Web Analytics Trust People (once an Englishman in Philly): Respec' innit

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Respec' innit

Driving into the deepest, darkest realms of the Black Country to work today I was serenaded by the estuary tones of Our Tone as he bleated on about his Respect agenda.

Aside from the slightly pathos laden comedy of his speech, in which he tried to set out the "intellectual and philosophical" underpinnings of the so-called policy I found the central tenet of what he was saying slightly scary.

We can probably all agree that it actually amounts to not much and isn't going to have much impact. What I found unsettling, however, was not so much the meat of it as the way it betrayed the Prime Minister's view of the world.

He showed disdain for civil liberties, habeas corpus and the rule of law. I found it unbelievable. To label such concepts as "nineteenth and early twentieth century constructs" is staggering (though why I am so staggered after the debacle of detention without trial is beyond me). They have been the structure and underpinning of our society for centuries and continue to play a vital role - or so I thought. Obviously, with the onset of "Big Blair's" rule such outdated ideas should be jettisoned as they hold back the inevitable improvement of all us minions.

In particular I found what he said today a betrayal of his (allegedly) socialist roots. The answer to a denuded family and community structure is not to encourage new organic replacements, it's not to give them succour or acknowledge them as concepts with merits for society. It's instead to decide that the state knows best. Rather than trust people, Mr Blair, again, decides that he and his cronies are best placed to decide what "the people" want, and then demand the trust of the country to do it. This may not be quite such an appalling prospect had he got something approaching a significant majority of the vote and if in the process he recognised the valid fears many have of state power being abused.

More than anything, however, his speech told me one thing. He must be stopped. Let's just hope that Cameron is the man to do it. Let's hope he can represent a truly effective more libertarian balance.

Mr Blair, he who demands respect receives subservience. He who earns it, tries to nurture it and then trusts it will be returned, albeit not to a foolish degree, is often more fortunate.


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