Posts Tagged ‘Blairism’

How are we going to refer to Starmer’s approach and its followers?

08/04/2020, 06:02:26 PM

by Kevin Meagher

So, after the rapture of his victory on Saturday with a 56% share of the vote, followers of Labour’s new leader can be forgiven for indulging in a bout of Starmerama, but how are we to describe his credo and what are we going to call his disciples?

This mania for suffixing ‘ism’ and ‘ite’ to the names of political leaders or factions started in the 1950s with the Bevanites and the Gaitskellites – the Crip(p)s and the Bloods of post-war Labour politics.

You can’t imagine Clement Attlee going in for such nonsense and there were never really any Wilsonites either, although, like Peter Mandelson, things were done in a Wilsonian way. (And it’s not meant to be complementary).

Of course, we had Thatcherism and Thatcherites. Fair enough, given it was a distinct ideology and had a set of adherents. As were the Bennites at the opposite end of the spectrum.

So, not to be outdone and given it was then de rigeur in British politics by then, we had Blairism and Blairites.

We didn’t really have Brownism, but there were certainly Brownites.

During his five years at the helm, we had neither Milibandism, nor Milibandites. He was too much the intellectual gadfly, never settling on a coherent approach above and beyond ‘moving on from New Labour.’

Of course, there was Corbynism and Corbynites. Lots of them.

So, are we entering a bright new dawn of Starmerism? Or perhaps it will be Keirism?

Starmerite sounds like a household adhesive.

And Starmite doesn’t work because it could mean you either love him or hate him.

How to sum-up his approach?

Well, if the job of Opposition Leader is to benefit from the multifarious failings of the government of the day, then there’s only one term for his approach: Steer karma.

Kevin Meagher is associate editor of Uncut

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Sunday Review on Tuesday: The Purple Book

20/09/2011, 04:57:33 PM

by David Talbot

It is hard to recall now, but 2 May 1997 was a gorgeous spring morning. It felt as though it might have been 26 July 1945, the day that ushered in the first majority Labour government. The country seemed fresh again; there was a sense of something about to be born, a new world, a new start, a new Britain – a new Labour. Even the Conservatives, if you could find one, did not seem to resent the new era or begrudge this young, charismatic prime minister, who had led the Labour party out of 18 years exile to a stunning victory. It was, however, the beginning of his end. The triumphal procession of 1997 led to excited hopes that could never be fulfilled. It was, as George Dangerfield said of the Liberals in 1906, a victory from which Labour never recovered.

But we bought it, all thirteen and a half million of us. Those were the heady days of the new deal, taxes on the profits of privatised utilities, the minimum wage, sure start and five millennium villages (no, me neither). With British troops in Kosovo, even the wars were better.

Now, of course, it is different. The narrative of disillusionment and betrayal is almost beyond challenging. To speak well of him, these days, is to invite scorn, ridicule and worse among Britain’s self-appointed liberal intelligentsia. It is difficult to recall a former prime minister that was last faced with such rancour – much of it, it should be said, coming from his own side. (more…)

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