Saturday, April 29, 2006

Cutting down the over-mighty

Bryan GouldBryan Gould, a senior Labour figure who left for New Zealand a decade ago, is disappointed and disillusioned by the party leadership he left behind:

We see a Labour government which pays excessive attention to the powerful, both internationally and domestically, and which apparently believes that nothing can or should be done without their support. We see a Labour government that is prepared to endanger the democratic process and civil liberties by placing the interests of government and other big players ahead of those of ordinary people. We see a Labour government that has pursued an economic policy that favours asset-holders but jeopardises the jobs of those who make and sell things, a government that has – in areas like education – re-introduced unwelcome and unnecessary divisions, a government that apparently distrusts the idea of community and collective organisation, and prefers to entrust the functioning of society to the unchallenged market-place.

My own political philosophy is based on a distrust of power wherever it resides — in government (pace the Tory party) or in mega-corporations (pace old Labour). With New Labour, it seems we have the worst of both worlds — an obsession with strengthening state power while at the same time kowtowing to Rupert Murdoch, Lakshmi Mittal and other titans of global industry.

Can David Cameron refashion the Conservative party into an advocate against an over-mighty state and global cartels?

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