Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Newer (Better) Blairism?

Tory leader emulating Labour PM

If David Cameron is the Tony Blair of the Conservative party, he certainly seems to relish the role.

"He was the future once," he once famously told Blair. "I want to talk about the future."

David Cameron has so effectively claimed Blair's mantle as the "future of Britain" that many consider his victory in the 2010 general election to be all but assured -- just as Blair's victory over John Major was considered assured.

According to Lord Andrew Adonis, the Labour party's Transport Secretary, there is more than a passing resemblence between Cameron's and Blair's style. That resemblence may be more than coincidental -- it may be by design.

"Cameron is trying to offer a better Blairism when he’s trying to be sunny," Lord Adonis remarked, although noting that Cameron's rhetoric can also have a dark side. "Then when he’s not, it’s the age of austerity and broken Britain."

If Cameron has mixed his upbeat rhetoric with some gloominess, he certainly isn't alone.

Many Labour party supporters and boosters -- as well as Prime Minister Gordon Brown himself -- continue to insist that their party is still very much in the running to win the 2010 election. Yet the prognosis offered by polls and various experts is far less than promising for them.

Compass, a left-wing British think tank, has predicted the end of the Labour party altogether if Cameron wins the next election.

They predict that, aside from whatever defeat Labour may absorb in 2010, a Conservative government increases the chance of Scotland opting to secede from the United Kingdom, taking a bastion of Labour strength with them.

Compass insists that a referendum on abandoning Britain's "first past the post" electoral system could gain the party desperately-needed ground against the Tories.

Gordon Brown has yet to fully embrace this issue as a "game changer", but has reportedly taken it under consideration.

Meanwhile, Lord Adonis doesn't believe that all is yet lost to Cameron and the Tories.

"We shouldn’t take the view that we’re in a situation like 1979 or 1997 and should be fatalistic and Cameron has found the new middle ground," Adonis insisted. "I don’t think that’s the case."

For Gordon Brown, defeating Tony Blair (they are well known to have been rivals) is a prospect that has long faded from view. But if anything substantial is to be taken away from Lord Adonis' commentary, it's that defeating David Cameron may be just as good.

That, of course, is provided that Brown can save his (and Labour's) skin in 2010.


  1. The 2010 UK election is going to turn out like Japan's recent romp by the opposition. I really don't see any reason why Labour will reutrn to power, there's nothing from them anymore.

    Cameron's Tories might not be proposing anything new other than green initiatives, but they've been in the lead for almost a year now. The election will happen by law next year, so there's little anyone can do to delay the election until Labour rebounds in the polls.

    A defeat will certainly help Labour renew itself down the road.

  2. Usually, in a Westminster system, when a government waits a full five years for an election it's because they know they're going to lose the next one.

    I just wonder if there's any actual credence to this Compass study, or if they're just fear mongering.


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