Tuesday, July 11, 2006

When the scales fall off your eyes

Many will be disillusioned by Blair over his paean of praise for nuclear power today. Some may even feel betrayed, though this is more a reflection of their own naivety than Blair's true nature. Long, long ago, way back in 1997, there was a feeling shared by many, including, I noticed at the time, those who voted Tory, that there really was change in the air. The late Robin Cook spoke confidently about "an ethical foreign policy". I held my tongue. True, the temptation to tell all & sundry that they were in for a rude awakening offered its sweet allure. But, no, I thought, let 'em learn the hard way. Sure enough, the severity of that lesson has been apparent to those poor saps in the last four or five years (many gave Blair extra time in the immediate wake of 9/11).

The bloggers have secured their first big political hit on this side of the Atlantic over the Prescott affair. Even though Guido Fawkes (5thnovember.blogspot.com/ ) & I come from different political & philosophical places, I have to congratulate him on the digging he's done on one of the most hypocritical figures in New Labour ( & that's saying something!). I won't mention the name of the female Labour MP named by Guido whom, he claims, is Prescott's other mistress, not because the claim is risible (it isn't), but because you never know if a loophole can be found, & it's found that a blogger can be sued for libel. [Interestingly, the MP named on Guido's blog has, obviously, denied the story, yet declined to take legal action.]

A measure of just how far I've made my own political journey over the last decade and a half was instantly apparent to me last Saturday when More4 screened the Alan Bleasedale serial, "GBH". When it was first aired on Channel 4 in 1991 I was still very much an active member of the Militant. By a strange quirk of scheduling (at the time we were more cynical about its timing) the first episode was shown in the middle of the Liverpool Walton by-election, a contest noted for its bitterness, dirty tricks & open hostility. Both sides were guilty; I recall telling people on the doorstep that Kilfoyle had something VERY dodgy to hide.
It was an open secret in the organisation that Bleasedale's drama was a thinly-veiled portrait of Derek Hatton. Bleasedale denied that the drama's main protagonist, Michael Murray, was wholly based on Hatton's character. We claimed that it amounted to nothing more than character assassination. Looking back, both protestations were wrong. It's ironic that another totemic leader of the Trotskyite Left, Tommy Sheridan, is now revealed to have, ahem, feet of clay.

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