Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Gordon is a Moron - And The Guardian has a 'punt'

Michael White starts his blog post analysing the media buzz around Brown's continuing capacity for self-immolation with the potentially hazardous statement 'Here's a punt...' [No, I'm not a betting man, you've seen his byline pic, you KNOW what I mean...]

ANY-WAY... call me prescient but not having posted since last October, its like nothing's changed at all...

Our new PM is still burning votes like they're going out of fashion and there's a whirlwind of media speculation over why he's such a dork, whether he realises what a dork he is and whether he can 'turn it around'. And the current majority view is that he cannot.

This isn't totally un-related to upcoming elections in which the Tories hope to score some high profile victories as a platform for a realistic assault on gaining a majority in the next General Election in 2010 / 11. Nor is it unrelated to the fact that the media needs change and crisis to write about and is showing a depressing willingness to see the Tories as 'new', not to say 'news'; when they are merely the old lot with a few wheelchairs and trees up front.

So, OK something has changed since last October, the wind...
- and Gordon Brown's face has got stuck in last Autumn's Mr Bean mode, caught between expressions like a drunk using a self-timer, vapid, flaccid and yet somehow curiously Blairite.

And lets get this straight now, the 'dork dialogue' of 'Gordon is a moron' propagated by the sneering public schoolboys over at Dave's house ISN'T THE ISSUE.

Its not even, just, the economy, stupid. Its the policies. And its the decisions, or lack of them. Above all it is the lack of change.

Gordon hasn't dithered, he's hardly made a decison since attaining power. A little window dressing but nothing of substance.

A 'Supercasino dropped' soundbite disguises approval for the far more damaging introduction of 20 odd regional casinos. A farcical Iraq withdrawal re-announcement disguises a continuing commitment to a doomed US-led middle east agenda whose most tragic consequences form an atrocity exhibition of misjudgement and misunderstanding from the refugee ghettoes of Damascus and Amman to the broken bridges of the Bekaa Valley and the whirling centrifuges of Iran.

And now everyone has noticed. That tends to happen if you keep appearing in public looking like that... Above all the media have noticed.
Thus, a feeding frenzy...

SO, what happens now?

Well, over at the Guardian Blog, where we started, Michael White tries to persuade us that its all about the moon. Well the timing of the Easter recess at any rate. In fact White ignores the potential for upcoming New Labour electoral slaughter virtually altogether. Something I find myself unable to do, since Gordon Brown's ineptitude might yet [and I still maintain hope that this won't happen] cost Ken the mayoralty in London and land us with Boris Johnson. A disturbingly bright and ideologically right wing politician who disguises his narrow free market instincts behind a smokescreen of bluster and mock-buffoonery.

I pray that London will not be taken in mayor-wise. Ken isn't perfect but he's been a good mayor thus far and has started laying foundations for London's future; despite the delays caused by Gordon's PFI nonsense vis the tube and by the mayoralty's odd mix of powers. He's even obtained some new ones in areas like housing which don't come into force until this month. Boris will simply focus on saving money by dismantling strategic institutions designed to protect London's voters from the unfettered profiteering of his mates in big business.

Don't be fooled by Boris' vagueness - you can't ask a plc nicely to act against its shareholder's profit-maximising interests. But you CAN use planning control to ensure that it has no choice - give it a choice and it can only reasonably put private profit before public good.

Over and above the London mayoralty White may be right to imply (if only through ommission) the limited potential for wider electoral damage to Labour on May 1st. After all, Labour were slaughtered last time around, but these ARE different constituencies and surely Labour doesn't want EVERY council occupying their every waking hour trying to make government look stupid.

That's the party politics - but what about the REAL politics?

Well, wake up and smell the coffee, children of Thatcher, your hearts are about to be broken again.

Through all the worst excesses and gravest disappointments of Blairism you all persuaded yourselves that one day Gordon [or was that Bevan] would rise from the ashes to reclaim the left's victory over the venal Tories for the, err, left. Or, if we must be less controversial - and, to be frank, more accurate - to reclaim society's victory for society, since the coalition of support for Labour in '97 gelled around belief in the need for social investment, rather than any narrow ideological position.

Blair mistook this absence of an old-fashioned sloganeering ideological belief in left-politics for an absence of belief in the ability of politicians to initiate change. He proceeded to spend ten years making this misunderstanding into a self-fulfilling prophecy, since he - like his right wing predecessors - saw society as a creature of market capitalism, rather than vice versa.

However the twenty and thirty and forty-somethings who had waited so long for change, through the long years of Tory rule, through the harsh Midwinter of King Tony, believed that under Gordon things would be different. There would be no more of Blair's rabbit caught in the headlights fear of losing the 'middle-England' voters whom he had never understood adequately enough to comprehend his own success in converting them to a belief in the need for public investment.

No more kow towing to the scaremongering of the Daily Mail. No more Chequers weekends for Ross Kemp. No more cosying up to Murdoch... well, you get my drift...

YES, the Red Wedge generation believed, things WOULD change come 'Gordon-time'...
Gordon believed in society. Gordon - unlike Blair - was interested in politics. Gordon believed in making change not just managing it. In intervention rather than explanation. Gordon would pull the levers of power rather than merely oiling the wheels of capitalism...

Oh f**k OFF!

Let's face it anyone who remained in the cabinet throughout the build up to the Iraq War and then stayed on through the debacle which that flawed and fraudulent decision was to become, has to be seen as of questionable morality and above all judgement. But Gordon went further, silently funding it. And that's before we even get onto tax rises for the poor to fund tax cuts for the better off.

If Gordon Brown wants a real legacy, and a positive one, he needs to find a new policy direction, one that he can make his own and yet which will appeal to his base. Thus far he's shown no inclination to do this, or even to understand how important this is.

He needs to start understanding this, FAST.

If only for the sake of Ken Livingstone and the people of London.

And 'Team Brown' needs to stop doing what they were up to this morning - which was sending out people like Hazel Blears to talk nonsense assertively. I closed my eyes in pain and exasperation and in that moment realised just how much like Big John Prescott Little Hazel Blears now sounds - try it, its scary...

Nothing ever changes - it all remains the same...

SO - its 'First Lord of the Treasury, Deliver us from Boris...'
Or you'll find that we might just, somehow, deliver ourselves of you...

...Whatever that uber-loyalist punt at the Guardian has to say about it.