Thursday, July 07, 2005

Good-bye, Tony

Rush-Hour Strike Wounds Up to 1,000;
Blair Sees G-8 Link - New York Times

Political career finished. I don't understand enough about how the British system works to know what happens next. Can Tony be sacked and replaced with another Labour politician until the next election? Do they call another election and vote in the Liberal Democrats? Can it be the end of Tony without being the end of Labour?

Pity it wasn't a Conservative government. The train-bombing in Spain did wonders: consider the past wonder-year under Zapatero, blown in by the explosion. This could be a real boost for Eurosocialism as countries once tempted by Tom Friedman's fantasy "Anglo-Saxon model" repudiate everything that stinks of America.

Of course the response in the US will be the opposite: terrorism is getting closer to home--we need a strong leader. We didn't get bombed--because Bush was protecting us. And of course if we do get bombed that will be all the more reason for supporting the current regime. Bring on the ownership society, get more guns, keep women typing and filing--see what happens when the abortionists, evolutionists, feminists and homosexuals have their way?

This sounds pretty callous, doesn't it? 33 people so far are dead. Pardon me for repeating the obvious but consider how many people die in drive-by shootings in LA, get executed in Texas, die in Iraq or get murdered in South Africa. It's all the same Cowboys and Indians game.

Of course it's not going to do the radical Muslims any good, any more than 1960's radical street theater helped the American Left. In 1968 I was convinced that it was the end of the Old Order--dress codes would be abolished, drugs would be legalized, big business would collapse and colleges would be transformed into "free universities" where we would sit on the grass learning to throw pots and weave baskets. I wasn't entirely happy about this--I wanted drug legalization and the end of the dress code but I was terrified that higher education as we knew it would poop out before I could be a professor. I didn't want to live on a commune wearing long dresses, birthing babies and cooking the menfolk's organic food. But I was convinced that it would happen because there were so many of us marching and because we got on TV--we would destroy the Military-Industrial Complex.

So now these radical Muslim youths, of the age we were when we marched, imagine that they will topple the Great Satan and drive back the forces of Westernization so that they can live in mud huts (with satelite TV of course), reduce education to memorizing the Koran, put their women in burqas, and preserve their shit culture. Actually the vision isn't too different, is it? Romanticism, militant anti-intellectualism and anti-feminism.

It won't work, lads--the grown-ups always win.


Boofykatz said...

Yes, he can.. but it won't happen, This is the first managed succession in British politics. Gordon Brown will take over as leader of the Labour party, and de facto Prime Minister, when Tony is quite certain that there is no chance of a labour fourth term. This is a pity in a way, because Gordon Brown is of honest, if uncharismatic, puritan stock and would do his best by his own lights, whereas Blair is a Showman. I recently read a piece by Galen Strawson postulating a difference between narrative and episodic thinkers, and Tony and Gordon are at opposite ends of the spectrum on this scale. We are now in the bizarre situation where our Conservatives are more libertarian than Labour, and the Brown succession will leave a genuine left wing party leader looking like George Bush's bum chum.

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