Sep 202013

Forget what you think about my writing style.  Forget – even – what you dislike about my politics.  This tweet of mine sets the scene:

Capitalism has so individualised our discourses that it’s become entirely impossible to talk about anything without talking about persons.

Politics has, in fact, become “peoplitics”.  Perhaps mutated (malignantly, at that) would be a better way of putting it.

And this next video encapsulates perfectly the result.

Two massive fails from two professionals of the game.  First fail: Michael Crick, a journalist, becomes the news – and Channel 4, in its (lately) madcap pursuit of ratings notoriety, helps out where it can.  Second fail: Godfrey Bloom, a politician, lets rip his personal opinions and reactions – instead of focussing our attention on all the truly horrible things afflicting us.

Only neither will be perceived by anyone as a fail.  All this personalisation of absolutely everything has become a bloody par for the miserable course.  Myself (similarly in personalisation mode, it is true) (and as you might expect), I attribute it to the incessant drip-drip of corporate capitalism, as the beast continues to insist water-torture-like in its pursuit of monetisation nirvana.

And maximising monetisation nirvana inevitably means individualising our every repeating instinct.  If we chose, as societies, to do more of our stuff together – from car-pooling in the mornings to sharing carefully-planned community central-heating systems during the winter – we’d save our own little pockets tons of dosh.  But corporate capitalism aims to increase potential markets: everything must, therefore, be individualised to ensure as large a wasteful income as possible.

The side effect?  We don’t only buy as selfish people with little thought for others, we also talk about selfish others with little thought for selfless ideas.

Peoplitics indeed.

Where did it all begin to go so wrong?  Where did we all begin to think such trivial events counted so much for our progress – whilst our ideas, creativity and imaginings counted for so very little?

Mar 272013

From Policy Network, the self-styled “leading thinktank and international political network based in London [seeking] to promote strategic thinking on progressive solutions to the challenges of the 21st century and the future of social democracy [...]“, I’ve just received an email which has pointed me in the direction of two interesting articles.

The other day, I had already written these words on how governments and parties could learn organisational lessons from the constitutional structures of Twitter:

At the moment, all I can see is masses of evermore informed men and women, channelling their anger – sometimes quite violently – against a useless and incompetent set of political and business leaders.  But there’s room for something else, surely.  Room for another way of doing.  Not a left-wing UKIP (more here), as has been suggested by some.  No.  A different mindset, with – and here’s the biggie, the bit where it would all stand or fall in one hugely humongous step – its correspondingly revised organisational structures.

For if Labour, or anyone else moderately on the progressive side of things, wants to win any elections in the future, they will need to begin to see their role as that of enabling progressive forces rather than leading them.  And my description of an intelligent government’s approach to the resource that is the online community of Twitter mirrors exactly how I would like to see Labour remake itself over the next five years or so.

Now compare this desire, as expressed by a simple Labour Party member of many tens of suffering thousands, with the lead-ins for the two Policy Network articles I mentioned at the beginning.  First, from a French perspective (I’ve added in the word “future”, which I think is missing – perhaps portentously – from this phrase):

The political party of the [future] must embrace the wealth of knowledge created by modern science in adapting old methods to new circumstances

Second, from an American perspective:

As we head further into the 21st century, progressive parties and campaigns need to adopt modern forms of voter engagement or be left behind by their opponents and even the electorates they compete to represent

The bit I really love about the French article is the emphasis on science and knowledge.  Even its title, “Of doors and voters”, is somehow far more humane and … well … European.  Compare and contrast with the imposing sense of victorious domination which the American experience of the future of political parties transmits to ordinary voters such as ourselves: “Obamamania: How the Democrats campaign machine works”.

Mind you, they did win a sonorous election.  Maybe they have a right to get all mechanical on us.

Of course, both of the articles – as is their purpose – focus on tactics and techniques in order to win elections, rather than processes and environments for creating sustainable ways of getting ordinary people involved in politics.

For this is where it’s all going wrong.  Even in the above two cases, we’re desperately examining how to get the cannon fodder out onto the streets and into people’s houses, broadcasting those clever top-down messages.  This is not really what I was looking for when I started reading; not really what I’m looking for as I finish.

Fascinating ideas – but I fear the professionals are still misunderstanding the issue.  For them, it’s a question of “adapting” and “adopting”.  For me, it’s a question of “disrupting” and “remaking” a new paradigm of revolution.

Not new parties, gentlemen and ladies of the thinktanks and their anterooms.  New politics.

