The Guardian writer Madeleine Bunting
has typically been warning her readers
about the dangers of giving the people what they want in terms of politics and leadership.
If she's managed to frighten herself when she peers into her crystal ball, it's probably because the chattering classes at the BBC and Guardian have missed the point from the moment Labour got into power on the back of a Blair euphoria in 1997, and the campaigns of divisive and pernicious social engineering commenced.
There may not have been any tumbrels, but the process of doing away with most of the establishment was thorough enough. The slaughter of common sense on the altars of assorted dogmas, was hugely aided and abetted by the Graun and BBC's role in "managing" public opinion and setting an agenda of mindless political correctness. Public life was progressively populated by conniving professional political hacks like Mandelson and Campbell, who replaced the life-experienced public servants of old, who somewhat unnervingly had minds of their own, rather than a neural link to the Blackberry controlled by Party HQ. And all the time, the sinister Common Purpose think tank appears to have carried on the "good work" in places like councils and police forces across the land.
MP Jon Cruddas may fancy himself as a visionary, but his utterances to date indicate he is stuck with the NuLabour authoritarianism that doesn't want to listen to what the voters are saying unless it's what he has told them to say. NuLabour is stuck in broadcast/preach mode, and only rarely remembers to take its finger off the transmit button and receive. Re-visiting the wibblings of ancient political thinkers is futile. Times have changed.
Look at one of the "New Avengers" reruns on BBC4 (1974-ish). Marvel in the fact that there were barely any cars not made in Britain to be seen anywhere. But now you will struggle to see any cars made in Britain on the street - yet one British-made car, Steed's Jaguar XJ is still
in production, and only marginally changed! Which says it all.
We need genuinely radical thinking in this country, and the reality is that the left simply cannot do it. The left has not had a radical new thought since around 1917, and left wing governments since that time have generally lasted just long enough to prove that you cannot work and enforce any system that is so plainly contrary to human nature, without razor wire and overt intimidation.
The Grauniad's chattering-class contributors can rattle on about Ruskin, Toynbee etc and impress each other with their impeccable historical perspective, but we are fast approaching the moment where many governments (that really must have known better) have run out of excuses to explain why their countries are sinking ever deeper into the credit mire, and end up blaming various bogymen and external factors, where one traditional "remedy" has been war. So let's pray that everyone still has got something left to lose, and that more creative and constructive solutions can be devised.
And if Ed Balls is telling the truth (and it may indeed be as scary as the picture suggests) we might as well hear it from a new government with a fresh mandate, that does not carry the piled-up baggage of this shower and its unelected leader.
The one thing not
reacting to these stricken times are overheads: cost of employment, rent, rates, energy, even telecoms providers are moaning about edging prices up.
Remarkably little radical navel gazing is coming from traditional media, and few commentators seem to take into account the online revolution that is fast reducing the value of many bricks/mortar businesses to dust. Modern computing and telecoms means that very few office jobs cannot be done from home these days - offices are now mostly "day centres" for companionship and social intercourse. And as for retail... well... that's entirely an optional experience in the meat-space these days.
Philip Blond is one of a number of radical voices questioning the "old ways" - and increasingly these come from a populist point of view that feels compelled to again point out that the UK has been badly governed by a cabal of vociferous minorities where the "average Joe" has been left to fend for themselves. Meantime, overpaid public servants like Jay Hunt (the harridan controller of BBC1) proudly promote their costly campaigns of celebrating radical diversity in pursuit of a social engineering agenda that no one voted for.
Eek! Rule by majority?
That would never do!