Thursday, October 23, 2008

No hope for Labour

Lord Mandelson, Geoff Hoon and why there's no hope for the Labour Party

There is no hope. If you ever find yourself feeling slightly queasy at the thought of the Tories returning to power, New Labour will make sure you're put at ease within seconds. Empathy? Siding with working families and ordinary citizens? "We are listening" and all that crap?

Well, look at what Peter Mandelson is doing already. After doing a Lazarus and resurrecting into the corridors of the House of Lords, this unelected, overpaid bloke has already started sniping against the biggest victims of the economic crisis, proposing a u-turn in flexible working rights for 4.5 million parents. In effect Labour are getting an unelected Lord, someone with no voters' mandate, to tamper with the lives of ordinary workers (not to mention that, in the words of TUC general secretary Brendan Barber, "postponing a simple right to request flexible working would not save a single job in the small business sector"). The Tories will have to try really hard to outdo this level of arrogance. In the meantime, it's the ordinary citizens who get it up their bum.

Then you may want to take a look at the Q&A (published on Monday in the Independent) with New Labour automaton Geoff Hoon, a spine-tingling exercise in nothingness. In fact, quite daft of us to even expect any different, as this is the same R2D2 who's toed the party line religiously since 1997, a man so anonymous that you may not even remember he was Defense Secretary at the time of the Iraq War five years ago. His language is just a 'best of' of scrappy sounbites like 'forefront' 'teamwork', 'challenges', 'deliver reforms' and 'tough times ahead'. All that kind of hollow, spurious jargon aimed at fobbing people off. Not that he'd be able to manage anything concrete on his own, because he's the kind who just executes order.

But the icing on the cake came when Hoon was asked about what can be done to stop the obscene train fares the public are currently having to put up with. Here's what he mumbled: "More people are travelling by train than any time since the 1940s, and many of them are paying fares which are good value for money. But passengers can be confused by the number and complexity of fares on offer. That is why we have worked with the railway companies to deliver a simpler fare structure, so passengers can shop for the best deals".

See what I mean?


Anonymous said...

I remember him, total non-entity. Needless to say the press are carefully avoiding Iraq-related questions

socialist sam said...

I wonder why the Independent bother with those Q&As.

Most of them are just a waste of time.

Whoever is editing the questions are obviously under precise instructions not to tread on dodgy stuff.

Not long ago they had one with David Miliband and it was positively futile. Who the heck cares about their favourite CD? Do you know any one who's dying to find out about David Miliband's music of choice?