Sunday, March 16, 2008

Out of office (2)...

No, I'm not talking about my hopes for the current corrupt government on the back of the worst poll results in a quarter century for the Labour party [Times] but reported in the same paper today, an ex New Labour stalwart has some fine things to say; why do they never say such things in office? (btw, that's a rhetorical question). In fact it appears in this case, even out of office Alan Milburn doesn't say too much [They Work For You] ; however, those fine words I mentioned, despite them being a rallying cry to poor Gordon's flagging party and popularity, are interesting to say the least:

"Victory went to the winner in the battle of ideas... [in the 1945, 1979 and 1997 General Elections] ...a body of new ideas replaced the prevailing orthodoxy. Today politics is struggling to come to terms with even greater changes: more assertive citizens, more diverse societies and more globalised economies. Together they call for new ideas, particularly a new relationship between the state and the citizen. As yet that call goes unheeded."

Currently there are no ideas, just changes to the colour of the icing on the cake. Clegg is a Cameron clone and Cameron is a Blair clone and on current 'performance' it would seem that any interchanging between the two major parties would only mean New Labour becomes Blue Labour - better but not good enough. I can understand the hanging on the sidelines whilst Brown gets a good kick-in - my God he deserves it - but the Conservatives need to do a lot more to be convincing, especially if they wish to attract the crucial 'swing to the right'...not the most appropriate phrase for today's UK politics but you know what I mean! More from AM:

"The modern state should not just enable. It should empower so that more people can realise their own individual aspirations to progress. The right wrongly rejects the state. The trick is to transform it so that the state controls less and empowers more. It is time to complete the post-war journey - from Attleeism through Thatcherism to Blairism – from the state being in charge to the state empowering the citizen to be in charge – from 'they control' to 'we control".

How I agree with Arlene from Liverpool as she comments "Fine words, Alan Milburn. You even sound as if you mean them. However, I do wonder if your piece is a placatory measure - a Trojan Horse. Time will tell, I guess. I hope that all readers will remain objective and suitably wary in the coming months and years." Objective indeed and very wary, especially of those that appear to have been poacher turned gamekeeper and now poacher once more.


Paul said...

It took the Conservative party a long time to realise the world had changed after the collapse of Communism and that polarisation of politics wasn't going to work, now people are a bit lost as to where they should go.

It was interesting watching DC interviewed yesterday on both Sky and BBC (I was down the gym). He was honest enough to say that Surestart was a good thing because his family had benefitted from it, that was good because if you read the MB's you will see that the Conservative supporters were slaughtering surestart as another Labour folly.

With regards to the state empowering people that's a fine idea but where are the next big ideas to come from? I actually believe that radical politics in the U.K won't happen again in my lifetime unless there is a huge shift in voter apathy, caused by immigration or meltdown in one of the big key areas.

Span Ows said...

Down the mean they force you to watch TV screens!

I agree with your last paragraph completely. There have been no dragons to slay/bogeymen to beat etc. The wrorying thing is that I suspect the immigation thing will CAUSE the meltdown in a key area.

re the surestart, of course it's a good idea but of course it's the parent/s out working that makes it a necessity. if peopel complain it's probably about the cost and that cost is really a job creation scheme. Surestart provides jobs for carers so that parents can do their own jobs without children getting in the way...double whammy or win-win?

Paul said...

We have a choice of 7 channels down the gym + the radio. It's not much of a social scene, you're in your own little media bubble but it means I get two hours catching-up with stories I might have missed.

Whether Surestart or another job creation scheme taxes have to pay for it one way or another - as you say is that win-win or not - I really don't know the answer.