Thursday, September 29, 2005

New Labour - Comedy Value

OK, it's not really that funny. But it is quite funny. Sort of.

Firstly, David Miliband (how Ralph managed to raise such an alarmingly ambitious, right-wing, greasypole-climbing knob-head is beyond me) climbs on to the conference platform and declares 'power to the people!' He wants to devolve power to the grassroots - away from faceless, centralist state provision. Well, how is this fiery changemaker aiming to achieve such a laudable end - one which any radical socialist would, despite the caricatures of the Right, support? Here's what Miliband says:

"Let's give power to citizens [sic*] with direct payments that give them a choice over local services, let's give choice to people and neighbourhoods to set new priorities and reshape local service provision. And let's embrace the voluntary sector, which can reach and help people in ways that the public sector cannot match."

Hmmm. Could it be that this 'power to the people' proposal is actually intended as a cost-cutting exercise? Could it be that this represents the marketisation and privatisation of services? And what does 'choice' actually mean in this context - after all who in their right mind could possibly disagree with the extension of 'choice'? After all, I for one, am clamouring for the freedom to choose who processes my housing benefit claims. Everyday I rage against the totalitarian centralism of the local council services - if only these services were provided by freedom loving entrepreneurs. Everything would be fucking brilliant then. Think of it - all that lovely choice. I'm sure entrepreneurs would make housing benefit much more exciting and efficient than boring old councils. Customers would probably get to choose between different coloured benefitforms and everything. There'd be a whole range of differentiated benefit form styles tailored towards the needs of the individual. The bog standard centralist monopoly benefit forms today simply aren't optimal for young on-the-go professionals with a thirst to succeed in today's constantly changing world.

Note also, Miliband's references to the 'voluntary sector'. Sounds nice and cuddly doesn't it? What he means of, course, is that many of today's council and state services should be provided by charities - a bit like in Victorian Britain which, as we all know, was a much more efficient time. It was much more efficient because there was much less provision. Back then, the very poor would rely on occasional hand-outs from associations of bored middle class housewives, church groups and temperance societies. If the poor weren't entrepreneurial enough to live in areas were such charities existed then they would simply starve or go to the workhouse. In this way, the country was ridded of many hundreds of surplus to requirement scroungers every year, by death or virtual incarceration in forced labour prisons, while the state would get on with the important business of not being a nuisance. Not like today, when busybody state jobsworths tyrannise the people. And all of them drive Jaguars. And they all have plush offices.

Also today, Blair reacted to the passing of a motion, against the wishes of the leadership, calling for the suspension of any further expansion of private sector care into the NHS, with a full-on vintage Blair bollock-fest, of the kind Rory Bremner would have difficulty topping;

'The trade union movement has got to modernise; it has got to understand that the world out there has changed ... I think what they have got to realise, and I think this is the message from the constituency delegates to them, is, 'Come on, guys, get into the modern world. Get real'

Yeah, look, come on guys - you've got to modernise for the modern world and, y'know, get weal about weforms 'kay?

In addition to all this hilarity indoors, outside the conference New Labour enforcers seemed very keen to carry on the good work they carried out so efficiently yesterday. Austin Mitchell MP today had his digital camera confiscated and his pictures deleted after New Labour stewards became alarmed at Mitchell's dodgy turrist-like behaviour (taking pictures) and called the police to sort him out. Mitchell's protestations - he doesn't actually hate our freeduhm (or so he says) - came to no avail. Quite right too. If Mitchell was a turrist (which he might be - we just don't know) he could, quite easily, have concealed some kind of WMD death-ray inside his camera. Or perhaps he could have passed on grainy digital snaps of cabinet ministers to other turrists - after all, the physical appearance of these public figures is kept a closely guarded secret. I don't actually know what Tony Blair looks like. You can never be too careful.

Meanwhile Islamofascistfreedomhatingbolshiestoppernazi Walter Wolfgang returned to the conference today to a rapturous round of applause from turrist appeasers in the conference hall. By my calculations there must have been several hundred freeduhm-haters amongst the crowd. Clearly New Labour has been deeply infiltrated by Saddamite islamonazi totalitarians. Very worrying. Security must be stepped up.

* We're not citizens. We're subjects of the Crown.

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