Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Luk√°cs

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Will Hutton: The last Blairista

Has Will Hutton lost it?

'The call for Blair's head betrays motives other than wanting to clean up politics. The right's motives are obvious; mud sticks and if they can force Blair's departure at a time of their choosing rather than his then they will have put Labour on the defensive, a position from which it will be difficult to recover. But I am baffled by the left. By helping create this perfect storm they are ensuring that Brown's inheritance will be irretrievably poisoned. They are joining New Labour's enemies to tar and feather an astonishing political success story because they cannot do it by argument - and in so doing damn the next Labour leader into managing a level of internal toxicity that will be fatally disabling.'

I must have forgotten New Labour's 'astonishing political success story', what was it again?

'Any sustainable left politics has to come to terms with the reality that the good society is plural rather than organised from the top down; that a way has to be found to marry equity and individualism; and that if Labour is to build a majority coalition it must include the rich (and those ambitious to be rich) who also believe in social justice and the public interest. It is possible both to want the best for yourself and for others. This may be new territory for the British left, but it is a winning formula.'

Ah yes, as Peter Mandleson put it, New Labour 'are intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich'. This was indeed 'new territory for the British Left', who traditionally had been less than relaxed about a section of society getting filthy rich off the backs of the labour of the vast majority of society. But New Labour's 'astonishing achievement' had been to do absolutely nothing to reverse the vast redistribution of wealth from the poorest to the richest that had taken place under Thatcherism and indeed they let the growing gap between rich and poor continue. Quite remarkable. Well, Hutton thinks so:

Blair 'is right, like Deng Xiaoping, to try to tell his party that it is glorious to be rich. It is not enough to argue abstractly that entrepreneurship is crucial to economic success - you have to embrace it warts and all. Only then can you start to debate how to make capitalism more honest.'

If only the Left understood the need to follow 'Deng Xiaoping thought' like Our Dear Leader Tony. We should all repeat it like a mantra. British schoolchildren should all learn Deng's revolutionary slogans off by heart.

It is Glorious to be Rich.
It is Glorious to be Rich.
It is Glorious to be Rich.
Only Then Can We Make Capitalism More Honest.

Hutton continues:

'Blair's millstone is Iraq, but while I opposed the war I am beginning to revolt against the certainty with which apocalypse is now universally predicted. Democracy does in the long run deliver results; and the West cannot be blamed for the murderous enmity between Shia and Sunni. Democracy may be the best way to mediate it.'

Perhaps children of the Blair Revolution will have another slogan to learn:

Democracy Delivers Results.
War Brings Peace Not Apocalypse.

'The analogy with Vietnam is telling. Today it is becoming obvious that American strategy in Asia from 1945 - seeking communist containment while encouraging democratic capitalism - was right. Vietnam bought a crucial 15 years; when Mao died, Deng Xiaoping won power on a prospectus that China had to follow the success demonstrated by the Asian tigers between 1960 and 1975. As a result, 400 million Chinese have been lifted out of poverty. History is littered with unintended and unexpected consequences. And in Iraq, today's gloom may prove to be as overdone as yesterday's optimism.'

Wonderful stuff, and more lessons for students of Deng Xiaoping thought:

Vietnam Bought 15 Years.
Deng Xiaoping Brings Success.
Deng Xiaoping Makes Poverty History.

Hutton ends with a wonderful and fitting tribute to Tony Blair, student of Deng Xiaoping thought:

'Blair has overseen a fundamental shifting in British politics to the benefit of ordinary people.'

Perhaps too this will be shortened and written up on classrooms up and down the country:

Blair Brings Benefit to Ordinary People.

'And media critics from the left need to ask themselves precisely why they make common cause with the left's enemies'.

Remember, kids:

To Attack the Leader is to Strengthen His Enemies.

'Blair remains, however battered, the great persuader and the man who created the new coalition. If he's prepared to carry on soaking up the punishment, the liberal left should be grateful. When he's gone he'll be sorely missed.'

Indeed so, but Hutton should take heart. For even though he might one day be gone, Blair's legacy will remain thanks to his understanding and development of Deng Xiaoping thought - which might be shortened to the following simple slogans:

Deng Xiaoping was The Great Helmsman.
Tony Blair is The Great Persuader.
War is Peace.
Freedom is Slavery.
Ignorance is Strength.

[[For the Memory Hole:
Tiananmen Square Massacre, Two million dead in Vietnam, Napalm, US bombing of Laos and Cambodia, Pol Pot, etc. etc.
Replace with : 'seeking communist containment while encouraging democratic capitalism was right']].

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At 9:10 pm, Blogger Philip said...

And don't let's forget:

The kind of terrorism we have experienced is different; some pre-emptive capacity to limit it must be right.

One for the loudspeakers at Belmarsh, perhaps:

You are here because you are different.
You are here because you must be limited.
You are a terrorist.
We are right.

At 1:16 am, Blogger Snowball said...

Indeed. I suppose we should be grateful he didn't tell the inmates at Belmarsh they were being 'civilised' by 'Democracy', and only then would they understand the importance of respect for the 'rule of law'...

At 11:03 pm, Blogger HV said...

Thanks Snowball, that was hilarious. There are always perks for ruling class apologists; I wonder if Hutton gets to turn off Big Brother in his living room every few days.

At 9:10 am, Anonymous 3 button suit said...

Thanks for sharing and inspiring us.


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