On the night that ended seventeen years of Conservative rule, Labor party activists celebrated by dancing until dawn to the strains of their campaign song ‘Things will only get better’. In reality, as Butler shows, they were about to get progressively worse, if you’ll pardon the expression.
One by one, Eamonn Butler explains how each of the country’s traditional constitutional restraints on uncurbed executive power was deliberately weakened, if not altogether discarded, by New Labor in pursuit of their master political project which was, having come to equate the national good with that of their own party, to perpetuate their hegemony indefinitely.
Their first step was to effect a massive centralization of power in the hands of the Prime Minister and a small clique of unelected advisors that led to a systematic downgrading of Parliament, the Cabinet and civil service.
‘[Under] Tony Blair… [reform of the constitution] became entirely tactical. House of Lords reform would demolish a Conservative bastion. Elected mayors would keep key cities under Labor control… Devolution would undermine the Scottish and Welsh nationalists. English regional assemblies would bottle up the Conservatives in the South East and drain local power from the Liberal Democrats… [A] ragbag of random, opportunistic, self-serving, partisan measures [were adopted] which pass for our constitution today.’
Under New Labor, so Butler further argues, Britain also became a nanny state in which its citizens have been confined within a straitjacket of regulations issued in the name of their health and safety.
Here are some illustrative vignettes:
‘On health: ‘We spend more than any other European nation on cancer treatment, but still have some of the worst cancer survival rates in the European Union… We are the fifth richest country in the world, but we are far down the league tables in terms of medically preventable deaths.’
On welfare: ‘Nearly a third of state spending… goes on various kinds of welfare benefit. After a decade of rising economic growth and prosperity… you might have thought that the need for social benefits was falling.
# If the UK is rotten, the rest of Europe (exception Germany) is putrid. The United States has been going the way of Europe and the UK but much more slowly thanks to our Constitution and the existence of an entrepreneurial class that will thrive once we get rid of the Socialist-Marxists
# On the basis of my experience, Britain was rotten long before New Labour came to power. I moved to England a few weeks before Thatcher resigned, and lived and worked there on and off for most of the 1990s, and what I saw was a country with capitalism for the rich, feudal serfdom for the middle class, and feral anarchy for the underclass. Hard to believe that things got worse after I left, but I guess that’s possible.
Tocqueville already lamented the state of Britain in his Memoir on Pauperism.
That’s a good point. I’m not one who thinks it is all down to Labour – rather that they brought in the destructiveness of out-and-out-socialism, married to and subservient to the EuroMarxism of Barosso and Co, in line with the UN/globalist push – to act as a counterpunch to the rampant greed of Thatcherism and the treachery of Heath, following the selling out by Wilson.
Nor do I think the whole 650 are rotten to the core. Maybe only 600 of them. There is a sprinkling of decent people, more in the Tories but also in Old Labour [Marxist-lite]. Still, the above is pretty much the way it is though.
Solution? Obvious but unachievable. Ranty wrote recently about how they are 650 and we are 62 million. Yes but those behind the 650 have history on their side and know just how far people can be manipulated to this or that, even revolution. It’s factored in. Put simply, people will not combine unless someone defines a common enemy and then you need to look at the person who gave the rallying call.
What’s his agenda?