Monday, April 18, 2005

Back from Hols

And what does one find on the blogsphere? More guff about Galloway. Personally, I think the Respect/Galloway groupies are making a tactical mistake. Galloway will probably lose; New Labour will take the result as a symbolic vindication of their policies and because Gorgeous Boy has made Iraq so much the central issue, it'll be difficult for Respect to argue otherwise. But what it would actually mean is that the voters of Bethnal Green aren't as obsessed with Iraq as those of us who lurk in the blogsphere.

Holiday was excellent timing; missed the Pope's funeral and Chuck and Camilla's wedding.

Didn't go on holiday soon enough though - one of the last things I read in the press was this by David Aaronovitch, which made the old blood boil. If you haven't read it, I think I can reduce it to its essence as follows: those who criticise New Labour's record on liberty are just a bunch of dinner-party psueds who don't live in the real world and don't, therefore, appreciate how important a Labour victory is to the "real" folks who know how the shoe pinches. (Peter Hain seemed to be saying much the same thing).

Leaving aside the fact that Mr. Aaronovitch doesn't look like he's refused many dinner-party invitations recently, it's worth while asking what kind of real world he lives in if he thinks giving police too much power isn't a problem.

Are we to ignore detention without trial; the admission of evidence obtained under torture into British courts; ID cards; and restrictions on free speech (religious hatred bill) because at least New Labour will be slightly less hard-faced towards the poor than the Tories?

Old Aaro may not be in the communist party anymore but I guess the old authoritarianism dies hard. I think I live in rather closer proximity to the "real world" than him and I don't find this line of argument compelling in the least. It's Leninism-lite and I ain't voting for it - and if there was any doubt in my mind before, Mr. Aaronovitch has ably dispelled it.

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