Thursday, May 10, 2007

Vale Blair

27th June it all ends.

Lets briefly look back. Despite whopping majorities, Blair always realised his grip on power was slender, and was based on distortions of the electoral system. Michael Foot planned the '83 election on the premise that a radical left could win with a fraction of the vote if teh SPD syphoned enouh votes off the Tories. Blair took the opposite view, he pursued a hegemonic strategy - Labour was always going to be a weak government, but persistance would leader to greater changes, eventually.

In the North, Labour has massive percentile margins of victory, with handfuls of votes (the Tories are derisory). In the south, Labour loses seats after taking over twentyb thousands votes - the Tory heartlands held.

Trimming a centrist line, even with overwhelming parliamentary majorities was thus his strategy. Despite that, public spending has increased, the welfare state protected, and the use-value provided by the state extended through the (thoroughly dubious) means of PFI.

As far as the hegemonic strategy goes, it is clear from the persistance of the existence of the awkward squad that they epresent a real phenomena, a measurement of the labour left in the electorate and parliament, a left vote is too weak to sustain a long-term left-wing government.

The question is, has Labour simply accomodated to the centre right electorate or has it shaped the electorate to the left. What's for certain is that the map of the great and the good has be re-written.

The true effects will be seen after Brown - my predictions on that score another time.

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Blogger Darren said...

Not a trick question: Brown or McDonnell? (And why . . . if you can be arsed.)

Just curious.

6:50 PM  

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