Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Gordon Brown: ‘Without a vision…

…the people perish’ (Prov 29:18). And so the people waited with bated breath for the Prime Minister to give them an image of the future – the single reason he gave for cancelling an election – and this blessed vision would be the newest of New Labour: distinctive, inspirational, innovative, compelling and convincing.

And lo, when the people heard, many of them they might have preferred to have perished. Indeed, Labour MP John McDonnell said: ‘This Queen's speech has failed to lift morale among Labour supporters because it isn't providing any clear direction at a time when people are increasingly losing confidence in our ability to deliver the policies in public services they require’.

Gordon Brown promised not only more of the same, but more of the same from a decade ago; from the era of Old Labour. And so we have promises of top-down state control; enforced education up to the age of 18; one size fits all bureaucracies; interference in people’s personal lives; further restrictions on civil liberties; patronising edicts; increased taxes; and more constitutional vandalism (not least through the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, which rather renders all future elections something of a charade in any case).

His vision, if it may be called such, is to purloin Conservative ideas and pretend they were his intentions all along – reduction of inheritance tax, aviation duty reform, an immigration points system, a border police force, tax breaks for married couples (mooted), charges on ‘non-doms’ (Cranmer could go on, but readers and communicants get the point).

This is not a vision at all. And waiting for one from Mr Brown will prove about as fulfilling as waiting for Godot. There was no grand narrative and nothing new, simply because the Prime Minister is incapable of renewal. And Cranmer was particularly irritated by the promise to protect people’s ‘essential’ rights and liberties. It reminded him of Ted Heath’s assertion that the membership of the EEC would involve no erosion of ‘essential’ national sovereignty. Since it is the Prime Minister who now decides what is essential and what is not, the promise is meaningless.

Of course the ‘vision’ was greeted with derision on the Conservative benches, but what was the verdict of the disciples of Mr Blair? What thinks Peter Mandelson of Mr Brown’s ‘vision’? Stephen Byers? John Reid? Lord Falconer? Alan Milburn? They are silent; waiting behind the arras, biting their tongues, clenching their teeth, waiting for… waiting…

No, there is indeed nothing new under the sun, and the New Labour wheel has now come full circle. And this is quite excellent news. Two more years of this, and Prime Minister Cameron becomes a certainty. DV.


Blogger Savage44 said...

Listening to bits of the speech yesterday on the evening news, I was reminded of this passage in Milton’s poem Lycidas:

... such as for their bellies sake,
Creep and intrude, and climb into the fold?
Of other care they little reck'ning make,
Than how to scramble at the shearers feast,
And shove away the worthy bidden guest.
Blind mouthes! that scarce themselves know how to hold
A Sheep-hook, or have learn'd ought els the least
That to the faithfull Herdmans art belongs!
What recks it them? What need they? They are sped;
And when they list, their lean and flashy songs
Grate on their scrannel Pipes of wretched straw,
The hungry Sheep look up, and are not fed,
But swoln with wind, and the rank mist they draw,
Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread:
Besides what the grim Woolf with privy paw
Daily devours apace, and nothing sed ...

Milton was talking about the priests of his time, but the words seem so apt for Gordon Brown’s government and the way they treat us.

7 November 2007 at 10:23  
Anonymous nedsherry said...

Two more years of this, and Prime Minister Cameron becomes a certainty. DV.

Deo vomente? What will Cameron do to reverse the growing disaster? Nothing. Nigel Hastilow's punishment for speaking the truth demonstrates how deep the rot is.

7 November 2007 at 12:43  
Blogger Johnny Norfolk said...

Vision. All labour can do is spend our money. They will have bankrupted us soon then the IMF can have the vision like they did for labour in the 60s.

8 November 2007 at 14:47  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

I am not sure I understand this demand for something new. We are constantly demanding that politicians, business people, people in the entertainment business, etc. give us something new. Often, what was old worked perfectly well. But it seems the curse of modern times is to overlook it, simply because it is old.
So we are burdened with reality television when good dramas of the past were so satisfying. And we are forced into factory like supermarkets, when the corner butcher used to serve us well.
There seems to me to be a deep irony or oddity in Conservatives demanding newness when I thought the whole point of conservatism was to conserve. Or am I even more old-fashioned than even you, Your Grace...?

8 November 2007 at 22:54  

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