Monday, January 10, 2005

"Brown wants something better than compassionate Conservatism. Blair does not." So says Roy Hattersley writing in The Guardian. Well it may or may not be true, but at least Hattersley attempts to explain some sort of ideological difference between Blair and Brown, whereas most of the chattering classes appear to define the split along the lines of: I want your job... You can't have it. If Gordon Brown is going to present a credible alternative to Tony Blair, then I would expect Labour Party members to want at least some explanation of the policy differences that divide them. I for one will not just accept Gordon Brown because he is not Tony Blair (although many might do so) or because he is "one of us". i.e. Labour not New Labour. I wouldn't expect Gordon Brown to articulate an opposition to the invasion of Iraq unless he was going to resign, but he has consistently showed himself to be a Chancellor close to the City of London and the US Treasury. Brown has pushed ahead with PFI even more fervently than the Major government, and it was Brown who argued for sticking to the Tory spending limits from 1997 when the first government lost much of the momentum created before the election. So, without more clear policy differences, the Jury is still out for me.

Letter in The Guardian:
If, to restart the peace process, photographic evidence was required of decommissioning, would it not also be in order to require photographic evidence of bank-robbing before abandoning the peace process (Raid was IRA's work, says chief constable).
Neil Hanson
Huddersfield, W Yorks