Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A little respect

This week saw the unveiling of St. Tony's "respect agenda", the consequence of his realisation that, after 9 years of power, we still live in a neo-Thatcherite world of indivisualism where his vision of Mutual Responsibility Societally Accepted is as poisonous to the motley collection of rich capitalist whores and underachieving chavs as the other acronym MRSA that Blair's Babes have been trying to eradicate.

Of course, the "respect agenda" will fail for three reasons:

1. It needs an untainted leader who can inspire the people and be seen as personally moral enough to bring us into the new dawn. Blair has lost the trust of the people over Iraq (wrongly in my opinion: see Freedmanslives passim), and is clearly at the end of his mandate and time in office.

2. It has to be driven by some real innovation. Instead, it is a pot pourri of assorted New Labour policies that were semi-introduced and are now being repackaged and linked together into what should be a cohesive strategy. Too late for that - most of the pieces of this jigsaw are already bent out of shape, dismembered by council estate yobs and the diehards of left and right, or bloated by the classic wastefulness of all parts of our beloved public sector.

3. As Patience Wheatcroft pointed out (Rav Beni can vouch that I told him exactly the same thing the day before her article), Gordon Brown will make sure that nothing worthwhile will come of it through his typical meddling. Any dynamism will be slowly suffocated, any local variation will be quashed in favour of his centralising control-freakery.

So in short, what could have been inspired and powerful in 1997 when Blair had hair and Brown hadn't started screwing our economy, appears in 2006 to be another half-baked piece of spin and bureaucracy in the offing.

There is hope. Brown will help New Labour to implode. The Lib Dems will self-destruct as always. Cameron will pander to the centre-ground and not regain the vote of Middle England. And in the resulting hung Parliament, Freedmansparty will sweep in and start an era of benign dictatorship. Can't be worse than George Galloway ruling the country in a red leotard, can it?

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