Friday, September 25, 2009

Freedom

Whatever you thought about new Labour in the 1990s, they seemed to be cresting a wave, in shallow public policy terms. The Third Way appeared to be a reasonably worthwhile punt, given the perceived failure of both the market (Liverpool) and the state (Berlin Wall).

But this is the kind of language that Tory think tanks are still using:
The answer to higher education's funding crisis is neither higher fees nor higher taxes, but liberation from state control.
And....
"Taxpayers – including the middle classes – are already rebelling. They may flee elsewhere as the global economy allows them to transfer jobs and investment."
And....
"If the government wants to help the universities, ... it should also rethink its economic role and learn from two lower-cost economies: Switzerland and the US."
If I were a Tory, back in the mid-1990s, I would have been depressed out of my gourd, given Labour's ability to hit the right notes, both in terms of short-term electoral advantage, but also in terms of a pragmatic approach to the big issues.

As a Labour supporter now, I must admit that I'd be reluctant to let my bookmaker profit from my wishful thinking. But I doubt that any bookie would be too offer attractive odds on Tories for more than one term if this is what passes for thinking in their ranks.

2 comments:

The Plump said...

The Third Way appeared to be a reasonably worthwhile punt

Oh Paulie, not if you read the vacuous guff. Just try wading through Gidden's mercifully short Third Way or that complete toss by Mandelson and Liddell.

The Tory quotes use the same formulae as New Labour, the utter banality of what passes for political debate is crushing all hope out of me.

Paulie said...

I'm not saying that it actually *was* a worthwhile punt - I'm saying that as a gambit, for the people concerned. There should probably be a hyphen rather than a full stop ... here >>>> "...in shallow public policy terms. The Third Way appeared to be a reasonably worthwhile punt...@