The outrageous events of the last week have shown all too clearly just what toxic individuals fester at the heart of the New Labour government. However these toxic individuals are merely a symptom of the wider disease that his crippled the government and the party that have led us for 11 years and it is a disease that is clearly terminal. You’d struggle to find many ordinary people in Britain today who believe the New Labour project has been successful or lament its demise. In fact if you ask people for their opinion of the last 11 years you’ll find responses which are far to obscene to write here! There is a general feeling amongst the public that the Tories are bad but Labour are worse because they’ve hidden their deceptions through their hyperactive spin machines and abandoned their own principles and philosophy for the sake of political power. “At least you knew what you were getting with the Tories” is a phrase I hear muttered alot and whilst I think the general publics attitude towards us is rather unfair and indeed 11 years out of date, I understand where it has originated from.
However the ironic thing about the whole New Labour project, as many of their own including former Deputy Leader Roy Hattersley have conceded, is that its greatest supposed ‘achievements’ have only been made possible through following Conservative, indeed Thatcherite, policy particularly in regard to economics. This is not to say they followed it to the letter or that it was flawless. No political platform, however much we might like to argue otherwise, is flawless. However their acceptance and development of privatisation and extension of neo-liberal economic inspired by the Thatcher years did indeed continue the already prevailing economic stability and prosperity that Britain was experiencing and it would be churlish of Labour’s greatest of critics to deny this. As one commentator put it New Labour in the economic sense “brought Thatcherism full circle”. However that circle has ended and as Jim Callaghan said every 30 or 40 years there is a sea change in British politics, we are experiencing such a sea change and it is up to the government of the day to initiate and equipt the country for it. That, amongst many other things, is where New Labour have failed.
They are a party and a government who are and have always been bereft of ideas of their own. They are sailing blind without, considering the weeks events, any hint of a moral compass. New Labour lacks the wherewithal to get out of its present dire situation because to do so would mean a radical reversal of political direction that would involve a repudiation of all that New Labour has supposedly stood for over the past decade. To change direction now would severely undermine the last 11 years and show them for the shameless and self seeking party they are. So like the headless chicken who doesn’t know it is dead, New Labour will continue to run around until it is finally cast on political scrap heap as one of the biggest political deceptions of the last century. For Conservatives and indeed for the country at large it won’t be a moment too soon.