"Governments, whether right or left, are dusting down powers that for decades they have felt unable to use... For decades it was that the state had little role in the market. Now THE STATE IS BACK. REGULATION IS IN. People who are losing their homes and their jobs are struggling to understand how banks and financial institutions got it so wrong. They are angry and looking to politicians for action."I think you’ll find that 'people' are 'struggling to understand how banks, financial institutions' AND POLITICIANS 'got it so wrong,' Alan. And yes, they are 'angry' but, trust me, they are not looking 'for action' from wallet-stuffing banker/immigrant-cuddling politicians, they distrust to the point of hatred. They are looking to bigger and better men for that.
"Progressive politics needs to learn the lessons of that ERA OF EXCESS and to acknowledge what went wrong. The trick is to do so without heralding a new era of economic protectionism and state interventionism. Such an approach might be tempting in the present but it is not the answer for the future...THEY have brought private equity dealers, hedge fund managers, greedy bankers and the politicians who greased the wheels 'unprecedented prosperity and opportunity,' Alan. Who else were you thinking of?
Those licking their lips at the prospect of an end to market capitalism – as distinct from the death of unfettered financial markets – risk gorging prematurely on A BEAST THAT HAS LIFE STILL IN IT. MARKETS NEED TO BE APPROPRIATELY MANAGED AND PROPERLY REGULATED. AND WHEN THEY ARE, THEY WORK…
They have brought people in countries like our own unprecedented prosperity and opportunity."
"GLOBALISATION – the worldwide meshing together of markets – has given millions in the poorest countries a route out of poverty."And what has globalisation given the indigenous poor in this country, Alan? How does the exportation of our jobs and industries, and the employment of foreigners at the expense of our own, help our own less well off exactly?
"The issue is how to get economic recovery under way and then to refashion our economy so that markets work in the interests of the majority not just the minority… It means bringing a dose of democracy into the operation of our economy."Which is a back hand way of admitting that Blair, Brown, you and the rest of the anti-British, New Labour cabal presided over a 'democracy'-light era where the markets did NOT 'work in the interests of the majority,' isn’t it, Alan?
"The job of progressives is not to kill capitalism but to civilise it – by making it work in the public interest."Which it hasn’t up till now, right? Question being, Alan, why didn’t New Labour, a government, purporting to be on the side of the labouring classes, start civilising it in 1997, thirteen long years ago?
"The challenges of the modern world call for THE STATE to play its part… IT IS ONLY THE STATE THAT CAN EQUALISE opportunities throughout life and empower its citizens… So just as THE RIGHT IS WRONG TO REJECT THE STATE'S ROLE, the left must avoid the trap of countering an argument about less state by making a case for more state.Curiously truthful here, Alan!
This is not as some claim a moment for leftist politics. It is a moment for A NEW FORM OF PROGRESSIVE POLITICS… Faced with the new challenges of GLOBAL warming and GLOBAL terror, of mass migration and community insecurity the old top down approach to governance will no longer work…
In a world of rampant insecurity and constant change PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR GREATER CONTROL IN THEIR LIVES... The problem is that OURS REMAINS A ‘THEM AND US’ POLITICAL SYSTEM. IT WAS FRAMED IN AN ERA OF ELITISM."
"RULERS RULED AND THE RULED WERE GRATEFUL!"The facts of the matter followed by the outright lie. Classic!
"THE SENSE OF HOPELESSNESS THAT CLOUDS THE POOREST COMMUNITIES GROWS OUT OF DISEMPOWERMENT."Yep. That would be the disempowerment that Tony, Gordon, the Blairites, the Brownites, and the Thatcherites before them, fashioned, would it, Alan?
"This cloud of despondency can only be dispelled by allowing both local communities and individual citizens to more evenly and directly share in power."We’d like that, Alan.
"By cutting taxes for the low-paid."We’d like that too.
"By making local services directly accountable to the local community."Ditto.
"By making community courts and restorative justice the twin pincers that deter and prevent anti-social behaviour."Lovely.
"By allowing community-owned mutual organisations to take over the running of local services like children's centres, estates and parks."Oh yes.
"By giving parents new powers to choose schools..."Schools where all the pro-homosexual b***ocks your lot have foist on us recently was off the menu, Alan? Thought not.
"And by empowering people in old age, those with a long-term condition, families with disabled children or people in training the right to choose their own PUBLICLY-FUNDED BUDGETS INSTEAD OF CONVENTIONALLY PROVIDED SERVICES. In other words, BY CHANGING THE BALANCE BETWEEN THE CITIZEN AND THE STATE."Ah. We get it now, Alan. The Blairite rhetoric is, in fact, a thinly disguised argument for more privatisation. New Labour wants to wash its dirty hands of the most needy even more than it has done already.
Remind me, Al. What was it the wise man said about leopards and spots?
