Sunday, September 27, 2009

curtains for truth as hostilities begin

In 1988, a favourite rock group of mine called Magnum had a hit called Days of no Trust which had lines that are ironically appropriate:
click to go to the official Magnum websiteThe truth's not a curtain
To be drawn back and forth
It's a flame that keeps burning
Everlasting torch
The reason for their appropriateness is that we are in the political conference season, and the next party up to the line is the present party of Government, the Labour Party.

Labour as it exists now, whether or not you prefix the "New", is a neo-conservative project which sees humankind as something that can be perfected solely by that which arises from itself. As such, it sees its roots as being in the Enlightenment and is hence related to disastrous 20th century undertakings to improve the human race with faux-science and ideology. In his 2007 work Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia John Gray summarises how Tony Blair, one of New Labour's founding fathers in the last days of his premiership, saw the truth - not as an "everlasting torch" but in an entirely instrumental sense:

'Black Mass - apocalyptic religion and the death of utopiaIt is not so much that [Blair] is economical with the truth as that he lacks the normal unerstanding of it. For him truth is whatever serves the cause, and when he engages in what is commonly judged to be deception he is only anticipating the new world that he is helping to bring about...Blair's stance...must by ordinary standards be judged to be thoroughly dishonest, but it is clear he believes ordinary standards do not apply to him. Deception is justified if it advances human progress - and then it is not deception. Blair's untruths are not true lies. They are prophetic glimpses of the future course of history...
The present political landscape is so littered with the detritus of the abuse of truth I have to focus down and pick three instances of lies, damn lies and deliberate misinformation fuelled by ideology.


While the Government sticks to the sort of abusive agenda which led to the NHS in Sheffied informing schoolchildren that an orgasm a day keeps the doctor away, its slavish adherence to its target of 50% of school-leavers joining university is resulting not in more educated school-leavers, but rather dumbed-down university courses to accomodate the increasing amount of kids who leave school functionally illiterate in spite of their crop of A-gradesChloe Hill: click to read mopre on the Telegraph website, thanks to Eastnews for the pic.

And while expulsion numbers are being massaged to give the impression that schools are taking care of bad behaviour, when a member of staff - like dinner lady Chloe Hill (right) of Great Tey Primary School in Essex complied with school policy to appraise a child's family of the egregious bullying of their daughter, the school acted after the manner of the Government when ordinary people tell a truth inconvenient to those more powerful than them, and fired her.

I accuse Labour of using the younger generation as a means of generating statistics that proves to ministers in their distant towers, and nobody else, that their Trotskyite onslaught of depressing, disempowering and dumbed-down policies passes for successful education.

Social Services

When Baby P (Peter Connelly) was tortured to death by his mother, her boyfriend and their lodger in Haringey (the London borough which gave us the horrendous death of Victoria Climbié, social services there said more about themselves than they realised when a statement was released saying that too many people are expressing concerns about children being abused. In fact, in social services, the definition of a "child at risk" (as opposed to a "child in need") is a fluid one, depending on how many children in danger are on a social work department's boods.

When the children's charity Barnardo's advised that more children need to be taken into care, Ed Balls - SecretClick to go to Ed Balls' webpageary of State for Children, Schools and Families - replied on an ideological basis that chidren could be cared for best at home. Miss Climbié and Master Connelly might have disagreed had they had the chance. In a similar development, a women's refuge in Dorset is being closed down in Dorset because the quango in control of its funding, Supporting People in Dorset, considers that women at risk of having nine bells knocked out of them by their partners are best sared for when being supported to live at home (and its cheaper).

I accuse Labour of sacrificing women's and children's happiness, safety and sometimes even lives on the altar of ideological purity.


click to go to Diane Abbott's websiteIn many ways this is the big one, not because of the amount of servicepeople in Afghanistan and Iraq, but because Labour's ideological idées fixées are at their most pronounced here. Case in point: on Clive Anderson's Chat Show last week, hard-left MP Diane Abbott summarised the view of many Labour MPs (with some honourable exceptions) on our nuclear deterrant by saying all one needed to know about it was the similarity of nuclear missiles to "what a man has between his legs". 'Nuff said.

With the determination, inherited via the Campaign for nuclear Disarmament from early hard-left politicians like James Maxwell, subject of a biography by Gordon Brown, that most wars can be avoided by sitting round a table and having a meaningful discussion (and thank God when such a strategy can prevent war), ministers must be under a huge temptation to manage the narrative, after the manner in which Sir David Varney, writing on behalf of the Government, calls for a single source of truth. Just so, MoD press officer, John Salisbury-Baker, has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after years of lying to the families of slain troops about the adequacy of snatch Land-Rovers.

I accuse the Government of putting British forces in more danger than necessary in order to produce a narrative in the public's minds that the War against Terror is unwinnable and troops should be brought home. Whether or not this happens, Labour is tampering with the evidence in the court of public opinion to create pressure that they will gladly bow to.

And so, as the Labour Party Conference begins in Brighton, it's worthwhile reminding ourselves that we've been here before, in 1978-9, when, then as now, Labour went out of control fiscally and the Tories had to sort things out in the form of applying traditional conservative remedies pragmatically to the problems of the day. It will be interesting to see how much substance appears in the brave speeches through the week as Gordon Brown struggles with the Blairite hydra while pretending to attack the Conservative Party, and how much rhetoric is merely Parthian shots fired by tired politicians determined to head for a quiet place to bury New Labour in opposition.

Should this happen, the Conservative party will be faced with the grim task of tearing down the veils suffocating truth - again.


  1. For those of us with long memories, the worry is that the new government elected to try to clear up the mess of the previous one, will not in fact be up to it and will create another kind of mess. The Heath government of 1970-1974 comes to mind. This time round any Cameron administration will have a much worse mess to deal with, and with severe contraints. As for conferences the 1967 Labour one was a particularly choice one. It is going to be a long hard winter.

  2. Unfortunately, I fear you may be right. The alternative, hovever - four more years of a government that's lost touch with reality and mounting anger throughout the land, is frightening to contemplate.

    I really enjoyed reading throough your blog - thank you!


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