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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Right has won the argument

Jordan Carter got very excited today at a speech given by Tony Blair. He supports Blair's speech. He selectively quoted parts of it - that's fine. To illustrate Jordan's support

Clark could easily echo Blair's statement: "There are some who say if the Tories move to the centre, we should move left. Again, thank you for the advice, but we want that centre ground shaped by progressive politics not given back to the right." In this election National moved right, and that was their mirror image mistake. When they try and come back to the centre (as they will, when they ditch Don and retreat from some of their nuttier policies), then they are going to find it firmly staked out. By the left.
I'm glad that Jordan liked Blair's speech because here's how Blair started (with gaps/edits from me as it's quite long)

In summary, my argument to you this morning is this.

At the start of this historic third term Labour Government, we have a tremendous opportunity to re-shape British politics.

We have a strong record...we have a radical forward agenda for Government...we will only realise this opportunity if we understand the nature of the changes we are bringing about in the country...We want an economy based on developing the nation’s human capital, on individual knowledge and skills. We want a society where everyone regardless of background, class, race, colour or creed gets the chance to make the most of themselves. We are reforming our public services to put the patient and the parent in the driving seat, raising standards so that the quality of service the wealthy can buy is available to all, particularly to the poorest in our community. ...Throughout these areas of policy, we are developing a concept of the state that seeks to escape from the notion of the Big State of our past...We want a strategic state, one that empowers rather than dictates, enables rather than controls, that is about society supporting not subordinating the individual. It is, as David Miliband has said, geared to pushing power down to people, to sharing the responsibility of governing with them. It is actually the right framework for a changing world in which people need a helping hand, but lead increasingly varied, diverse and individual lives, where they want to make their own choices, fashion their own future....What we must not do is fall for some modern version of the old left delusion: that the problem with a progressive Government is that is isn’t left enough and if only its leadership rediscovered its true principles, all would be well. We know where that leads: to a right-wing Conservative Government. Always has done; always will.
Makes me want to go back to Britain.

But seriously, Blair is attempting to strangle the Tories with Tory policy. That happened here in 1984-1990. Jordan seems reasonably comfortable with this...
As long as pitching to the centre does not destroy the capacity to make progressive improvements in a social democratic direction, it's fine.
Above, Blair says the precise opposite.
What we must not do is fall for some modern version of the old left delusion: that the problem with a progressive Government is that is isn’t left enough and if only its leadership rediscovered its true principles, all would be well.
But what of Blair's putting 'patients and parents in the driving seat'?

It seems parental choice in schools is back on the agenda. There is more comment on this here.

I am eagerly awaiting Blair's 'radical forward agenda'. As rightkiwi said on Jordan's blog

jordan - there is no policy issue at all that you would agree with bliar. he is far to the right of you ... so far to the right of you that he makes sense on most issues. so why do you quote him?
Smart man that rightkiwi.

Posted by Gooner | 10/19/2005 09:36:00 PM

4 Comments:

Blogger Jordan said...

If you think Blair is far to the right of me, you don't actually read between the lines of what I write. You instead pay more attention to the caricature of me you have created for your own purposes. Sorry if I don't live up to it. :-)

10/20/2005 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Gooner said...

Jordan, I think you have created the caricature all by yourself without me contributing anything to it!

10/20/2005 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Ashley Clarkson said...

I didn't realise Jordan was "Thatcher lite" (as my politics lecturer described Blair this year). Not my perception from what posts I'd read. Especially if he wants to try imposing German labour policy on a neo-liberal economy (the French tried to do that in the 80s after the Great U-turn towards the market - it didn't work).

Still, I'm happy to be proven wrong.

10/20/2005 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger Gooner said...

I'm not sure he is either Ashley. I think Jordan is a consumate politician in waiting - having a bob either way.

10/20/2005 03:35:00 PM  

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