Friday, December 26, 2003
Reynaud Explains Why NuLab is Doomed
The BBC (!!) reports that most people don't think fox hunting is the main priority for the government. Maybe I should have included that in my Dept Of The Obvious Post, but I think it goes a little deeper than that.
The NHS was selected as the main priority by nearly half the respondants, other popular choices were asylum, terrorism and universities. Only 2% thought fox hunting should be the highest priority. In short, most people's priorities are those areas where Nu Lab is weakest. That's one aspect of why Nu Lab is in trouble, but there's more to it.
For all the touchy-feely talk, Nu Lab has always relied on hatred in its political manouevering. In 1997 Nu Lab couldn't say that the economy was suffering under the Conservatives but there was no way the Tories were going to beat them in the 'hysterical denunciations of gun owners' stakes. The vile hatred unleashed on target shooters in the run up to the election set the pattern for what was to follow.
Since 1997, a series of bogeyman has appeared at regular intervals. Take the fuel dispute, with the government under fire for extortionate taxation suddenly the country was under seige from billionaire farmers, who lit huge cigars with Â£50 notes while riding over orphans in their Rolls Royces. Similarly, when the government tried to force through new contracts for hospital consultants it turned out that the average consultant only visits hospitals once a decade and drinks gin via the gallon.
There are obvious tactical benefites to this approach. Nu Lab manages to avoid dealing with the actual issues, while putting other bodies on notice what fate awaits them should they step out of line, but hate also has a more strategic role at the heart of Nu Lab.
Most organisations - and all politcal parties - are held together by a convergence of interests. Nu Lab consists of such a diverse group of mutually-incompatible special interests that's it's hard to see how they could agree on the date, let alone actual policy. Blair and his cohorts attempted to square this circle by replacing common interests with common enemies.
Even today, it's hard to tell if there ever was such a thing as a Nu Lab economic policy, but you knew that Nu Lab really, really hated fat cats [which, doubtless, also helped to shakedown campaign contributions - who wants to be named as a fat cat ?]. So it was with all their policies. You might not know what they were trying to do, but you sure knew who they hated. What more can you say about an administration whose top members included both Peter Mandelson and Alastair Campbell, two men who never advanced a single policy position but did manage a fair few assassinations.
That's why this poll is important. The public is focusing on the big issues. Now policy is all important, Nu Lab's cupboard is bare, and Blair can no longer distract anyone with bogeyman and hate figures