Monday, April 25, 2005

A clear view of what makes Tony Blair an overwhelming favourite for the election emerges from this article by Micklethwaite and Wooldridge in the LA Times.

There's a pathetic predictability in the way they describe Howard's success in appealing to Conservative support:

'the Conservatives have run their best campaign in a decade, talking tough on "dog-whistle" issues such as crime and immigration (in which their core supporters respond instinctively, even if you cannot hear the whistle).'

Whether they realise it or not, they have encapsulated the very quality in the British public's mentality at present which makes Howard's pitch unfeasible. The view of dog-and-whistle Conservatives is very far from the reality, since today's Conservatives have to grasp hold of things that matter through a fog of opposition. The British people are currently blind to Blair's simplism, locked into a false consciousness of celeb laden Britpop-inspired anti-Thatcher soft-focus love-see-no-colour complacency. All Tony Blair has to do is pose with a few celebs and babble on about how he and Gordon have mastered the economy and he's, as Campbell is said to have said, home and dry.

What's tragic is that history's real opportunities are passing us largely by as Blair poses for the cameras. The economy is only successful because of previous decades' reforms and the dividends of globalisation. Blair and Brown are simply setting us up for a fall by signing a contract with bureaucratic dead-ends, with the longer term vista of Europe their only get out clause. All the time they are setting up new shibboleths, such as the new vows they are making to the NHS, which cannot be sustained in the new world order that is coming.

Oh well.

To get a flavour of the greek tragedy that is the modern Britain's mindset, this Melanie Phillips post is a good place to start.

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