This entry was posted on
Wednesday, January 11th, 2006 at
10:47 am and is filed
under Tony ‘King Blair.
The UK Today – Showing a little Respect: I could spend time pulling the whole thing to pieces, but in all honesty that would be a waste of both your time and mine. New Labour, and Blair in particular, has shown time and again a complete inability to deliver on the fundamental issues facing society, and Respect is just another case in point.
It’s the sheer arrogance that gives me cause for concern… cheerily, this point and the core problem as I see it is covered by Justin in his autopsy of this dead duck (the first of many to reach our shores):
Chicken Yoghurt – Reject Action Plan: In his “Prime Minister’s Foreword” to the document, Blair says: “If we are to achieve the vision of the Britain that we all want, then there is no room for cynicism.” The trouble of is, after nearly nine years of dossiers, initiatives, war, evasion, obfuscation and downright lies, cynicism must be hard wired into the psyches of half of the newspaper reading public.
There’s also this view, expressed by Tony Blair on Radio 4 yesterday:
“We have got to get past the idea that the so-called civil liberties of that minority come ahead of the civil liberties of the vast majority of decent people.” – Tony Blair
“So-called civil liberties”… a phrase that’s already aptly described here as ‘proto-fascistic’.
“Decent people”… well, that’s the kind of rhetoric I’d expect from the most right-wing of Tories, but I’m not telling you anything new here, so I’ll move on….
While building this special ‘Respect’ page I had to opportunity to look through the META Tags of the Labour website. They appear below:
meta name=”description” content=”The official British Labour Party website – get the latest news on the Party and find out how you can get involved.”
meta name=”keywords” content=”Labour Party uk government tony blair prime minister students STUDENTS vote britain Uk politics parliament Britain partnership in power LABOUR PARTY labor Government Prime Minister Tony Blair Charles Clarke political news budget forethought members ALC nhs environment Scottish Labour Party constituency MP MEP councillor Gordon Brown environment Politics education New Deal jobs economy crime John Prescott Membership association of Labour councillors pension Young Labour TONY BLAIR MEMBER Welsh Labour Party LABOR BRITAIN local elections CONFERENCE GOVERNMENT EDUCATION NHS health schools UK POLICY FORETHOUGHT election ELECTION Crime Economy The Labour Party, Britain forward, not back”
meta name=”abstract” content=”The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party. It believes that by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone, so as to create for each of us the means to realise our true potential and for all of us a community in which power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many, not the few. Where the rights we enjoy reflect the duties we owe. And where we live together, freely, in a spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect.”
The very long and unformatted keyword list I present primarily for your amusement. The real point of interest is the passage that I’ve highlighted in bold:
“The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party.”
Minus the socialism and chipping away daily at our democracy… a good thing that this has – quite correctly – been classified as an ‘abstract’ view. Moving on…
Poor schooling equals a poor start (there’s a nice sound-bite for you). Blair’s solution is to tack on a new school program to ‘teach’ children about decent behaviour instead of dealing with one of the core problems.
Even with the best schooling (and point-by-point lectures on behaving like a ‘decent’ person), those who are poor of pocket soon fall behind, due to a variety of consequences from lack of proper diet to lack of resources and – in some areas – close-to-total exclusion (this is where the aforementioned ‘decent’ people shut you out because you’re poor and you smell).
This is what drives anti-social behaviour. Even some of the sensible stuff tucked away in this gimmick-ridden package takes a ‘top down’ approach, when the most positive thing that could come from the top is a good example.
Sadly, the nearest thing we got to respect from Blair was a short-lived period of contrition following a slapping at the last election… closely followed by new laws designed to stop people questioning his authority.
Perhaps this is the real reason behind his anti-graffiti initiative. If anyone’s going to be overly-sensitive about the writing on the wall…
UPDATE – How amusing. Search for ‘tony blair respect’ in Google today and the top search result is that post election moment… but the 2nd-to-top search result is this pre-election moment. Both reveal the level of respect that Blair has for us.