Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Ponderings on Blair and Brown

Blair resigns as PM today,so why no celebration. Well of course I am glad he is going, but Brown was an architect of New Labour and has been a major part of the government for the last ten years. So when he takes the reins of power he is not going to be heralding the dawn of the revolution or even anything a little bit reformist. Things aren't going to get better, to misquote the New Labour '97 election song.

On to Brown. Well he seems to have started as he means to go on, beginning with his determination to ensure there was not an election for leader and as in the old Soviet days, that all nominated and endorsed him. It seems he wants to limit any real debate with his proposals to reduce further the influence of unions and conference. So much for those unions who backed Brown against McDonnell, who seemed to think they could exert influence on him. Will the tactic of not upsetting Brown whilst giving some support to Cruddas may any difference long term ?

Then there is the welcoming by Brown of a Tory defector to labour. Now as much as the next leftie I do like to see the Tories fight amongst themselves, but this is overshadowed at the horror of seeing him join the Labour ranks. Quentin Davies , the Tory defector, does not seem to have shifted his right wing views. Instead the Labour Party has become a place he now feels comfortable in:

Mr Davies said he had found himself increasingly "naturally in agreement" with the Labour Party.

He praised Mr Brown as "a leader I have always greatly admired, who I believe is entirely straightforward, and who has a towering record, and a clear vision for the future of our country which I fully share".

Mr Brown said: "Quentin Davies is a senior parliamentarian and he commands respect on all sides for his expertise and his dedication to public service, and I welcome him to the new Labour Party."

Take a look at a post from Owen highlighting what a nasty Thatcherite homophobic anti union shit he is. Proof if needed that Brown is not going to move leftwards , if any had any illusions (and I certainly didn't).

The Tories have tried to make out Brown is a closet leftie, but I suspect for all their talk of focusing on policies, their attacks will continue to focus on the personality differences. Cameron is more in the Blair mode with his bike riding, webCameon and converse shoes. Blair played the media, ingratiating himself with britpop in his early days and playing to the audience even to the extent of changing favourite foods and music to match the people he was addressing.

Of course it is not just the right that is attacking Brown on his personality . Hakmao highlights an attack on Brown by Galloway, interestingly in the 'showbiz and entertainment' section of the Daily Record. Says it all about Galloway really .

Galloway's comments :

THE first time I met Gordon Brown, more than 30 years ago, he was weighed down with more newspapers, magazines and policy papers than any normal man could possibly carry, never mind read.

But the clue is in the N word. Normal. Brown, who follows Bonar Law, Campbell-Bannerman, Ramsay MacDonald, Harold Macmillan, Sir Alec Douglas- Home and Tony Blair into No.10 as a British premier of Scots descent (not bad for an OPPRESSED small nation) is no normal man.

I mean that kindly as well as unkindly. Ir'n Broon has a completely abnormal single-mindedness - every step he has ever taken has been with this week's trip to the Palace in mind.

He is a policy worker on a par with Bill Clinton, though Brown's idea of a good time in his office is a study of endogenous growth theory rather than erectile expansion. He has a brain the size of Hampden, intellectually he is Bertrand Russell to Tony Blair's Bob Monkhouse (who said: "Once you can fake the sincerity ... the rest is easy.")

He is as straight as a son of the manse should be. Not for him the Cool Britannia pals and his missus will never secretly snap up nice flats in Bristol or get down and muddy for a spot of re-birthing with a con-man's floozy.

Neither will the new PM holiday with the likes of Mrs Robin Gibb, a bisexual Druid priestess from Northern Ireland (ah, but which team does Mrs Gibb support, I hear some readers ask).

But Brown's main problem with the N word is that he is, as Alistair Campbell allegedly said, indeed "psychologically flawed". In fact, I knew from that first day I met him that, like many a brain-box before him, he is asocial cripple.

Painfully shy, no small talk, dour to the point of sullen, unable to suffer fools gladly, he is a Rev I.M. Jolly when what the modern stage needs is Rikki Fulton's amanuensis, a Francie. Hullowrerrrr, nor anything like it, will ever trip off the lips of the new PM.

All of this could be carried to victory nonetheless if Gordon could just jettison the albatross of war, privatisation and the alienation of Labour's core vote which has seen them lose four million votes since that "New Dawn" in 1997.

But it can't and won't be. Because Brown is the co-architect of all that and it's too late to do anything about it. For me, therefore the script is tragedy, Shakespearean in scale.

Betrayed by his friends Blair, Mandelson and Reid, when they knifed him before the great John Smith was ere interred, Brown is "in blood stepped in so far, that should he wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o'er".

The Jim Callaghan of our times, he will likely have inherited his life-long goal, the Prime Minister-ship not Paul Gascoigne's, only in time to lose it.

Yes George, the main issue is his policy, not his personality. Why throw around words like 'normal' ? What exactly is 'normal' and why is it such a good thing ? Nothing wrong with difference . What is wrong with being weighed down with papers, being single minded and focused, not shagging the intern, not using office to gain freebies and hang out with new agers and con artists ?

And what exactly is a 'asocial cripple'? Interestingly language . So being serious and not shallow is being a 'cripple'?
'Painfully shy, no small talk, dour to the point of sullen, unable to suffer fools gladly' , why is this a criticism? is this relevant to his policies? This fits with
George Osborne last year :
He said Mr Brown lacked personal skills and, in a light hearted exchange, seemed to suggest his rival could be faintly autistic.

As I said on my post then :
I suspect Brown will be undermined by both Blairites and the Tories on the grounds of his 'psychologically flawed' personality. Autism and aspergers are not 'flaws' . If Brown is an aspie its telling of this society that he has to hide it. So what, its not a bad thing. Why can't leadership contenders be aspies, be gay , be single parents, have had drink problems,not be cosy family men and women (though of course none are women). I don't like his politics , but as I have said before, give me a dour aspie Scotsman any day over Cameron and his lightweight PR friendly personality .

Blair is 'normal', but he has taken the country to war, has limited the debate in the party and even in his own cabinet. Not just 'asocial cripples' then.
The issues with Brown are political and not his personality, which for the record I think is preferable to smarmy camera friendly Blair.
Lets judge him on his politics.