Saturday, July 09, 2011

The Last Man in Europe

"In the real world of the 21st century there will be some pick and mix of policy. Sometimes it will be less left v right than right v wrong. Above all today, efficacy – effective delivery, motivated of course by values – matters as much if not more than ideology. Don't fear it. Embrace it. It liberates us to get the correct policy."
New Labour; young people often ask me "what was New Labour like?" I smile in a condescending way, light my pipe and tell them about New Labour.

You see, New Labour never was; nor will it be. New Labour is, it always is. Always, there will be New Labour and New Labour always will be. New Labour is never past; nor is it future. New Labour is, always.

Often as not, the young people will look at me in a puzzled sort of way. We who remember when New Labour first was realised can understand their bewilderment: they have never known anything but New Labour, such that they do not appreciate that New Labour is everywhere around them, above and below them, in and through them. New Labour is everywhere. New Labour cannot be seen, touched, felt, tasted or smelled: New Labour is every where and every thing. New Labour is.

Of course, it is not that there was a time before New Labour; nor will there be one after New Labour. We men and women of the 90s can remember a time before Blair, before New Labour was realised, but there was no real time before New Labour. Always New Labour has been with us, in us, for us, of us. But there was a time before Blair, a time when we knew not of New Labour. Blair showed us New Labour. He made us see what cannot be seen. He made us New Labour.

Blair showed us New Labour by pointing his hands outwards and in parallel, as if he were holding an invisible rectangular object (say, a Battenburg cake) by its ends. He then spoke in staccato sentences, apparently moving the invisible cake around as he spoke: showing it, offering it to everyone and no-one.

To think of New Labour is, in a very real sense, like thinking of that cake. It is not there, but it is there. Blair shows that it is there. The cake was always there. But we could not see it. We still cannot see the cake, but now we know it is there. Blair has shown us that the cake is.

New Labour is like that cake. That cake is New Labour. Blair shows us the cake, offers us the cake; but we cannot see the cake; we cannot accept it. We cannot eat the cake, but we can know it, because Blair has shown us it.

But even to think of a time before the cake and before Blair is to be in Error. Because Blair is New Labour and New Labour is Blair. There is not a time between Blair and New Labour, just as there cannot be a space between New Labour and Blair. One cannot think of Blair without thinking, simultaneously, of New Labour. And the reverse is true. For Blair and New Labour are not divisible. There is only Blair and there is only New Labour. Blair is New Labour and New Labour is everything. Blair is everything.

And that is all.

1 comment:

TerryB said...

A seriously brilliant post. Pure gold! Thank you