Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Comrade Blair speaks

Having cunningly arranged my annual leave so I can unilaterally declare a four day week, I caught Tony Blair's interview on the Today programme last Friday.

Blair is a stunning interview performer, easy enough to sound nice, pushy enough to control the discussion, fast enough to avoid a punch being landed.

Usually, that is. Humphries landed a punch. It doesn't really appear in the review I linked to above, but Humphries asked Blair about the lack of social mobility, and quoted Alan Milburn (the ultra Blairista) and Alan Johnson (current cabinet minister) both saying that mobility has declined since their days on the council estates.

Blair was flummuxed, he clearly had no get out, cornered by his own acolytes. He waffled, Humpries pressed. The pressing was a mistake - it gave Blair time and an opening to say "I don't believe in punishing the wealth creators" casting this as about some sort of politics of envy.

It is, though, what he said before that that struck me like an intercontinental ballistic missile. He said that the difference between now and when the two Alan's were bairns is that there was an organised labour movement to help move people like them up.

[Beat]

[Pause]

The Labour Prime Minister says there was an organised workers' movement. Think about it. The head of the Labour Party says there is declining social mobility and a hard to reach group of the socially excluded solely because there isn't an organised political force doing something about it - the implication being such an organised political force could do something about it.

A slip on an interview, unreported, unmentioned in the sound and light over cash for honours and "When will he go?" - that will be Blair's political epitaph: "There was an organised workers' movement..."

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In a word: Ouch...

~Liam

10:25 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Wood said...

The organised workers movement was robbed by thatcher and Blair did nowt to rectify it.

4:13 PM  
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3:26 AM  

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