nekomatic wrote: ↑
Tue Nov 03, 2020 12:01 am
Little waster wrote: ↑
Sat Oct 31, 2020 1:36 pm
I have it on expert advice that schools and hospitals existed before 1997 and continue to do so, that living standards continue to improve at different rates and poverty is back in spades under the intellectual heirs of Blair.
I won’t go one by one through the examples in this fortuitous twitter thread
picking nits over whether we agree about all of them, but I think the salient point is
And if you think those policies are basically Tory, how come Tories just spent a decade dismantling most of them?
It doesn't change my basic point that Blair squandered the opportunity to make a lasting change to much of British society. The contrasts between 1978 and 1997 couldn't be more marked but while Thatcher's legacy remains, Blair's mostly evaporated the minute Labour was out of power and Labour was always going to lose power eventually. The greatest government ever will have failed if the second they are gone everything reverts back to previously.
More nurses, shorter waiting lists etc. were great at the time but having failed to make the argument about why these things were inherently desirable and to permanently change the mindset of the public the Coalition and the Conservatives had no problem getting rid of them as soon as they got in, using Blair's own rhetoric to justify it. My partner is a frontline nurse and hasn't had a payrise in a decade but from the outset of the pandemic was expected to continue home visits with inadequate PPE.
By the end Blairism had been reduced to a number of dogmatic tenets:-
1) The public sector is inherently lazy and inefficient. Public sector workers every action need to be constantly monitored, evaluated and directed from the centre. Always the stick.
2) The private sector is inherently competent and efficient, the Government's job is to step back and let them do whatever they want, faster than you can say "sub-prime lending". Always the carrot.
3) The public sector is inherently less worthy than the private sector (hence the moving Clap for Bankers
earlier this year)
4) If extra money can be found for health and education etc. it should not be given to the frontline but should distributed to consultants and private organisations, PFI, Public-Private Partnerships, Out-sourcing, Academies, Free Schools.
5) Any additional public funding has to be always be tied to constant reforms to working practices, organisations and conditions even if the previous round haven't even had a chance to bed in yet. The private sector on the other hand need to be always freed from red-tape.
6) If public spending increase and outcomes improve then then clearly the reforms are working and we should do more of them. If public spending rises and outcomes fail to improve then clearly the reforms haven't gone far enough so we should do more of them.
7) The International Financial Crisis was caused by giving British nurses pay-rises and that Labour will not deserve to be re-elected until they publicly accept this "fact" and own it.
All the foundations for IDS, Lansley and Gove's dreadful reforms were laid by the Blair government and were vocally supported by prominent Blairites whose commitment to those tenets was worth the public disloyalty to Miliband; ideological purity over electability every day of the week. To take us back to the OP one of the reasons Corbyn won the leadership in 2015 was because the standard-bearer of Blairism, Liz Kendall, bizarrely decided to stand on a "Three cheers for Gove
" platform and was completely unshaken by coming dead last on 4% of the vote.
The sad thing is 1997 and 2001 gave Blair the political capital to change the weather like Thatcher did in 1978, he could have made the argument for the public sector or the EU or immigration. He didn't. Instead he blew most of it on the Tory dogma of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with a Republican President determined to launch a War of Choice on a false pretext. What other capital remained he squandered, choosing to shell his own side over public sector reforms in the hopes of a nice headline in the Mail and a warm round of applause from the WI. All the while failing to notice that the financial deregulation (again Tory dogma) he so fervently championed was driving the World economy to the edge of the abyss.
His legacy; four straight Conservative wins, Brexit and a hollowed-out Labour Party still dogged by the financial crisis he midwifed.
So yes, Iraq might be ancient history (unless you are unlucky to live there or have served there; I have at least two ex-squaddie mates with apparent PTSD) but the seeds of the Labour Party's destruction remain there if a Blairite took over the Party again, so we've a right to be wary. Remember, Clegg was supposed to be the "heir to Blair", pro-European, socially liberal, economically conservative; the flat-lining of the LD party ever since should act as a warning about how electorally successful that narrow appeal is.
It's meta, so it is allowed.