We, the people, want a direct handle on the power which you, the professionals, continue to wish to acquire and wield on the backs of our votes and volunteering.  Even in such modernised places as Policy Network (as per their arguments as presented today anyhow), political parties of the future need only go so far: “adapting old methods to new times” is quite enough disruption, thank you very much.

My instincts, on the other hand, lead me to believe that a substantial part of the interested voting population wants a helluva lot more than “adapting to new times” – or even “better voter engagement” – would lead to.

And whilst the leading of cannon fodder into awful battle is so very much more inside our Olde Worlde comfort zones, the real issue to hand is whether any professional politicians truly understand the significance of trying to take that step towards an “enabling politics” – a step which I’m sure not just silly people like myself are looking to ask of them.

For a generation or two is fast losing itself as a result of the party political dilly-dallying that’s taking place.

As my very socialist grandad always used to say: “A good workman never blames his tools.”

So no more new parties, please.  Give us a new politics instead.

Mar 022013

This, from Iceland, on their campaign against online porn, is absolutely spot-on (the bold is mine):

Jónasson’s adviser Halla Gunnarsdóttir told the Guardian this week that the country is “not anti-sex, but anti-violence”, and that “what is under discussion is the welfare of our children and their rights to grow and develop in a non-violent environment”.

As I pointed out recently, sexual abuse is primarily the abuse of power – and any society which criminalises the former should also be prepared to criminalise the latter.  Similarly, the generation of pornography – indeed, the generation of any content which involves the exploitation of people who would not otherwise participate, were their financial, or other, circumstances different – is, above all, an analogous abuse of power.

Iceland’s current move to remove such violence from its children is entirely coherent with earlier reported moves:

The draft legislation follows laws passed in 2009 and 2010 that criminalised customers rather than sex workers and closed strip clubs.

The problem of course, in this particular case, is that the tools which they wish to use involve filtering an open Internet.  Tools which replicate the interventions in human rights that less salubrious regimes across the world are currently using.  Tools which would give these regimes the kind of democratically-stamped approval to continue in their oppressive ways.

A difficult call for everyone who believes in freedom of information.


There’s another matter, however, which I’d like to raise in this post: we must accept we live vicarious lives.  From latterday social media to traditional Hollywood films, this commonplace existing through the actions and creations of others is more or less generally accepted.  No one really questions, for example, the right Daniel Craig has to earn a living from the explicit violence of putting imaginary bullets through anonymous bit-parted actors – nor even the creeping-up-behind naked actresses in movie-lit showers of sexual abandon.

Is it fair, then, to say that Daniel Craig and his cohort of stars are being exploited in order to put violence of one kind or another on silver-plattered screens for our repeated delectation and delight?  And if it is fair to say so, should we strive to prevent such processes too?

I’m not really sure we shouldn’t, to be honest – if, that is, we’re really going to get serious about the abuse of power more generally.  Interfering with the freedom of information flow is, undoubtedly, a very big issue.  But so is what I assume to be the increasing exploitation of sex workers as a result of that insatiable content-black-hole that is the worldwide web.

A suggestion then.  Not just a rant.  Maybe it’s time for a new kind of content.  Given that the instinct for sex is about as old as Adam and Eve’s adult teeth, has anyone considered CGI porn as a wider solution to sexual exploitation – and its corresponding abuse of power – which so many people currently find themselves affected by?

How would this work?  Groups of existing sex workers could form officially-sanctioned cooperatives with the right to apply for government-funded training courses.  These courses would serve to train them up in computer-generated film-making.  There would, of course, be strict control over the content – a kind of Hays Code for our time.  Just because the content was computer-generated wouldn’t give the creators the right to reproduce and duplicate in the virtual world the kind of abusive relationships we were aiming to eliminate in real life.

In such a way, the whole balance of power would be altered.  Sex workers could find a gainful living as unexploited, and unexploiting, generators of porn; porn users would be safely educated away from the violent stuff through a plentiful, cheap and consistently benign exposure to non-violent (perhaps even government-subsidised) narrative; and, most importantly, the Internet could then be properly policed as per the canons of the code in question.

Obviously, there would still be significant and unresolved issues: people would almost certainly, for example, not find it easy to agree even on a definition of non-violent porn.  But nothing was ever solved by an overbearing awareness of the challenges.

Technology, in part, got us to the bind we now find ourselves in.  Technology, properly shared out and distributed, and through a generous and intelligence analysis of the whole process involved, could serve to get us out of it.

If only we were prepared to be coherent.

Feb 062013

Our boiler is bust.  The implications are relatively slight: no central-heating or hot water since yesterday and (hopefully) a solution on the horizon tomorrow afternoon.  But it leads me to the following thought: how awful are these relatively slight implications for those of us lucky enough to normally be oblivious of them.  And how mind-destroying they must be for those of us who live them every day.

