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Tuesday, September 21, 2010 

The true meaning of Blairism.

For those still wavering over who to support for Labour leader, you could do worse than take a second to listen to the poison Peter Mandelson has been spitting about Ed Miliband:

In his most direct attack on the younger Miliband brother, the former business secretary mocked him for distancing himself from a work he produced.

"Nobody else authored the manifesto," Mandelson told Radio 4. "It was done by Gordon and Ed."

The ex-business secretary said the manifesto was designed to appeal to readers of the Guardian and "offered nothing to people worried about immigration, housing and welfare scroungers".

He described the document as "a lowest common denominator manifesto, a crowd-pleasing Guardianista manifesto that completely passed by that vast swath of the population who weren't natural Labour voters".

Mandelson at the time described the manifesto as "Blairplus", which presumably was a compliment, even though Ed Miliband quite reasonably said he didn't understand exactly what Mandelson meant. It does however say something about just how deranged the Blairites have become that they could possibly portray the dour, timid and pessimistic document produced by Ed and Gordon as anything even close to "Guardianista pleasing". While it might not have said much to those worried about immigration, housing and welfare scroungers, it did imply that crime and immigration were all but the same subject, marrying them into one section, not the most liberal-leftie pleasing of decisions, as well as not using the word liberty once, and only mentioning civil liberties to hilariously claim to be proud of their record in maintaining them (surely destroying them?).

All this time I think we've been underestimating exactly what Blairism is. While it certainly isn't as encompassing and defining a political orthodoxy as Thatcherism has become, we can't really continue to deride it as being either meaningless or not an ideology at all. Blair's recent diagnosis of why Labour lost, along with Mandelson's continued interventions to fight back against even the slightest deviation from the New Labour line show that even when it ought to be in terminal decline as it's clearly failed to change with the times it remains a distinct if small school of thought within not just Labour, but also within the Conservatives, with whom Blair and Mandelson's real support ought to be based on their views. Blairism, in short, puts the creation of wealth, or the possibility of creating it before everything else. As long as the potential was there to get incredibly rich, and this potential was open to the middle classes, everything else followed. Hence Blair's derision for how Brown introduced the 50p tax on those earning over £150,000, and also for his "identifying banks as the malfeasants" of the economic crisis, as if they somehow weren't. That's the other aspect of Blairism: ignoring what is staring you in the face. For the incredible political vision Blair is meant to have shown, he and Mandelson could also be complete dunderheads, and it's only now that just how incredibly ignorant and stupid they are is becoming clear. Should Ed Miliband or someone other than his brother become leader, we'll soon get to experience just how petulant the Blairites can be.

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it's only now that just how incredibly ignorant and stupid they are is becoming clear

Not ignorant, not stupid: astonishingly, irredeemably evil.

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