Sunday, September 28, 2008
One Party Britain
From today's Observer:
Senior Blairites could be offered jobs under a David Cameron government in the 'national interest', a leading Tory shadow cabinet minister reveals today, in a bid to poach some of Labour's brightest talents and split the party.
Michael Gove (pictured above), the shadow children's secretary, singled out Schools Minister Lord Adonis, but also warmly praised current cabinet ministers James Purnell and the 'outstanding' Hazel Blears.
'I have yet to find a speech of Andrew's outlining policies that I disagree with,' Gove said, adding that, even when Adonis issues press releases attacking him, 'I have the grim feeling I am reading something that has been written for him'.
He also identified common ground with Purnell: 'He, like me, is a strong believer in an interventionist foreign policy: not even everyone within New Labour and certainly not everyone in the Conservative camp [is].' Blears, he said, was unfairly underrated by her own side - 'the fact that she came bottom [for deputy leadership] tells you all you need to know about the Labour party'.
So there we have it- vote Conservative at the next general election, because you're sick to death of Hazel Blears, James Purnell and the other Blairites- and you could still get them anyway. Isn't our democracy wonderful!
As I wrote in the American Conservative back in November:
Britain's two main parties- the only two who, thanks to our first past the post electoral system, have a realistic chance of winning a general election, have converged to such an extent that their policies on the major issues of the day are virtually indistinguishable.
Of course, there's nothing inherently wrong with consensus politics, if the consensus genuinely represents the view of the majority. But as the Guardian's Seumas Milne has observed, what is described as the 'centre ground' today in fact reflects not the dominant views not of the people, but of the political, media and corporate establishment. What percentage of the public support a neo-conservative foreign policy? How many people believe that allowing 'market forces' to govern every aspect of our lives, represents the best way to order our society?