Friday, May 11, 2007

Counting the Days

I'm sure it will come as no shock to you that I am awaiting the end of the Blair regime with a certain degree of pleasure.

He may be a Labour Prime Minister, but his policies are more in line with centre right authoritarianism. Will things be any different - better or worse, under Gordon Brown? It is true of course that Gordon Brown has pledged to continue the Blair reforms... however we can live in hope that perhaps he was just paying lip service to keep the influential Blair allies at bay. If he had openly talked about returning to a socialist agenda... I'm sure his potential accession would be fraught with many more hurdles.

It is certainly an encouragement to me, that members of the Blair cabinet are stepping down from their posts... perhaps they themselves fear and believe that Brown is going to make a sharp turn back to the left and wish to get out of the way to avoid carrying through policies they find distasteful. Of course it is also possible that they just think Brown is going to make a severe mess of things and do not wish to be tarred with the same brush. If they are not part of the cabinet then if/when everything hits the fan, they can wait in the wings like quasi-messianic figures (I certainly believe that is John Reid's game plan).

Sadly, experience and skepticism lead me to suspect that whatever leadership style Gordon Brown utilises... his policies are probably going to be the same. It is quite bleak when you consider that in terms of economics, in Britain we have very little spectrum of choice. All the major parties are now right wing when it comes to financial decisions... it is only their social policies that differ. Now maybe that is just a reflection on the way our society is developing... but that doesn't mean I have to think that it is a good thing, or indeed agree that it is right.

Certainly as a Christian, I find it hard to understand how other believers can easily reconcile the harsher aspects of capitalism with their faith. The early Church was very community minded, both in social and economic policy (if you disagree, take a good look at the book of Acts some day). It worked... so why do we find ourselves running away from that? Pure religion is taking care of widows and orphans... that is what the Good Book says. Is that something to really be uncomfortable about? I would think a society that valued such a principle would be a good one to live in. Don't you?

It's not that I have less respect for Christians who are strong supporters of right wing economic policy... I just want them to think long and hard about whether those policies actually reflect what we are supposed to believe and how we are supposed to act.

I want to conclude by returning to the Blair/Brown handover though. After all is said and done, I suspect (to quote The Who), that it may well be a case of:

"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss"

Time will tell though... time always tells.


  1. Wont be sad to see his Tonyness go. Not sure on Gordo either though. But having said that, there's not exactly a lot to choose from really.

  2. Oh my, I wasn't even up to date on this! I'm from Guernsey, but moved to New Zealand in 1998. I need to keep in touch with my British roots and be more aware of the changes - thanks for bringing this to my attention. I feel humbled by my ignorance!


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