When I phoned up the housing trust, the first thing they asked me was if we had put money in the gas meter.  I suddenly realised the position of privilege in which I found myself.  I immediately responded: “We pay by direct debit.  And we’re able to use the cooker fine right now.”

I cooked roast lamb ribs today.  Not a good idea.  When you don’t have plenty of running hot water to hand, the kind of fat that lamb ribs leave behind fair congeals on the scourer and sponge.

It’s really really horrible doing the washing-up in freezing cold water.

Imagine doing that in a house with no central-heating on, day after day.  Not because the central-heating system doesn’t exist, mind.  Simply because you don’t have the resource to pay for it.

Imagine it.

Only the thing is that we human beings have a terrible capacity to disregard the unpleasantness of life when we are not required immediately to face up to it.  That all the people now suffering due to austerity economics are being thrust into surroundings of bitter survival does, of course, upset the citizens prone to being upset, but even the latter often choose more widely to ignore the realities that bring them up sharply for a moment.

And if people like ourselves, people closer to the consequences of austerity, can often forget what it is like to truly suffer the cold winds of a virtual wage slavery in a century we were always led to believe would bring better times, how very much easier is it for people nearer the top of our societal hierarchies to simply ignore – even be unaware of (yes, I mean this with great sincerity – even be unaware of) what it’s like to be in a flat in February where the central-heating and hot water cannot operate.

Not just three days in February due to unfortunate breakdown but February after February – until one February equals a coffin lid.

I can, therefore, see the absolute benefits of undergoing such a breakdown.  It should teach us, as it is teaching me today, not that we are privileged and should be grateful but – rather, more importantly – that others are poverty-stricken and should be helped.

My suggestion to resolve this dilemma of power automatically distancing itself from the very people whom it could lever support for?  Obligatory on-the-job ministerial training.  It would work in the following way.

As per the anti-money laundering training I used to receive annually at the bank I used to work in, Parliament could agree on a regular online virtual activity – a game, if you like, much like any simulation out there – which any ministerial hopeful would have to play in order to be considered for a portfolio.  Each simulation would be designed a) to convey what it was like to be the citizens at the very bottom of the pile over which any minister might be obliged to lord and impact; and b) to assess the psychological worth and adequacy of any one particular individual who aspired to power before they were appointed.

But the training wouldn’t stop when appointment took place: repeated refresher courses would have to be taken every six months to a year, as a bulwark and counterbalance to the tendency to disconnect a minister is bound to embark upon.  In much the same way, then, as we teach humble corporate workers to remember the lessons of their inductions, so we could combine both assessment and training in one accessible package to ensure that our top leaders never left their roots (nor, indeed, ever became of an inappropriate character for the tasks to hand).

As you can see, the “Life As It’s Really Lived” simulation is just waiting to be implemented.

The question now is really whether anyone cares enough to begin to create a body politic of such a nature – a body politic where politicians honestly, sincerely and properly recall the real interests of their voters.

Anyone out there who appreciates what this could achieve?


Sep 132012

My two youngest children, seventeen and fourteen now, are becoming more and more Spanish as they get older.  They miss the ways and wherefores of social integration: the ways people address you and assume your reality.  I had believed life in Britain would’ve become easier as time passed.  But this has most definitely not been the case.

Without wishing to sound too dramatic, they are verging on a state of walking wounded.  They do laugh and enjoy their lives, of course.  I’m not saying they do not.  But Britain – perhaps that’s just England – is such a repetitively insistent society.  Variety is the spice of life – but not in the England we know.

I wonder if this state of walking wounded I speak of isn’t being shared more widely by those who would consider themselves natives.  In the past, we lived our lives in a relatively comfortable environment: our leaders were like us more or less; we were like them; people didn’t fake too much; prejudices were shared.

Now, we find ourselves attacked on two sides simultaneously.

Firstly, from within, and since phonehacking, the Leveson inquiry and now the day-old Hillsborough revelations, it is clear that in what we thought was a representative democracy, the only people truly represented have been the already rich and wealthy.  The police have been found guilty of using their tools against innocent citizens; the tabloids, in particular those belonging to Murdoch’s empire, seem clearly in the thrall of making money over uncovering the truth; and the judiciary and establishment in general have allowed themselves to be distracted by power and status to such an extent that digging deeper was clearer not a goal.  As this by-the-by sign-off from one of the Guardian pieces linked to above indicates, and in relation to Thatcher’s own reign and preoccupations around the terrible events of Hillsborough:

While there was no direct evidence that Thatcher or the cabinet was complicit in a cover-up, it is revealed that the primary concern of the government at the time was the impact of the disaster on its proposed football spectators bills.

