Do you remember that series from the US? Was it science fiction? Should the word ‘surreal’ be used? Who played the part of The Log Lady in New Labour?
A couple of years ago I tried to use Gordon Brown’s book as a prism to help me make sense of what we had been going through in terms of government and politics. My conclusion was that much of our problems came from Blair’s preference for doing government without politics.
Comparing the books of Brown and Blair I remember describing Blair as a ‘fundamentalist convert to his own religion’. He has no political and certainly no socialist hinterland. Although Brown has an almost total misunderstanding of the damage done to education in England by New Labour and when it came to deploying his impressive intellect on the illegal invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq he went missing, he is, unlike Blair, a serious politician with an underlying set of socialist values.
Had Blair stuck with the Ugly Rumours Brown would have been an excellent prime minister.
Here is an extract from what I wrote in 2018.
I believe that 9/11 gave us PEAK BLAIR. It really was his Date with Destiny: Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Man. What action did he choose to take? To whose voices did he listen? Whose voices did he choose not to hear? On what basis did he make his case for intervention? How much medium and long term planning did he undertake? Was truth the first casualty of his decision-making? Has truth ever been allowed to visit him?
We saw him on television alongside the President of the USA posing as the wise Greek counselling the inexperienced Roman. Soon he would be in front of the cameras again pictured against a backdrop of our ‘gallant lads in khaki’. This was a fulfilled Blair. Once again he was the lead singer, not this time of The Ugly Rumours but of the Ugly Alliance of Murderous Liars. He was where he always wanted to be: at the front; of what it did not matter. Neither did it matter who bore the bloody cost. Did such people have a vote? There were no New Labour focus groups for the people of Afghanistan and Iraq.
PEAK BROWN was very different. It was the 2009 G20 meeting in London, eighty years after the Wall Street Crash of 1929. In Saving the World? Gordon Brown Reconsidered (2013) by William Keegan the point is made that outside the UK Brown has a very high reputation based upon the actions he took on behalf of the entire world, rich and poor, to prevent 2009 repeating the mistakes of 1929. The point is also made that inside the UK his huge achievement hardly registered.
Brown bemoans what he sees as a personal failure to follow through his action to deal with the crisis by inducing a culture change in banking. His recognition of the need for this change came rather late but losing the General Election in 2010 put an end to any chance of such change especially when in George Osborne we acquired the worst Chancellor of the Exchequer since Churchill in the mid to late nineteen twenties.
Comparing Brown with his predecessor and successors as prime ministers can only enhance his reputation. Comparing him with Osborne as Chancellor is not worth the effort. Osborne was incompetent and Osborne was nasty.
PEAK BLAIR and PEAK BROWN contrast in many ways. The greatest contrast is in their public values. They both intervened in the lives of others. Blair generated continuing death, destruction and displacement. It is his legacy. Everyone knows it. Brown prevented international financial and economic calamity. It is his legacy. No one remembers it.
Click here for a secure way to sign up, you will be supporting independent news. Click the button below.
Disagree with this article? why not write in and you can have your say? email us