Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The end of the long goodbye

At last. Blair fans won't be happy but we can surely agree on this: like most dramas, the Tony and Gordon show has gone on well-past its sell-by date.

Three unconnected thoughts:

1) Do I want a directly elected president? I would have always been inclined to say no, yet on reading news of Gordon Brown's forthcoming coronation I instinctively felt the whole thing is decidedly undemocratic. Yet it is Parliament elects the Prime Minister and if the Labour party can't bring themselves to have a proper election, there's not a lot you can do about it. And expecting the internal workings of the Labour party - even if they'd decided to have a proper election - to act as a proxy for a proper election requires a stretch of the imagination, to say no more than that. I've always preferred parliamentary systems to presidential ones - but this sucks.

2) I'm not happy about the way Blair announced Brown's Scottishness as a selling-point:
"He made his prediction while campaigning in Scotland on the 10th anniversary of being elected to power.
[...]
He told party workers: "In all probability a Scot will become prime minister of the United Kingdom, someone who has built our economy into one of the strongest in the world, and who, as I have said many times before, would make a great prime minister for Britain.""
So what? This should keep us happy? We've had a Cabinet stuffed with Scots and we've had a Scottish Parliament with a Scottish Executive led by a Scottish First Minister who keeps going on about how Scotland is the best small country in the world. It isn't a shortage of Scots in power that is the problem; people are fed up with Labour - and while I think it would be a mistake to express this on Thursday by voting for any of the nationalist parties, it's not difficult to understand. And the economy thing. Chancellors don't 'build' economies!

3) Blair's legacy ten years on? Here the Guardianistas have had a go. Amongst the many problems I have with NuLabour is with the verbs.

Or the lack of them.

New Labour.

Forward - not back.

New - not old.

New, good.

Old, bad.

More bullshit.

Fewer verbs.

I miss the verbs.

Any politician that campaigns on a platform of more verbs and less bullshit has my vote, is all I'm saying.

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