Sunday, April 02, 2006

A Stage Struck Blair?

I was listening to A Point of View this morning, something that I don't often get the chance to do when BondWoman is around, and Brian Walden was discussing "New Vision" politics, all very interesting indeed. I suppose I have lived through two versions of the New Vision politics he was discussing, the "white heat" vision of Harold Wilson, - who in his own way was almost as unpopular as Blair is today, but at least he was a committed socialist, even if he wanted to get rid of restrictive practices and outdated methods of production - and the New Labour vision, which is nothing more nor less than conservatism under a red flag. Wilson's "white heat of technology" faded very quickly, but Blair's New Labour has taken a little longer to tarnish; Brian Walden puts it much better than I can:-

"The New Vision can't stay forever in its super-active phase. Slowly it deflates. I don't mean it collapses, or that everything it tries fails. I mean that a lot of the wind goes out of it and it shrinks to a normal size.

Most of its supporters stick with it, but they're not dancing in the streets any more. There's a rather sulky, disillusioned atmosphere around and a lot of recrimination. Some pundits claim that matters can't go on like this and big changes are on the way. Perhaps they are, but I sound a word of caution.

It's quite false that we can't struggle on in a messy, unsatisfactory, unidealistic country for very long. On the contrary, we can and usually do."
I think that the "rather sulky, disillusioned atmosphere" just about sums up what New Labour has descended into. Personally I think that Blair has to go, and the sooner the better, but when will it happen? The Autumn would be a very good time, too long for me, but a good time to enable a smooth takeover of the reins, but will he go? Now that is a question and a half, and Brian Walden thinks that also:-

"I know it would be more orderly for the Labour Party if Tony Blair announced he was resigning this autumn. I would expect that to happen if he showed the slightest desire to go. But he doesn't. Everything about him bespeaks a man who can't bear to come off the stage. Those New Visions last longer than you'd think."
I think that I very much agree with that, Blair is "stage struck", and will have to dragged kicking and screaming off of the political stage, but who will close the curtain, or in Brian Walden's teminology, "Who's going to go down in history as the person who wielded the dagger?", and we both very much doubt that it will be Gordon Brown because, to quote Brian Walden again:-

"Those willing to stab Wilson in the back were nobodies who had no following. The people who did have support wouldn't touch the dagger. They thought that he who kills the king can never inherit the crown."
If it's true that "he who kills the king can never inherit the crown", then I would much prefer it to be Gordon who "wields the dagger" because the thought of him as Prime Minister fills me with even more dread than having Blair!

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