Here we go with reports of Blair speaking of a “vacuous” Brown and Miliband pleasing the Blairites – if they can’t return to Tony then David is their man. Brown’s former reputation was always a lot stronger than Tony Blair’s, as a former ambassador to the United States, Sir Christopher Meyer, testified. He recalls how many of those visiting Washington were viewed as “political pygmies”, while John Reid and Gordon Brown stood out from the crowd. While Blair skated superficially over issues, it was Gordon Brown who showed a grasp of detail.
In the Blair Brown succession the choice for New Labour was circumscribed, and so it will be again this time with only those shown to be New Labourites in the frame, including some of the “pygmies” Meyer describes. Accepting the New Labour mantra means more of the same. Returning to the Blairite agenda appears to be the significant “changes” our hero David is talking about.
How does this fit in with the current crisis. It’s been fashioned by globalisation, privatisation characterised by the interests of global markets and massive international interests of powerful corporations. Many politicians have personal interests in them. So the idea of New Labour, in common with Tories – Lib-Dems who knows? (As I’ve already pointed out they run with the Tories here in Birmingham.) As Ian Johnson of the SLP points out, we need a new bus. No good continually changing the driver
It means looking at the needs of the users of the likes of Northern Rock above the interests of the failed managers and directors, handsomely rewarded nevertheless. People who put their money into Farepack lost out, but who cares?
There are muttering about possible windfall taxes on the excessive profits of those in control of fuel supplies, but their power frightens governments into inaction. Hunger and starvation is now well on the agenda, and for many elderly people a stark choice between food or fuel. If New Labour are fumbling with measures to help then let’s hear from them loud and clear. It’s unlikely that will be policies which address the fundamental problem, but sticking plasters, which can at best only marginally support the most vulnerable. It will do nothing about the onslaught we are told is still to come.