Friday, June 29, 2007

New government (?)

I must confess to harbouring a smidgeon of optimism about the new Gordon Brown government. Not optimism in any forceful or monumental way of course, just a slight feeling that certain aspects of governance will be more appealing than the Blair years. So while I'm not holding my breath for the sudden emergence of a system of wealth redistribution and handing the means of production back to the masses, there should at least be a few pointers in a favourable direction, even if in reality they only scratch the surface. Firstly, it'll just be quite nice to have a bit more politics in our politics. Brown is a serious and old-fashioned politician, and no amount of media training will really be able to change that. He isn't capable of putting on the grand PR stageshow that Blair mastered, and this is a good thing. I'm also hoping he'll pay a bit more respect to parliamentary processes than his predecessor, and operate via a proper, functional Cabinet rather than handing excessive powers to a cabal of unelected political advisers. I'd like to think Brown will be slower to lick between the toes of the US. Of course, we'll always be cosy, but he must avoid pandering to their every whim in the manner Blair was so fond of. I think he will do - mainly because it's clear that it even makes electoral sense post-Iraq. Rather than shoulder-to-shoulder, we could be more shoulder-to-pancreas, or something. These are the little smidgettes that make up my cumulative smidgeon of optimism.

On the other hand, the general direction of New Labour will be the same as always. We look set for an equally draconian and reactionary Home Office and just as much jumping into the pockets of big business. The cabinet appointments of the supposedly hardline Jacqui Wilson as Home Secretary and the introduction of ex-CBI fuckpot Digby Jones as trade and invesment minister tell us that much. Don't get me wrong, I'm well aware the plus points of change with the Brown government are far outweighed by the chains of continuity that will hang around its neck.

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