Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Who Is This Visionary?

Arrived back in England this morning, handed passport to stern faced woman who looked at it, looked at me, then handed it to a man at adjacent desk. He looked at it, looked at me, then looked at her. Both laughed. *******!
I spent the bank holiday weekend in Paris touring the sights of the French Revolution. The financial crisis, the overindulgence and arrogant attitude of the rulers to the peasants struggling to survive, how the right side of the Assembly wanted to keep the status quo and supported the ruling class and the left side of the chamber who supported change and the revolutionaries (incidentally how the left and right wing got their names) and the public beheading of the monarchy.
Considering the mess and ineptitude of the British political system at present, i did wonder where was our Jean-Jacques Rousseau, ready to inspire a generation to rise up as one and dispose of the elite running our nation. Then i picked up a national newspaper and read the words of a party leader calling for a massive redistribution of power in Britain towards the public.
He wanted fixed-term parliaments to end Downing Street's ability to control the timing of general elections, end the outrageous practise of whips who threaten, coerce and lean upon MP's to vote with the Prime Minister, allowing MPs to choose the chairs and members of Commons select committees so to remove the friends investigating friends which Tony Blair exploited with such success, giving local councils the power to reverse Whitehall decisions to close services in that area and run them for the benefit of the community, reverse the decisions that have led to an increasingly Orwellian surveillance state including scrapping the government's ID card scheme, introduce referendums on the big issues and follow a green agenda to combat climate change.
Who is this young visionary i wondered, whose ideas i found myself so in tune with and whose words chimed so successfully with me?
David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party.
Oh Bugger.


Cody Bones said...

Welcome to the dark side Lucy, we are happy to have you. All kidding aside, limiting the role of big government is one of the best aspects of the conservatives.

Cheezy said...

These days it may look as if Nu Labour hasn't done much right... e.g. they started a ruinous war based on lies, they've presided over a 'Fantasy Island' boomtime based on credit and toxic assets, they sold all our gold, they've wasted massive amounts of public money on white elephants, they've entrenched propaganda and 'spin' into our expectation of the way politicians will always behave, they've illicitly enriched themselves with our money... But I think (and hope) that you've hit upon what may turn out to be their most enduring positive achievement i.e. they've dragged the Conservative Party back from the Thatcherist/Tebbitist extremes - that's the one that decimated our manufacturing base, ensuring that we're now having to rely on, erm, financial services to fuel our recovery - and back into the true centre ground of British politics. In many ways, this has been achieved by policies that have actually outflanked the Tories to the right of them.http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/may/20/labour.guardiancolumnists

I (probably) still won't vote for that smug git Cameron though. But the point is that plenty, now, will.

Cheezy said...

More importantly, did you have a good time in Paris, Lucy? :)

Lucy said...

I'd like to think Cody that it is me welcoming the Tory's away from the dark side. Just stunned me that what Cameron is saying, i agree with! Can't remember that ever happening. I'll be nodding in agreement with the Pope next.

That's the fix Cheezy, Labour shifted too far away from the left in so many areas that they are unrecognisable and i couldn't vote for a party that took us into the Iraq War until all remnants of the 2003 team had left the front benches. But then the alternative is ending up with a Conservative Government and nobody wants that but at this moment, the Torys seem a better choice. How did that happen??

Paris was amazing, the place is just swimming in history. Just a shame it is full of those snotty French people.

Cheezy said...

I found French people much nicer when you go outside Paris... but I know that some people observe a similar phenomenon involving London/England... can ya believe it? ;)

Cheezy said...

With great timing, Johann Hari in the Independent has just spelled out why we should still - under-no-circumstances - vote Tory.

Not surprisingly, the reasons are mainly economic:


So notwithstanding my earlier comment about them recently becoming more mainstream, I reckon this has happened mainly in the more symbollic/PR-driven areas of politics (e.g. the environment, constitutional reform), rather than in the more crucial (or more immediately crucial) area of the economy.

Lucy said...

I'm with Johann because i can't ever see a situation when i would vote Conservative. There is just not enough bacardi breezer to get me that drunk but i think we have to face the fact that there is a very real chance that Dave Cameron is going to be the next Prime Minister. He does seem to be saying and doing all the right things at the moment. He does remind me very much of early Blair before he turned into a complete tosser.

Rude Londoners? Never!!!!

Anonymous said...


I was the same way with Obama.

In the end I couldn't vote for the leader of a party that refuses to acknowledge that the root cause to many problems Americans have is their own lack of effort, ineptitude, or own poor choices - not every problem is due to coercion or abuse imparted by the rich and powerful.

