May 4, 2009
Rats and the Sinking Ship
Blogging has been light of late, due to the fact I’ve started a new part-time job with the Tax Justice Network, I have no internet connection at my flat, and have generally been doing other things. Like having a life in the real world. Sort of.
Anyway, returning to the “blogosphere” (stupid word), I just wanted to make a quick point about the Blairite rats leaving the sinking Brownite ship. I’m thinking here of Hazel Blears, Charles Clarke and Ruth Kelly especially.
I have no time for these three during the best of days.
Blears is a slavishly loyal Blairite zealot, who as George Monbiot has pointed out, stands for nothing but election. Depsite her rather unenthusiastic insistence on Saturday night that she was not trying to undermine Gordon Brown, after blatantly attacking Gordon Brown in yesterday’s Observer, it’s clear that she is continuing the Brown-Blair war. Continuing the war after her idol has departed – and it doesn’t take a great cynic to ponder whether she views herself as The Slippery One’s anointed successor.
Charles Clarke is another Blairite who’s been out in the cold ever since the Brown-Balls circus moved in to Number 10. So please, let’s not take his declaration that he is “ashamed to be a Labour MP” too seriously. This was a man who, as Home Secretary, led a ferocious attack on the rights of Britons to stand free and fair trial, whilst vigorously pushing on with the mad-cap assault on individual liberty which is the ID cards scheme. This is a man who embodies the worst of New Labour’s authoritarian distrust of ordinary people. In no way is he a champion of a better kind of politics. He is a factionalist, continuing the factional war which has defined New Labour as much as it’s infatuation with the City of London, it’s enslavement by the tabloid press – and its desire to control the lives of British citizens.
As for Ruth Kelly, this is a woman who is a member of Opus Dei. Opus Dei! An organisation whose express aim and purpose is to infiltrate governments and decision-making bodies around the world in order to further an extremely hard-line interpretation of Catholic doctrine, with the Pope and the Vatican seen as superior sources of authority than any elected head of state. A member of Opus Dei, who was once a Labour cabinet minister – and whose Catholic views were criticised for generating a serious conflict of interests with Labour efforts to grant equal rights to homosexuals. It beggars belief – but the message for today is to be under no illusion whatsoever that this woman represents anything good about Labour that could be seen as a desirable alternative to the fecal King Midas who is Gordon Brown.
What these Blairite rats are really proving, in the loud and public process of leaving the sinking Brownite ship, is not that they represent a “better way”.
They represent the fact that senior Labour figures are more pre-occupied and concerned with perpetuating factional wars and undermining a flailing Prime Minister than with undertaking last-chance measures in advance of the Tory return to office. In this final year, Labour could rally itself and undertake legislative measures which would safeguard the poorest and most vulnerable. Those who will suffer the most when Cameron, Osborne and the 17 other millionaires in the Shadow Cabinet come to power. Those people Labour was traditionally meant to help and defend, but who have been conspicuously forgotten for the past 12 years.
Instead they fight, bicker and point-score. What a fitting end to their time in Government.