There used to be a saying that the Tories were in power whichever party was running the government. At the moment the focus is on Brown. It can’t be said that he’s not the author of his misfortunes but the trouble, as the Independent pointedly makes out (28/7/2008), is not a matter of personality. The real Tory party got into the habit of ditching one leader after another without result. A month or so back they were after Cameron’s blood, although today he seems a favourite candidate for P.M. Only Brown and Blair hit the radar with 10% and 12% respectively, the next, Straw and Milliband hit 5% each.
A little analysis shows that media reporting of events to be highly superficial. They make a point of saying Brown’s recent speeches in Israel, in Europe as well as at home were of some substance. Obama’s highly acclaimed European tour put across speeches full of platitude and little weight.
New Labour’s willful adoption of Thatcherism, taking it to new heights that Blessed Maggie herself didn’t dream of, has led to a government which puts the interests of big business first. In other words they vied with the Tories to manage capitalism. When the crunch comes, as it’s bound to given the logic of reliance on finance, the majority: those without access to the means of production, are going to suffer.
Who will be there to look after the interests of the rest who are exploited by the powerful? New Labour has betrayed the people it is supposed to champion, but for all the rhetoric of Cameron Conservatives are wedded to big business much of which they own. New Labour tried to compete creating it’s own monsters like Capita, which has made a killing on local government services and gained profits regardless of its performance in supplying good services. LIb-Dem? Forget them – well that’s easy. Do you know what they stand for? In Birmingham they’re very happy sharing power with the Conservatives. Vote Conservative you get a government which is Tory, Lib-Dem apparently the same, but who knows? Vote New Labour the best Tory party of the lot.
So dealing with Brown is beside the point. Given New Labour’s policies all those mentioned as likely candidates for the job have all assiduously followed the lead and no one’s come up with anything markedly different. Yet it is policies which put people at the heart of the matter which are required, but these are dismissed as “a return to the 70s and 80s”. Turning left, even a little, is taboo.
As one commentator has put it the choice we have with unregulated and unsustainable consumerism depleting the planet’s resources, with those who can grabbing the goodies while others struggle for their existence, is between socialism and barbarianism.