Monday 31 December 2007

You don't know Jack, Straw!

I've never been a fan of Jack Straw. In 1996, even before New Labour were elected, he enraged me with his (later implemented) plans for curfews on young people (my views on curfews can be found at the No Curfews On Kids website). And while in government, he has proved to be a horrible right-winger.

So alarm bells rang when he made his recent comments that the Tories are 'resonating' with the British public (BBC News: Tories 'resonating', admits Straw). He then says New Labour must 'adapt' to survive; I fear by that, he means the government must move even further to the right-wing.

His out-of-touch comments echo the excuse given by the government and the Establishment to explain the low voter turnout back in 2001, that people were not voting because they were "contented". As if the many people who had lost jobs when several factories (eg Ericsson's UK mobile phone factories) closed, the people with disabilities who were having their benefits attacked, and others , were 'contented'!!!

This time, to be fair, Jack Straw does acknowledge "the government's recent woes" - although he fails to mention that the New Labour government has been the best-selling (miaou!) author of its misfortunes.

Yes, the Tories are ahead in the opinion polls. But that is less likely to be due to the Tories gaining in popularity, and is more likely due to the other parties failing to gain from the government's growing unpopularity. The Liberal Democrats have had a question-mark hanging over them during the leadership contest, as it was impossible to know what policies their next leader would pursue. The Green Party have been deciding whether to have a leader at all (personally I think they would have been better off staying without a single leader). UKIP never really recovered from when their leader, Robert Killjoy Sulk, took off a few years ago, to form Veritass. Respect are still recovering from when their leader took off, and took a substantial number of members with him. On a happier note, the BNP has split in two (detailed on the Stop The BNP website), following internal strife (Night of the Long Handbags, perhaps :-P)

But none of this makes the Tories a good alternative. After a brief and shallow attempt by Cameron to move the Tories away from Thatcher and Major, the party has reverted to its nasty right-wing self, with such right-wing proposals as the imprisonment of immigrants who overstay their visa. And there have been rumblings of disquiet among a number of traditional Tories, who dislike Cameron's attempts to modernise the party (for better or for worse). So, in the longer term, the Tories may well suffer the same in-fighting which has plagued the other parties lately.

In a way, Straw is right to say that "the government must adapt in order to survive". It must stop pandering to the capitalist Establishment, and start listening to the working class people who elected it in the first place!

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