All entries for Sunday 28 November 2004

November 28, 2004

Why are the government letting the Tories create the political landscape?

According to something I heard on the radio today when I was half-asleep, the Tories are currently doing worse in the polls now than they were just before the 2001 election under William Hague. Yet still, the government are relentlessly trying to prove that they are every bit as true-blue Tory as the Tories. Why? What are they worried about? They harp on about 'choice' when what they should be concentrating on is ensuring that local hospitals, schools, etc. are good quality; they try to prove how exceptionally tough they are on crime and 'anti-social behaviour' (which sounds like a very Maoist, Cultural Revolution phrase to me); they go on about 'security,' in whose name they propose to introduce even more draconian and proscriptive legislation; they bend the knee to the White House in the most disgusting and subservient fashion imaginable; and they fear the Tories in the Lords so much that they have spent much of the past eight years trying to formulate a policy which means that they don't actually have to ban fox hunting (which was only frustrated when their own MPs showed more backbone than usual and put their foot down).

Have Blair and the Labour party actually deviated so far from their roots that they actually believe in this stuff, or are they still so paralysed with terror at the thought of losing their precious power that they will do anything to keep it and think this is the way to do so? For me, the Labour party will never go far enough to the left, but they are currently such a long way to the right that the entire discourse in British politics has become confined to a tiny strip of ground far removed from much of the population. This, not a cynical media or a wave of apathy, is the reason why so many people are turned off politics.

November 2004

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