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There is no Blairism. An 'ism' needs a coherent set of ideas | Comment | Guardian Unlimited Politics
This last decade has seen a new style, a new PR technique, but not a new ideology. Thatcherism remains the guiding light

We are to be overwhelmed. A tidal wave of epitaphs, eulogies and obsequies of Tony Blair is upon us. His era will crave definition. The flesh must be made word, and the word is Blairism. Already it is creeping into the columns of this paper. It hangs on the lips of friend and foe alike.

Let us get one thing straight. Blairism does not exist and never has. It is all froth and miasma. It consists of throwing a packet of words such as change, community, renewal, partnership, social and reform into the air and watching them twinkle to the ground like blossom until the body politic is carpeted with sweet-smelling bloom. An -ism implies a coherent set of ideas, an ideology capable of driving a programme in a particular direction. In plumbing the shallows of Blair's ideas, even his guru, Raymond Plant, was reduced to taking refuge in Daniel Bell's End of Ideology. Like most British prime ministers - whatever they proclaim - Blair in office has taken things as he found them, tootling along until the dying fall of his departure.

Article continues That is not to say that Britain under Blair and Gordon Brown has lacked a guiding light, but that light has been Thatcherism. This reality has been obscured by the congenital bipolarity of British politics and the bifocalism of the Westminster media, in which protocol requires that everything is expressed in terms of government and opposition. Hence Blairism cannot be Thatcherism because Blair is Labour and Margaret Thatcher Tory. For a decade British politics has, quite simply, been wrongly described.

by Fran on Wed Apr 25th, 2007 at 12:32:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It was about Sarkozy imitating Blair - their philosophy is "whatever works". The optimistic view is that they are pragmatists; the more realistic one is that they are opportunists with no core beliefs who are just following the mood of the day, with no driving line.

Only poodlehood constrains that to some extent.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Apr 25th, 2007 at 02:56:01 AM EST
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No, that would be too generous. Bliar showed time and again that he is capable to dismiss the mood of the day -- that is the mood of the day of the public, never the mood of the day of the elites he always tried to appease.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Apr 25th, 2007 at 04:12:56 AM EST
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No, Blair is not Thatcher, because Thatcher actually knew where to stop. Blair is more Major-ite, the constant need of the insecure apprentice to do more insane things to prove he has "courage".

Major's "courage" led him to privatise the railways, something Maggie actually told him not to do. A disaster that unfolds on a daily basis.

Blair's "courage" led him to privatise everything else following Brown-ite neocon priciples of abdicating responsibility for large swathes of policy that, in traditional european terms, were entirely the province of governmental control.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Apr 25th, 2007 at 04:37:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is no Blairism. An 'ism' needs a coherent set of ideas

Has this guy not heard of personality cults? Or patronage networks?

In any case, maybe he's right and Blairism won't survive Blair. We'll just get something worse.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 25th, 2007 at 05:23:50 AM EST
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Is it a good sign or a bad one that it's possible to say 'Cameronism' without thinking 'WTF?'
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Apr 25th, 2007 at 06:38:15 AM EST
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It is? Not for me, I wasn't able to write it in my comment.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 25th, 2007 at 06:47:20 AM EST
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A worrying Freudian slip, I think.

I meant to write 'impossible.'

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Apr 25th, 2007 at 07:02:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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