Blair and New Labour - a View

We are not the masters now. The people are the masters. We are the servants of the people. We will never forget that. Said by Blair at Church House to 400 Labour MPs on May Day 1997 and taking power...... It was not true. From the moment Tony Blair became leader of his party in 1994 and rebranded it as New Labour, he was the undisputed master of the people. See page vii


Though they invoked the people, New Labour could not trust them. See page vii


The people's newspapers, especially the mass market tabloids that had inflicted so much grief on Labour in the past, were to be ingratiated if they could be turned into allies and neutralised where they could not. See page vii


In pursuit of power, New Labour were supplicants to the people, but the great design was to use office to master them. See page vii


In an unguarded remark, delivered with an uncharacteristic public venom that suggested sincere passion, Tony Blair blurted it out: My mission is to destroy the Conservative Party. See page vii


That desire for hegemony, to absorb most opposition and crush the residue, was chillingly suggestive of some of those tyrannical regimes that call themselves 'People's Democracies' and are neither. See page viii


....., Blair described the New Labour as 'the political wing of the British people' Yet the progenitors of this all-embracing self-styled People's Party were tiny in number [ Blair, Brown, Mandelson and Campbell - reviewer ]. Less a mass movement, more a junta who had executed a coup, ..... See page viii


There were excellent reasons for not embarking on such a project [ this book - reviewer thereof ]. New Labour's deserved reputation for wanting to control every word written or spoken about it would present formidable obstacles in trying to get close to the truth......... Because of the concentration of power within this government and the personalities involved, many significant exchanges take place without civil servants present to take an official note.  See page x


He [ Blair - Editor ] assured Ashdown that he was still committed to their secret pre-election pact to form a coalition government in which, so Blair had encouraged the other man to believe, Ashdown would be Foreign Secretary. He had concealed this plan from John Prescott. ........ See page 1


With an unswerving dedication to turning it into a vehicle for power, the modernisers had rebranded the image, deconstructed the philosophy, and re-tooled the policies of their party until its relationship with socialism, as Labour understood it, was barely glancing......... His fiercest conviction about his party was that it had been a failure at delivering to the people it claimed to represent. See page 2


Blair recognised that much of the Labour Party suffered him only on the basis that he would deliver power. There was one chance to win. See page 3


Further he says that Brown hates Blair because he didn't get to be Prime Minister; that Mo Mowlam did what many man had wanted and  told Ian Paisley to fuck off; that Frank Field and Harman hated each other passionately when they were supposed to be working with each other; that Frank was supposed think the unthinkable, not spend the unspendable [ on dole bludgers - reviewer ]; that there were major panics when Mandelson was caught out over taking money from Robinson and lying on his mortgage form and on other occasions. You will have to read it for yourself to find out what a cunning, manipulative  shower they are, albeit they make the Tories look like deadbeats. However Blair did well when Princess Diana bought it. Snake oil sales man extraordinaire. The direct quotations are mainly from the introduction to  Servants of the People: The Inside Story of New Labour by Andrew Rawnsley. Mr Rawnsley was worked for the BBC and The Observer which means that he is a Labour man [ but not a working man ] which makes it more difficult to accuse him of malice.


Blair's inner circle
Albeit sans Mandelson; odd.


An update on Blair's track record:-

Mandarins moan about Blair
It is seriously unusual for senior civil servants to go public, especially about the PM of the day. Robin Butler did a while ago. He was evidently not alone in his distaste. It sound pretty muted but anything in public means major discontent.


Lord Butler on Blair
Lord Butler is the head of the Civil Service and the man who knows, who is trusted, who is utterly discreet. For him to tell The Spectator that Blair is a dreadful prime minister must be unprecedented and cannot be dismissed as mere disgruntlement.


Errors & omissions, broken links, cock ups, over-emphasis, malice [ real or imaginary ] or whatever; if you find any I am open to comment.

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Updated  on  Friday, 07 September 2012 18:06:11