Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Don't trust the Government ...

Recently I've found myself listening to BBC News at Ten and Huw "fearlessly reads it all" Edward's coverage of the collapse of New Labour and its current "Et tu Brute" approach to our incumbent Prime Minister.

Gordon "wot me lead?" Brown has in my view failed to bring in the fairer Britain that most of us had unreasonably expected him to achieve in his first year of office. What is even more uncomfortable is that the path he has taken has involved rapid u-turns when it comes to the big guns in the city (e.g. non doms), continuation of an attempted erosion of civil liberties (e.g. ID cards and 42 days detention) and a willingness to penalise the least privileged of our society (e.g. removal of the 10% band).

Fortunately he has yet to take "druggie" Dave's approach of lambasting the poor for being poor (I normally despise ad hominem attacks but the gloves were off as soon as he said that - inexcusable). What is now needed from Brown is strong and decisive leadership in tackling the issues of social mobility, social poverty and creating a fairer Britain.

Sod the polls, everyone I know (I'm not on speaking terms with any Daily Mail readers, so it's not representative of all the flotsam and jetsam of our society) wanted Brown rather than Blair as we need more socialistic policies rather than spin. Brown really needs to come out fighting on behalf of the least privileged of our society and if he can't do that, then he should choose to go himself.

As for any New Labour plans to oust its leader because of the bad results (e.g. Glasgow East, London Mayor), that would certainly make a mockery of the idea that you can trust Labour to stand by its principles in hard times. The only thing they'll be good for is being in opposition for the next decade.

Ask the Liberal party how life has been since ousting Charles Kennedy or the Tories after the Maggie saga.


Composing said...

Right on all counts. I'd assumed Brown would be a big improvement on Blair.

Major disappointment that. Coming back to the principles we assumed he had is the only way forward.

Reversing that lowest-band tax-rate fiasco would be the right signal.

swardley said...

Hi Phil,

Completely agree.

In my view there seems to be an awful lot of people waiting for Brown to do the right thing by "coming back to the principles we assumed he had".

As for the lowest band rate fiasco, well it is a complete mess at the moment but a clear signal of a move towards a much more progressive tax system would be welcome.

Personally, I'd like to see the U.K. make steady movements towards a more meritocratic system rather than the continuing push towards a paternalistic class based system which is at the root of the decline in social mobility.

I do understand that the ideals of meritocracy are not popular with many and its requirement at the extremes for the removal of concepts such as inheritance and two tier education is often met with derision, except of course by those who have nothing to lose.

I'm an old dreamer and I really do believe in a world where ability matters and opportunity is given to all. The pragmatist in me says at least we should try to take small steps in that direction.