08 September 2006

Blair and Me

What do I think of the current Blair feeding-frenzy? I admit to being a bit conflicted.

First, chris dillow is right as usual that compared to real questions about policy, all this is relatively insignificant.

Related to that, I think the press just wants him out, because they're bored and would like to see something happen. I can understand that feeling, indeed I share it, but it can't be a good reason to change the Prime Minister.

I don't think we'd get better policies either from Brown or from whoever emerges as anyone-but-Brown.

What is distinctive about Blair is his idealism. This leads him to overambitious social and economic engineering projects, which is bad, but it also causes him to resist (to an extent) the Labour Party's "core values", meaning the prioritisation of the interests of public sector workers above everybody else. That is good. Will his successor's corruption be worse than Blair's idealism? Hard to say.

Then there is the next election. Will an early change be better or worse for Labour? Will the Tories be any better? Is Cameron lying when he says he is really just like Labour? What pressures will be on Cameron from the rest of his party? What would happen to the Tories if they lost the next election? Would they become better or worse, and in each case would that make them more or less likely to win the election after next, and what effect would that have on a Labour government in the meantime?

When it comes the the question of how to influence such an enormously complex and unpredictable system for the better by throwing a single vote at it, the only possible rational response is to give up and do something useful instead.

Current levels of voter turnout and engagement with politics are inexplicably and frighteningly high.

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