Thursday, 29 June 2006

Politics - Lesson One

There are two types of politician and politics and over the past 25 years we have had them demonstrated as beautifully as could be imagined.

The first type is the one which says "This is who and what I am. This is what I stand for and what I will do. Vote for me and I will do it." Margaret Thatcher, most especially in her second and third terms, was the finest exponent of this form of politics and with devastating effect.

The second type is the one that says "I will be who and whatever you want me to be. I stand for what you tell me to stand for. Vote for me and I will do what you want me to do." Tony Blair and New Labour are the epitomy of this form of politics, and I would suggest with equally devatating effect.

The first form is based on confidence, leadership, clear thinking, vision and determination. It derives its mandate from the election result and delivers knowing that some elements of the process will be unpopular but necessary and will leave a lasting acid taste for some people.

The second form is based on popularity and the simple attainment of power for its own sake. Indeed, that's it! It has no leadership, vision or clear thinking. It can't. It is taking its orders on a daily basis and making policy on the basis of monthly ratings. It is being driven by events rather than driving them. It can be, and regularly is, pushed about in pursuit of popularity.

In both forms, things (and people) get broken in the drive to change and make things better, but in the first form they get fixed and improvement is tangible. In the second, the mess is left lying on the floor, like broken toys on Christmas Day.

The first form is almost invariably right of centre and the second is left.

The conclusion - well that's simple really. Time and again the electorate votes for the Government they need and then the one they want. They know the difference. Ten years of Blair has been the Government people wanted - liberal, largely uninterfering in their daily lives, all talk and no action.

The swing to the Conservatives indicates that people are getting ready to vote for the Government they need. It is becoming increasingly difficult to get to the sofa without standing on another broken mess on the floor. It is becoming less and less possible to get through our daily lives without feeling the consequences of a directionless and thoughtless government.

Thatcher is loved and hated in equal measure. She did things and she achieved. There were winners and losers (actually there were only winners. The losers just can't bring themselves to admit that they are better off now despite the hardship they suffered in the process). She made a difference.

Blair is about to realise that he is pretty much universally hated. He did lots, but achieved little and pissed most people off in the process. He will leave office with the state of politics at an all time low, deceit expected in all aspects of government (even the declaration of war), our constitution and institutions lying broken on the floor and our social fabric torn to shreds by a politically correct liberal philosophy that fundamentally misunderstood society.

Its nearly over.

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