Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Polly Was Wrong But Now She is Right

Dazed, gripped by delusion, the party tonight bottled it | Polly Toynbee | Comment is free | The Guardian

What exactly is radical or leftwing about Gordon Brown? There never was a whisker between him and Blair, beyond jealousy. It was a fiction that deceived many, and perhaps he deceived himself in those impatient years of briefings that he would do things differently. His private finance initiative projects, his ill-advised public-private partnership for the tube, abolition of the 10p tax rate to give a tax break to higher earners, 42-day detention without trial, ID cards and springing a Trident replacement with no discussion on future foreign policy?

Quite right. There was no collapse of the left. I voted Labour in the Euro elections, but I would have voted Green if I'd know 1200 more Green votes would have stopped the BNP in the NorthWest.

But taking, Labour, Lib Dem, and Green votes together, this is still a predominantly center-left country.

I accept there is an anti-EU push, and that most UKIP voters will vote Tory in a general election. But I still think there would be an pro-EU majority if that question were put in a referendum.

I also think it's worthwhile noting, however much I dislike his EU policies, that Nigel Farage of UKIP is almost as good a public performer as Vince Cable. Farage seems, much more often that Labour ministers or Tory spokespeople, to call it like it is. Nor does he ever, as far as I can see, give voice to racism. He is an overall plus in the UK political spectrum.

Back to Polly. Gosh, she writes well. But she needs, at least once, to admit she had changed here mind.

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