an unexpected quarter

Sometimes, allies come from the most unexpected quarters. Sometimes, we don't recognise who our friends are, until it is too late. I have made an art out of courting the wrong people, only to find that the right people have been there all the time, quiely waiting for me to ask them.

And so it is that I find myself being in agreement with Roy Hattersley. His piece in The Times today amounts to a capitulation of New Labour. Not that he was ever really a fan of New Labour. His libellus begins:

The Labour Party is suffering, as it has suffered since 1994, from sacrificing its reputation as a party of principle...

The “project” was rarely defended on its merits. Winning became new Labour’s guiding philosophy.

A pretty conclusive damnation of Labour and Gordon Brown in particular, the latter being described thus:

The man who promised to move away from government by press release has wasted his time sending messages of condolence to the husband of a dead reality-show “star” and support to a talent-contest finalist.


Like me, Hattersley is not convinced that the Conservatives are winning on merit, but merely by default. The Tories are, or rather Cameron is, Blair Lite.

It is true to say that the Tories are having the free ride of their lives, and yet, at the bottom of it all, when you look at them, one finds one's self asking, "what's the difference?" Both parties are happy to go along with this bloated, bureaucratic monster that governs us. Both are happy to send our soldiers to fight absurd wars and both are happy to tax us until it stings. The Tories are not talking about pulling out of the Lisbon Treaty and neither are they talking about reeling back the criminalisation of the middle classes, under a welter of petty legislation and local bullying by councils. All this, mind you, is done under the watchful eyes of spin doctors and press officers. Both parties are happy to change little and routinely lie to us. There is a lot of talk but very little real change. Our choices at the next election then, are rather shite choices. (I exclude the SNP from this because I still believe they are the only party that is offering real choice to the electorate - you may not agree with them but they are at least being different.)

In the end, we are at the fag end of a fashion. It's a fashion for the appearance of things, rather than the reality; a fashion, so prevalent now, for simulacra. The days of moral absolutes are long gone. Opinions are tempered by the need to homogenise everything for public consumption.

Hattersley's plea for "principles" is not a voice crying in the wilderness, it is a voice belonging to the past.

UPDATE: (for those who mistakenly thought this was a post in admiration of RH ..

the value of an idea has nothing whatsoever to do with the sincerity of the man who expresses it. Indeed, the probabilities are that the more insincere the man is, the more purely intellectual will the idea be, as in that case it will not be colored by either his wants, his desires, or his prejudices. (OW)


Maturecheese said...

Principles, along with Honour and Accountability, dissapeared with the old establishment, that which the hippy/lefty generation did their best to get rid of. Well now they have just about succeeded, are we any better off?

Jim Baxter said...

Well said WW,

I'm afraid the Tories give every impression that what they want most of all is their turn at the trappings, at twiddling the knobs, grandstanding, making announcements but leaving the governing system as it is, yoked to party loyalties and political self-advancement. Cameron admires Blair, models himself on Blair. We know what to expect, therefore.

wake up man ! said...

Hattersley never had any principles so it's bizarre to see him mention principles. He has encouraged the PC brigade in the UK with his constant attacks on freedom of speech ( denounced Rushdie for upsetting muslims etc ).
He's just a tub of lard who will sway in the wind with whatever is the fashionable view to take.
Solid Labour for years while they destroyed our freedoms and surprise surprise attacks Labour when they're in for a gubbing at the polls.
WW I wish you would look at the character in the whole rather than change your view on people after a single article.
Your nonsense about the SNP checking passports of English people reduced your credibility. Backing the horrible Hattersley is even worse.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

I am not backing Hattersley, just agreeing with some of the things he said.

The Passport story is factually true. I ask you, who is in control of Strathclyde Police?

Credibility? I didn't realise I had any!!!!!!! Bless you.

wake up man ! said...

Mmm, I think I had a few beers too many last night ! "A tub of lard who will sway in the wind ". ha ha love to see it.
Sorry about the waffle. But you must admit Hattersley does tend to follow the crowd. His attempt to undermine the publication of Satanic Versus might have been related to the fact that he has a large muslim constituency rather than any pricipled decision. So much for freedom of speech.
Ryanair ask for passports regularly on domestic flights. They even check them on the Stansted to Newquay flight. Where is all the commotion over that ?
It's all part of the general erosion in our freedoms under Labour.
Border controls are a UK matter ( ike Defence ) but the SNP will get the blame anyway. And how do you spot an English person ? They're not all morris dancing , bitter drinkers with cockney geezer accents are they ?
So in reality ALL passengers would have been checked rather than English. Unless they checked your UK address. Although even that wouldn't be foolproof. Maybe you were an Enlish student living in Scotland. Then they would have to check your main address. The complications would be endless for endless possible scenarios.
Another Daily Mail non story designed to get us all fighting each other while the real story is in the background. Why are there endless checks of people flying around in their own country ?