The second disorientation I can see, an external one this time, and which is also creating a legion of confused and shocked citizens, comes from the US – a country whose cultural content has to date, quite rightly, entranced and engaged us.  Here, we find that foreign ideas, mostly foreign to our own special form of English socialism, are beginning to take over and invade our very sense of Englishness.  This disorientation leads to feelings of shame and guilt; of anger and fear; of all kinds of uncertainties around not change as such – but bad change as per Cameron and his ideologues.

Is it possible, then, that just as my daughter and son become evermore Spanish in their instincts, growing up as they are into adulthood, and even as they find themselves in permanent and intimate contact with English society, so native-born English people – whatever their ethnicity – are discovering that the invasion of immigrants from distant and different countries which is most affecting their sense of wellbeing happens to be an immigration of ideas more than people?

That is to say, is it only that my children are growing towards their Spanishness and away from their perception of Englishness – or is Englishness for everyone in general growing away from what we might argue it has every right to remain?

And if the latter, is this a case where we can all agree that immigration is undeniably wrong?  An imposition by the already globally powerful with the aim of organising a society which clearly does not belong to them.

Ways of organisation which manifestly benefit them even as such ideas serve to prejudice the rest of us poor souls.

Yes.  Perhaps this is the final stage of globalisation.  Where ideas underpin the future of money over the future of flesh-and-blood human beings.

Aug 212012

It’s curious that for such a supposedly voluble and open-minded part of the political spectrum as the left, so many taboos – both of dogma as well as more emotional – should prevent us from discussing freely all alternatives.  If New Labour contributed anything positive to the political process – even where not practice – it was in its pick-and-mix approach to ideas.  That it went too far – and perhaps deliberately detached itself from its origins – shouldn’t blind us to the fact that open-mindedness is generally an intellectual virtue.

I am minded to consider the issue in the light of this interesting Compass email I received a few minutes ago:

Hi –

We all know there are issues the left find it hard to talk about – immigration, crime and punishment, why people seem to be more sceptical of the state than the market, limits to economic growth, patriotism, faith and population have all fell into this category at one time or another.

Sometimes it’s because we think some issues are already given too much attention, other times it’s because we’re scared of saying the wrong thing, sometimes we think the conversation takes place on the right’s terms and not ours.

Whatever the reasons we don’t want to ignore these issues any longer. In the autumn Compass will publish a series of short articles on the ‘elephants left in the room’ and I want you to help. We want to know what issues you think are being ignored by the left and most importantly why and how we should respond to them.

Please send us an article of up to a 1,000 words which focuses on the issue you think is the most important elephant in the room for the left. We’ll publish all the best entries on the Compass website and I will pick my top three to be published in the final document.

The deadline for entries is September 17th 2012

Send entries to

There shouldn’t be any issues that we can’t talk about. If we don’t have the right answers yet then we have to work out the right ones through dialogue and debate. If we feel that we don’t have the right language then we must discover it. If we are not addressing the issues that people care about then we can never be successful as a movement.

Thanks for your help with this.

Let’s get the elephants out of the room.


Lisa Nandy MP

My reaction to the above?  I think it’s an excellent idea.  In my case, my biggest worry is the creeping private fascism – to paraphrase Roosevelt (more here) – that appears now, more and more, to be afflicting our Western societies.  No longer would it seem that government’s goal is to stand as mediator between markets, business, societies and ordinary people.  Instead, a brutalised and corrupted version of capitalism – in its most extreme corporate manifestation – is destroying all the virtues of self-alignment and control that a truly free market would contribute.

And if the left must be honest with itself, this has happened under nominally left-wing regimes just as much as we could argue it is due to the casual – and lately well-documented evil inefficiencies – of the right.

Anyhow, if I can get all that down in a rather less aggressive way than is my wont, I may yet participate in what looks like a much-needed initiative.

Recover the breath of intellectual fresh air of early New Labour times – without sanctioning its supping-with-the-devil instincts to champagne-and-canapé its short cuts to the political top.

Aug 052012

Steve states the following, marvellously accurately:

[...] I’ve been thinking about tax. Specifically corporation tax. One thing I’ve agreed with my conservative interlocutors about is that the tax system needs to be simplified. Too much complexity means too many loopholes for clever people (and rich people and big corporations can afford to hire a lot of clever people) to exploit and avoid taxes.