"This should be the new agenda for New Labour. Empowering citizens and communities to take far greater control over their lives has always been at the heart of progressive values."No, Alan. The totalitan takeover of our country by a creepy, Brit-loathing elite has always been 'at the heart of' New Labour’s 'progressive values.'
"Just as at other points in our history an old orthodoxy has been swept away by a new, SO THIS IS AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME. In 1945 the new idea that ushered in the era of full employment and welfare reform was for POWER TO BE VESTED IN THE NATION STATE AND ITS POLICY EXPRESSION WAS NATIONALISATION."Yep. Nationalism = the enrichment and enfranchisement of the many at the expense of almost no one.
"In the 1980s the new idea that ushered in the Thatcher/Reagan era was FOR POWER TO BE VESTED IN THE FREE MARKET AND ITS POLICY EXPRESSION WAS PRIVATISATION."'Free market' and 'privatisation' = the further enrichment and enfranchisement of the already rich and powerful few at the expense of the very many.
"In the mid-1990s the new idea that ushered in the Clinton/Blair era was for power to be vested in REFORMED INSTITUTIONS AND ITS POLICY EXPRESSION WAS MODERNISATION."'Reformed institutions' which consolidated the iron grip a self-serving and destructive elite had upon the rest. We know what you mean, Al.
"Out of the debris of the global financial crash it can usher in A NEW ERA OF PROGRESSIVE POLITICS which fundamentally shifts the balance of power both in our society and our economy – towards the individual citizen."As Hitler, Stalin and co. used to say:
"The bigger the lie the more people will believe it."I guess a bloke who rose to power in the era of spin, 4,500,000 CCTV cameras and the Blair wars would be a fan of such a cynical hypothesis. I’m right, aren’t I, Alan? Thought so.
Just to remind you of what is really being said here:
"The State is back. Regulation is in… It is only the State that can equalise… It is a moment for a new form of progressive politics… Rulers ruled and the ruled were grateful… Changing the balance between the citizen and the state… This is an idea whose time has come."Ladies and gentlemen, the next time you're thinking of putting your 'X' in the box marked 'Alan,' remember what the wise man said after he reminded us about leopards and spots:
"If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got."Only more so. As regards 'the ruled' being 'grateful' for what characters like Milburn, the archetypical belligerent and manically self-righteous Blairite, were doing to them, I wonder how many are grateful for the following:
Milburn voted to make war upon Iraq and Afghanistan. He also voted for the military action which led to the widespread bombing of Iraq in 1998, five years before Iraq was invaded for the second time in March 2003.
He voted to lower the age of consent for homosexual sex to 16 and to repeal Section 28, which banned local authorities from promoting homosexuality. He also voted for the adoption of children by homosexual couples and against an amendment which would have allowed parents a greater say over the content of sex education in the schools that their children attend.
He voted for government plans to cut student funding and to introduce 'top-up' fees for university students in England.
He voted for the establishment of Foundation (part-privatised) hospitals.
He voted for criminal behaviour to be punished with more severity if it was racially or religiously aggravated and for the sentence for 'incitement to racial hatred' to be increased from two to seven years.
He also voted to introduce legislation allowing government health agencies to force water companies in England and Wales to add fluoride, a substance once regarded as toxic waste, to drinking water.
During his 17 years in parliament, Milburn never once spoke out against the wallet-stuffing bankers, hedge fund managers and private equity dealers. He wouldn’t. Following his resignation as Secretary of State for Health, he became an adviser to Bridgepoint Capital, an international venture capital firm heavily involved in financing private health care firms moving into the NHS.
As Minister of State at the Department of Health from 1997, he had responsibility for driving through the Private Finance Initiative. (The part-privatisation of the Health Service) He became Secretary of State for Health in October 1999, with responsibility for continuing this back door privatisation.
Milburn’s record as Health Secretary laudably included, 'strident attacks on the junk food industry, including a claim that the worst health problem facing the world is not the Aids epidemic but chronic illness caused by processed food such as crisps and fizzy drinks. Shortly after he resigned, he called on ministers to ban snack-food vending machines from schools.' (The Guardian - 30 May 2007)
However, in April 2007, he became a member of the advisory board of Pepsi-Cola 'to help it fight the backlash against unhealthy snacks and build a more acceptable image.' Tony Blair's one-time polling and image guru, Philip Gould, sat on the same board.
Before Milburn entered parliament he was, at various and similar times, a Marxist, a Trot and a 'radical.'
Milburn, who was raised by his mother and never knew his father, is the product, as were so many who managed to ascend to the top of New Labour’s greasy pole, a product of failed marriage. He divorced his first wife, Barbara O’Toole, three years before he entered parliament, moving in with his current partner, psychiatrist, Ruth Briel, soon afterwards.
They have two sons, Daniel and Joseph.
Ruth? Daniel? Joseph? Briel? Psychiatrist?
Oh, never mind.