m not sure if the imprint will last.


- 4 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. I never did get all this ‘third way’ business. It has always sounded like a bit of a fudge, a typical politician’s response, or just spin. So I looked up Third Way in Wikipedia (not the most neutral of sources, I know)....

    The term was first popularized by Benito Mussolini in the 1920s to describe Fascism

    ‘Third way’ is sometimes described as an idea of former social-democrats which replaces socialism with capitalism with a minimum of socialism, and a strategy to bring the social-democratic parties back to power where they have lost elections. Critics argue that third way politicians are in favour of ideas and policies that ultimately serve the interests of corporate power and the wealthy at the expense of the working class and the poor.

    I’ve just commented elsewhere that I think the retirment question is just typical New Labour spin. Well, it’s one way to distract attention from the other big stories at present.

    01 Sep 2006, 14:16

  2. hmm, seems a pretty pro-labour write-up there… should you have mentioned that you are a member of the Labour party?

    Should you have considered that when we “start happily start destroying everything Labour has achieved since they came into power” what we are destroying might a terrible record on human rights, very little done on the environment, ignoring the public will on any issue in which they disagree with what Blair (for it was he) thinks about a topic? Sending innocent British subjects to a foreign country (who has an even worse record on Human Rights than us and regularly holds people without trial for political reasons for indeffinate periods of time and uses torture) – even though they didn’t even commit a crime in that country.

    As for your idea of “the end of the thrid way”, it’s already over. It never really existed. Even if it did they even stopped talking about it years ago… at best what they called the Third way was just a pretty average Labour government working within Neo-Liberal paradigms.

    Still, good effort at trying to distract us or make us think that its not a big issue. According to Channel 4 News there is now pretty much no Labour MP in Wales (one of their strong-holds) who doesn’t want Blair to go ASAP or at very least name the date… cabinet ministers are increasingly pushing for him to go soon… the number of loyal Blair-ites has shrunk to the point where soon they will all be able to share a taxi home.

    *it’s also worth mentioning that I’m not currently a member of the Conservative Party (although will be again when I get round to re-joining)

    01 Sep 2006, 20:33

  3. should you have mentioned that you are a member of the Labour party?

    errr…I’m not..

    a terrible record on human rights, very little done on the environment…Sending innocent British subjects to a foreign country (who has an even worse record on Human Rights than us and regularly holds people without trial for political reasons for indeffinate periods of time and uses torture) even though they didn’t even commit a crime in that country.

    You’ve pretty much summed up all I find disappointing with the Labour record.. You’re not going to get me arguing for any of these, surely you realise this.

    The good points I was talking about though:
    1. One of the strongest economies in the world (although you may argue the foundations of this was inherited, the macro-economic management of the UK has been nothing short of spectacular)
    2. The trend of high investment in public services. People tend to forget how bad schools and the NHS were pre-1997. Standards, although still not perfect, have improved immensly. Fact.
    3. Efforts to cut poverty, including the laudable attempts to irradicate child poverty. The timetable set now seems far too ambitious, although that’s what it was, ambition.
    4. The national minimum wage and the new deal scheme, both opposed by the tories.

    Even with all the good points here, I will not be voting Labour at the next election, unless my local MP shows utmost distain for all the foreign policy mistakes Blair has commited, the close relationship to Bush and the autocratic style of leadership Blair took on.

    I heard a phrase that tends to sum all this up, “When in power, the Tories dismay, Labour disapoints”. The idealism and hope from 1997 has quickly seeped away, and the population (me included) does not think that a vote for labour is still a vote for social justice, either in the domestic or international sense. Perhaps it’s the better option of the two main parties, but that’s not good enough.

    04 Sep 2006, 13:25

  4. James

    Indeed the phrase “happily start destroying everything Labour has achieved since they came into power” is rather provocative. I would say in Labour’s favour that it has resisted the urge to turn back the clock to the pre-Thatcher days when Britain was way below its current position in world economic tables despite much less competition from developing nations. Its record on Human Rights includes introducing the Human Rights Act, which isn’t the first step that a fascist state would have taken, even if the Act has had some deleterous effects and Labour seems now to be rethinking aspects of it in the context of terrorism.

    Labour’s wittering about child poverty is mostly political spin. I had a short, terse email exchange with Polly Toynbee of the Guardian about this (I put it up as a post on my blog so you can make your own mind up about who is right). It has also masked unemployment figures by bloating the public service – save for the one area of the public sector which desperately needs more funding and staff, namely the armed forces. That’s particularly ironic given that it has been Labour’s endless foreign adventures that has overstretched the forces in the first place. And all the while Labour has faffed around with the NHS – chucking money at administration, setting silly ‘targets’ that have done nothing to improve services and never considering possibilities for more radical reform. It has also failed conspicuously to do anything worthwhile about the creaking rail service.

    So far I haven’t been impressed by David Cameron, who strikes me as the sort of annoying populist that Blair was a decade ago. But a changing of the guard may be the only way to reinvigorate politics here, if nothing else it would force Labour out of its comfort zone and then the tories would have to take account of any new ideas Labour developed in opposition (small hope, but there you are).

    It isn’t even worth mentioniing the Lib Dems.

    04 Sep 2006, 15:05


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