Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Waiting for Gordon?

Interesting comments by former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Waikato and once a British Labour Mp Bryan Gould from the website of Austin Mitchell, the last of a long line of antipodean academics turned UK Labor politicians. Says Gould on the state of British Labour:
Left activists and supporters are at best bewildered and apathetic, at worst angry but impotent, at what has happened. There is a powerful sense of lost opportunity. The thoughtful realise that the opportunity presented by an overwhelming popular mandate for change, the intellectual bankruptcy and debilitating divisions of the Right, and a consequent period of virtually unchallenged power in government, is unlikely to be repeated. They know that, while the Tory party may still – under an unproven leader who has yet to demonstrate any substance – lose the next election, there is a palpable sense that the balance of political advantage is shifting. David Cameron is at least succeeding in drawing a line under the disintegration of the past fifteen years and signalling that a new Tory Party is ready to contest for power. The risk to Labour is compounded not only by the cumulative failures that attend the progress of any government but by the loss of trust and sense of disappointment on the part of its own natural supporters. As the Blair period draws to an end, and an unparalleled window of opportunity closes, an alleged government of the Left will not only have wasted a unique chance of promoting real change. They will have achieved the reverse of what many of its supporters expected. They will have presided over, even engineered, an entrenchment of power for the powerful. Gordon Brown may well find that his inheritance is worth little more than a mess of pottage.
What does Gordon say in an interview with Newsweek:
You don't sound like the socialist you are portrayed to be. I'm a free trader. I'm pro open markets. I'm anti-protectionism. I also think that the environmental challenge has got to be met over the next 10 years. We've undervalued energy and the environment. So when people say you represent a return to "Old Labour," are they wrong? Totally wrong. And the economy that I admire most is the American economy.


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