Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Prime Minister's New Clothes

There has been a lot of talk recently about the death of Nu Labour and, given the tax ‘n’ spend nature of the pre-budget report, a return to the ways and policies of Old Labour. There is certainly some truth in the assertion that the policies of Brown and Darling are more typical of the pre-Blair Labour party. And there will be those older Labour MPs who will be rubbing their hands with relish that their party seems to be drifting back to the socialism of old. However, I’m not so sure that Brown has gone Old Labour on us. In fact, I’m not so sure that Brown has a plan or any ideological commitments whatsoever. Brown’s priorities aren’t ideological; they are simply based around him clinging on to power for as long as is possible.

Because we can talk about Brown representing a return to Old Labour, but who was the Chancellor of the Exchequer under the Nu Labourite Tony Blair? Ah, that would be Gordon Brown then. Who was one of the key architects of Nu Labour? That would be Gordon Brown as well. And who argued that John Smith’s economic policies were not centrist enough? That would be Gordon Brown, the man who is currently the apple of the eye of the Old Labour lefties. Even if you do think Gordon is the saviour of socialism in this country, then you have to concede that he is a very recent convert to that movement.

Of course, you could argue that Brown was just waiting until the capitalist pig dog Blair was out of the way before he reverted to promoting the true, pure course of socialism. So, let’s cast our minds back to when Gordon became PM. What was his initial pitch for the role? Was it a full throated, bellowing call for a return to the socialist Labour past? Or was it a half-baked spin campaign to project an ersatz image of Brown as a refreshingly un Blairite, down to earth, anti-spin politician? Isn’t it funny how Brown only really started nationalising, taxing and spending when his popularity was so low that even safe seats in Scotland were heading in the direction of the SNP - when his own core supporters seemed to be turning their backs on the Labour party he leads.

Just look at Gordon’s record in power. Now championing himself as a class warrior frantically working to save the economy, this is the same Gordon Brown as the man who wanted to shaft the poor with the 10p tax debacle. This is the same Gordon Brown who championed the very bankers he now shrilly denounces. This is the same Gordon Brown who was going to put VAT up before he decided to reduce it. There is nothing behind Brown’s policies other than a desire to find something – to find anything – that gets a decent headline in the media and a couple of plaudits for his party.

Gordon Brown and his army of Labour thugs love whacking the Tories with the stick of ideological vacuity. They argue that the Tories have no real policies, no real ideology, and no real ideas for the future. And with this, I would be inclined to agree with the Labour party – I cannot see what the Tories have to offer. But likewise, there are no indicators of what Gordon Brown actually stands for either. His government is twisting and turning like a worn through, paper thin flag in a hurricane. They are not waving, but drowning, and desperately clutching at whatever straws float across their horizons. There is no plan, no blue-print for the future. Just poorly thought-out ongoing knee jerk reactions to whatever crisis is in the papers on any given morning.

This isn’t Gordon the socialist; this is Gordon the would-be populist. He can try to pitch himself as a man of gravitas and substance as much as he likes; the truth is very different. He is a paper politician, blowing in the breeze. He stands for nothing other than the prolonging of his time in Number 10. And as such, the only real difference between Brown and Blair is that the latter had a much more effective spin machine.

It is only a matter of time before Brown is exposed across the country as a vacuous man pretending to be so much more than he actually is. And for the sake of this country, I hope his vacuity is comprehensively and indisputably unveiled to all sooner rather than later.

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At 4:48 pm , Blogger James Higham said...

Brown and Blair made their pacts with the devil in 1991 and 1993 and it was all downhill after that. The John Smith obstacle had a way of resolving itself and then it was full steam ahead.


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