I remember seeing
a film many years ago, about Mafia guys who were discussing how someone was
going to get whacked. The lead was telling the target, ‘when they come for you,
they will come with smiles on their faces, like friends’
10 years ago, NuLabour
came to us, with smiles on their faces, like friends.
This piece below by Notes
from a Small Bedroom sums it up perfectly.
I’ve been looking back to
the beginning of the Blair regime – that time of misplaced hope, ‘glad,
confident morning’, etc. – and was struck by a number of things in the 1997 New
This in particular now strikes a rather chilling note:
“New Labour is the political arm of none other than the British people
as a whole.”
I mean WTF? Isn’t that the
kind of thing totalitarian regimes say about themselves? At least we can’t
pretend we weren’t told.
Then there’s already an
indication of a desire to play fast and loose with the legal system:
“…fast-track punishment for persistent young offenders by
halving the time from arrest to sentencing”
Note the missing stage of
trial and actually needing to be found guilty. As ever it’s hard to believe so
many of them are trained lawyers.
Some stuff, though is
almost comic in the mismatch between what they said and what they actually did:
“…In health policy, we will safeguard the basic principles
of the NHS, which we founded, but will not return to the top-down management of
the 1970s. So we will keep the planning and provision of healthcare separate,
but put planning on a longer-term, decentralised and more co-operative basis.
The key is to root out unnecessary administrative cost, and to spend money on
the right things – frontline care…”
“…Over-centralisation of government and lack of accountability was a
problem in governments of both left and right. Labour is committed to the
democratic renewal of our country through decentralisation and the elimination
of excessive government secrecy…”
But best of all is the list
of 10 pledges, of which this is number nine:
“We will clean up politics, decentralise political power throughout the United Kingdom and put the funding of political parties on a proper and accountable
Yeah, right. Maybe it was a
typo and they meant ‘We will clean up in