I’d like to change how we talk about these issues. Let’s accept, for one minute, we need a surveillance state. Let’s accept – to use Doctorow’s terminology – that high-ranking secretive officials of our democratic administrations should have the right to watch what we’re doing, even whilst we are doing something as private as going [...]
Few places I can reach on the web this evening tell me what Blair said in a Times interview on Saturday. This curious outlet does, however (the bold is mine):
Former Labour leader Tony Blair has warned his successor Ed Miliband to avoid the “politics of anger” by pushing to hit the super-rich with greater taxes.
The former Prime Minister said that pursuing such a policy “won’t necessarily change the nature of your society”, going on to defend the rise of the wealthy as “the way the world goes”.
In the past we’ve been frequently told, unendingly told, that we deserve the politicians and business leaders we’ve got. In particular, the politicians. And especially because we vote for them.
Now Blair adds a second reason: we have the rich and powerful we have because that’s “the way the world goes”.
He has something else to say, though – something else also pretty sad:
“There are two types of politics today: the politics of the anger and the politics of the answer,’ he said in an interview with The Times on Saturday.
“I prefer the politics of the answer. [...]”
The answer being that which the powerful prefer to predigest and expel over the rest of us.
I don’t agree.
I don’t agree at all.
This is the reason why.
When the rich and powerful separate themselves so clearly from the rest of society (as Blair so obviously does), the rest of society can’t be a reflection of – or, indeed, related to – the rich and powerful.
We really don’t vote for them – particularly when they cleverly impose their will. We really don’t owe them anything – especially when they ingeniously argue we must.
Nor can these individuals realistically represent our very obvious needs.
How on earth could they possibly when, at the same time, admitting their stratospheric differences?
From Blair’s own mouth, from Blair’s own words, he shows us he is no socialist. No socialist would ever give in to a world as he describes it; no socialist would ever say there was nothing to be done.
Nothing to be done – except to refuse to get angry about a planet where the needy die needlessly every day; nothing to be done – except to trot out criminal platitudes about an economy where the wealth of the wealthy concentrates off the backs of the needless deaths of those needy.
Blair’s right, of course: this is “the way the world goes”.
And that’s why we are socialists, precisely so it doesn’t.