Thursday, 2 September 2010

There you Go Again

Te Graun has been looking into the abyss of Bliar's memoirs and seeing their own reflection:
'We know all we want to know about Brown the grump; Blair says nothing fresh on this. But as to Brown the irredeemable statist, the roadblock to reform, as the Tories used to put it, he is revealing.
Their shared government was riven by an ideological dispute, not just one of personalities, from the start. The disagreement is most explicit at the end: Blair's attack on "state spending dressed up as fiscal stimulus", his mockery of the resurrection of Keynes by people who like big government.'

Yes, Tony the enemy of 'big government': unless that meant invading Serbia, invading Afghanistan, invading Iraq, wanting to extend the period of time someone could be held without trial, blanket CCTV surveillance, helping Israeli planes fuel when they were blowing up Lebanese kids, saying nothing when the Americans were dropping white phosphorus on Fallujah, letting civil liberties collapse, pumping money into the banks, introducing laws that photographers can be imprisoned for ten years without evidence of wrongdoing. Not to mention continuing the neglect of poor areas resulting in an uneducated underclass that will be dependent upon the state.

Of course, Tony was the enemy of 'Big Government' if this means the people owning the means of health, transportation, manufacturing and income. However, frankly, in 21st century Britain this is what the English middle classes seem to fear most. I just wonder how long it will be before Social Democratic Europeans will be the subject of French Revolution era caricatures of mindless, ape-like peasants?

Glover bends his knee to Fettes boy Bliar:
'Yet the impressive thing for such a commanding figure, the only rival to Attlee in Labour history, is that he confesses to an absence of control.'

Yes, Harold Wilson was a tactical and intellectual giant next to Bliar but he was somewhat common wasn't he? Let's focus on how impressive it is to show a lack of control and thought. Yesterday I ate fifteen pies. Isn't that impressive? What? Lack of control isn't impressive if it's in dirty commoners, it's only a madey upey sort of pseudo-compliment for sycophantic 'liberal' journos to give to a rich person who's failed by almost any objective standard? That's interesting. Are there plenty more where that came from?

'There are also standard grumbles, such as a sustained attack on the media – odd from a man who courted Rupert Murdoch and admits to "a grudging respect and even liking for him".

But since that is what he thinks, he is right to say it. The book is redeemed by such truths. Blair has a world view and is unafraid to describe it, bigger and bolder than anyone else. You can say he was mad. You can say he was a flawed genius. But you can't say he didn't matter.'

See it is redeemed because he's honest about liking and respecting a misanthropic Australian market fanatic whom he was allegedly saved to save Britain from? Would someone not from Fettes be 'redeemed' by that?

No, I suspect that the class system is stronger in Britain than it's been since the 1940s. The only problem is that our 'betters' no longer have any social conscience. Come a reborn social democrat movement.


  1. They've got the Kosovan prime minister up saying how wonderful Tony Blair is and how he will always be a friend of Kosovo, the same Kosovo controlling Europe's heroin and child sex trade. How fitting.

  2. @Charles
    Thanks for your comment. Yes, I noticed that as well. What a world class statesman Bliar is.

  3. Great post, Gregor. The American social critic Christopher Lasch wrote about a "Revolt of the Elites," in the United States, where the upper classes, but especially the upper middle-class made up of professionals and managers and the like, abandoned the concept of the common good in exchange for a kind of privatist cosmopolitanism. This “revolt” basically marked the end of the post-World War II consensus system which was more or less concerned with advancing the common good and trying to make the system work for most people most of the time.

    It seems like the same thing might be happening in Great Britain. One thing I'd be interested to know: how common are gated communities in Britain? I think gated communities, with their own private services, sometimes including police, are the nucleus of a coming system of private opulence and public squalor predicted by people like John K. Galbraith. In my more unhappy moments, I imagine the poor areas might be policed by corporate mercenary armies, sort of like in the "Robocop" films.

    Which reminds me, do you ever find yourself surprised by how prescient some seemingly silly pop culture works are? I used to think the whole cyberpunk genre was jejune, but I think some of the more thoughtful folks in that genre had at least a good understanding of what a post-industrial dystopia might look like, with mass suffering hidden by the glitz of high technology.

  4. 'Which reminds me, do you ever find yourself surprised by how prescient some seemingly silly pop culture works are?'

    Absolutely. I think The Running Man is whether by accident or design a brilliant satire on neo-liberalism and its 'bread and circuses' attitudes.

    As for gated communities, these are certainly growing in Britain. The ridiculous public transport system also means that many poor people will not be able to travel far from their houses as well.