Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Blair Should Echo Brecht on his Bad Reviews
Yet when asked to rate his successes, 52% cite the minimum wage, 42% peace in Northern Ireland and 36% 'steady economic growth,nearly full employment and low inflation'. Admittedly lower percentages appreciated devolution, winning the Olympics and improving public services, but it's not that respondents were unaware of this government's achievements. I would have thought the first three listed above, especially the sound economy, should have won something more than this spiteful, churlish swipe of a judgement.
Compare this with the Observer last Sunday which concluded its survey of his decade in these terms:
Britain is better off after a decade with Tony Blair in charge. Wealth has been created, and wealth has been redistributed. That is what Labour governments have always hoped to do. It has happened without a brake on global competitiveness. That is what New Labour hoped to do: build a vibrant market economy with a generous welfare state; economic freedom and social protection. That is Blairism.
Too biased? Well try(still very much a Conservative) Michael Portillo for size:
Blair will retire unlamented, after all. But he leaves behind a country more easy-going than the one he inherited, less insular and more self-confident. No wonder that the Conservatives have yet to define what their new dawn will bring.
Still not convinced? Well look at the mere 6% who rated Blair's reduction of crime rates- only 6% when the reduction has been 44%? Something is not right here. Maybe it's the fact that the media has swung so heavily to the right since 1997. Media guru Roy Greenslade calculates that rightward leaning papers(Times, Telegraph, Sun, Star, Mail) account for 76% of readers while only 24% read left leaning ones(Guardian, Independent, Mirror, FT). Maybe Tony Blair should echo the lament of Berthold Brecht(pictured) who once complained: 'There's nothing wrong with the play- it's the audience who should be changed'.
So, Blair, with no recessions, appears to have done better than that.
btw the Indie supported the LibDems in 2005 I think. Its nasty strident doom mongering recent style has earned it the nickname 'the Daily Mail for people who recycle'. Not everything's got better!
Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows I've criticised Blair on many occasions. The point of my piece was to question the judgement of those who failed to acknowledge his achievements- hence the tone of my post. And, I might point out, I am prepared to put my name to my opinions whilst you are not...
How do you know anonymous is a 'her', I wonder? My guess it was a more regular commenter from the right of the spectrum. Anonymous comments are a bit pathetic though, so best to ignore seems to me.
The problem with the crime figures is that no one seriously believes them. 44% fall in crime? Are you sure?! Very selective, probably manipulative and at worst outright dishonest...this will be Blair's legacy, and the country is well rid of the clod.
I've always held to the view that when people-like Anon- start citing the Nazis in support of their arguments they are not worth very much, if anything. The 44% figure is the official from the Home Office but you think maybe this has been invented? This would mean all the senior Home Office civil servants-some even subscribing to views similar to yours(recall I was a civil servant)- would be complicit.
Are the Home Office capable of lying? Yes. Rather answers your point. Statistics can be manipulated for whatever purpose the author chooses. The pseudo-unemployment figures are proof of the possibilities. Most senior civil servants do what they are told, and their masters have been proven to be liars. Anyone who believes that crime is nearly half what it was a decade ago needs to clear the sawdust out of their head.
Would that we could turn back the clock to those halcyon days of the mid 1990s before the jackboot of New Labour descended upon this once decent land...
The comparison with Hitler is perhaps harsh. If only his Government hadn't banned handguns, Blair could do the decent thing and save us paying the most undeserved pension imaginable.
Getting back to the original point of my post, I wonder how many achievements Hitler could have flagged up after his 1000 year Reich ended just a tad prematurely: an unblemished record of economic growth? a successful foreign policy? a harmonious record on minorities? a minimum wage? renewed public services? The comparison is just laughable.
New Labour, New Reich. I guess that makes the million or so NHS "workers" the Herenvolk.
1. Crime reduction statistics of 44% are based on The British Crime Survey which is independent of government and based on intervi8ews with 40,000 people chosen at random. it is recognised by all criminologists as the most reliable guide to what is happening available.
2. Your second post comparing New Labour to Hitler and his gang, rather proves my point of the absurdity of such comparisons, I think.
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