I got very close to voting for
Obama for many reasons including:
1. I'm sick of hearing that America is racist. Sure there are racists in America, black white brown red and yellow, but the vast majority of Americans care more about behavior and results than skin color.
2. I thought McCain was too old to have the energy needed for 4 years as President.
3. I like Obama's demeanor, though I'm already tired of the midwestern accent - boringly slow like the Chinese water torture.
4. My cousin who left the Edwards campaign to work on the Obama campaign said Obama was actually moderate.

(Update, my cousin is very disenchanted at the moment. He actually doesn't see any significant difference between a Republican and a Democrat. I reminded him that the person is not the same as the party.)


Lucy said...

I love the idea of lifes choices Q and how one seemingly inconsequential decision takes us in one direction rather than another. What would have happened if i had not been sick that day or had not been in that place at that time or had decided to sit in that seat that afternoon.

Stan said...

Another highly simplistic post, Lucy.

When will you naive idealists learn that power to the people usually means power to those making the loudest noise and appealing to our baser instincts (as your wonderful French Revolution clearly demonstrated).

It also means taking easy, popular short-term decisions which bear little relation to what's needed in the long-run (absolutely disasterous given the economic and environmental problems we face).

And what's so good about devolving power to local councils when all this means is that those in wealthier localities hoard their riches for themselves at the expense of those in poorer localities?

It's amazing how even progressive people are falling for the Cameron charm offensive but maybe it's not so suprising when so few these days are able to think things through.

Heart without head can be as bad as head without heart.

PS Just returned from France myself.

Cheezy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cheezy said...

"It also means taking easy, popular short-term decisions which bear little relation to what's needed in the long-run (absolutely disasterous given the economic and environmental problems we face)."

In his charmingly haphazard way, Stan has just given voice to the absolute set-in-stone #1 reason why Gordon Brown is the worst Chancellor of the Exchequer this country has ever seen.

Stan said...

As it happens Britain boomed in all the years that Brown was Chancellor. Please get your facts right Cheezy.

Cheezy said...

Ever heard of robbing from the future to pay for the present, Stanley my son?

Stan's thesis seems to be that as long as the economy is tickety-boo during the actual tenure, then the steward of the economy must have been doing a good job. Christ, that's idiotic beyond words, man.

It's incredibly obvious now (to those of us who walk around with our eyes open) that it boomed because of credit and SPEND-SPEND-SPEND and faith in toxic assets.

And what about the stupid fool Brown selling all our gold at the absolute bottom of the market? A shrewd move, Stan? Or dumb as shit? (showing precisely NO knowledge of the markets)... Be honest now.

Cheezy said...

PS: I still wouldn't vote Tory though. Spending cuts are not the way to refloat a recessionary economy. This doesn't make Brown any less of a fool though.

Lucy said...

I try and keep the posts short and sweet (simple even) Stan because i dislike reading long posts and wouldn't foist them upon others.
I also try and bring a tounge in cheek position to most of them which are not dealing with 'serious' issues. I thought that the jokey start and end of the post was sufficent to show that everything else between was only semi-serious but to be fair if you hadn't seen me banging the left wing drum for the past few years around the web then you probably wouldn't have got the humour angle which i admit can be and has been misinterpreted before.

Was you French any better than mine? I asked for 12 coffees rather than 2. Luckily someone pointed out that i meant deux and not douze before the waiter made it to the table. I blamed my accent and trying to show off in front of handsome French waiters.

Lucy said...

Was you French I really should get a grip on English before trying French.

Chris said...

I don't really favour any political party but i have to admit that Cameron is playing a good crisis and attracting quite a few to his cause.

Stan said...

Sorry to continue being serious in connection with a semi-serious post but the fact ,Cheezy, is that Gordon Brown presided over no less than TEN years of unbroken economic growth and improving public services (after the shocking neglect of the Tory years). That's pretty good by any standards.

It only went pear-shaped when the sub-prime bomb exploded in the US,which devastated almost every economy in the world.

And who is leading the world out of the mess?. Why, none other than that "stupid fool" Gordon Brown (and I'm saying this as a Blairite).

Yes, with hind-sight it is incredibly obvious (isn't it always) that excessive credit was created in the boom years. But can you imagine the reaction of the Great British Public if Brown had reined back their credit card purchases in the good years. Labour would have certainly lost the last election and any further policies in the long-term interests of this country would have been lost with them. In grown-up politics you sometimes have to go along with something less desirable for the sake of achieving the greater good.

Chris, you're right. Cameron is certainly attracting quite a few to his cause, quite a few GULLIBLE people!

Lucy, glad to see you're not (quite) one of them.

Bien fait!

Lucy said...

Not quite one of what? A Camerooney?