I think I was cogitating along similar lines a couple of years ago now, when I suggested we did away with income tax – though not our income tax codes:

[...]  What if we paid for everything according to our tax code?  In an entirely – or almost entirely – cashless society, tax code information could quite easily be added to our credit and debit card chips.  In such a way, we could eliminate all kinds of income tax and use the tax code – instead – to determine how much we paid at point-of-sale.  Big spenders and big earners would pay more for everything – those with less would pay correspondingly far less.  The scale would be incremental rather than banded.  Poverty traps could be eliminated at a stroke.  We wouldn’t have to calculate VAT or chase its evasion or pay out tax credits or even child benefit.

An income-tax free state which allowed for properly dimensioned public services and strove to reduce the difference between the very richest and the very poorest?  Surely a Nirvana of some kind …

Such thoughts may be considered a betrayal of socialist principles but – as Steve points out – in times of crisis, we are perhaps obliged to think beyond simply redressing the shop window:

I’m convinced that the status quo is not the only option – that we don’t have to simply put a new coat of paint on the existing structures while doing nothing to change their substance; that we can have a more just world that works better than it does now. It takes some bold thinking to jar most people into seeing beyond the current reality to that better one – but that thinking has to be practical and workable.

Tax is an immensely emotive subject for political activists on all sides.  The logical side of the human brain generally dies an unhappy death in such circumstances.  It would be nice to think we could be as rationally inventive in establishing a fair and just – as well as efficient – regime of tax policies as we are in doing the state out of what some of us might argue (more here from Peter Watt) is its just recompense.

Ideas are a good start.

Knowledgeable brains working in good faith are now needed.

For it may actually be that we have the tax systems we have precisely because, as Steve suggests, they actually benefit the rich – despite all their wailing.  If that is the case, far more radical measures need to be taken than simply calling on all contributors to pay their fair moral whack.

Nothing more nor less than a total overhaul of that status quo he mentions.

Mar 222012

Frances Coppola – she of ex-bankers fame – makes a lovely point in relation to how politics and economics should approach each other:

@peterpannier I think idealism is properly the realm of politics. Work to change the ethical stance of policy, and economics will follow

Here I do feel we see a mindset which comes from massive corporate organisation: for anything to work, there needs to be a very specific and particular set of shared values.  Get the ethical stance right – which the vast majority of corporations in a competitive rather than collaborative world only ever manage to pay HR lip service to – and the rest will sort itself out.

I think she’s right, of course.  Which is why revolving doors (more here) are so particularly damaging.  They strip away all opportunity for ethical stances as deliberately entailed conflicts of interest sweep away all moral behaviours.

And I don’t mean moral as in morality itself: just what’s proper and fit when you take on the responsibility of representing others.  If in loco parentis means we can trust our teachers to do as we would do, in loco voteris – as a concept and philosophy (don’t hold me to the Latin, mind!) – would encourage our representatives to see us as their clients and customers and therefore, with the appropriate sensitivity, act accordingly.

Idealism as the realm of politics?  Yes.  That’s what’s missing in modern politicking.  The lines between politics and socioeconomic theory have become so blurred that the ability to dream a better world is lost to current society.  We have become so terribly unambitious in what we imagine for ourselves that what we do is now reduced to administering rank inequality.

We need dreamers again to predict the future.  Not nightmares which force us only to survive in the present.


Further reading: James Firth has just brought this excellent post of his to my attention on the subject of societal trust and confidence and their relationships to a wider prosperity.  Well worth your time.

Feb 042012

Chris picks up on David Miliband’s deservedly resonant piece in New Statesman the other day in the following way:

If you ignore the mindless tittle-tattle, David Miliband’s New Statesman article raises a genuine issue: what should be the left’s attitude to the state? He writes:

The weaknesses of the “big society” should not blind us to the policy and political dead end of the “Big State”. The public won’t vote for the prescription that central government is the cure for all ills for the good reason that it isn’t.

As I pointed out in my own post on the subject, David Miliband has done everything since losing the leadership election to deserve our attention – at the very least in articles and interventions such as the one under discussion. 

I have to say there are very few things I now miss about Blairism – but one thing I definitely miss at the moment is that feeling that following trains of thought to unpredictable places had a natural place and right to exist in the Labour Party.  As an example of this, I saw Miliband (D) at an Intelligence Squared event last year – and I have to say whilst not entirely convinced by what he said, I was entranced by how he moved from one point to another.

And we need more of that eloquent intellectualism – not to use it to triangulate our enemies out of existence as in New Labour times (which is why such approaches have such a very bad name in our body politic at present) but, instead, to search out new ways of understanding our relationship to the universal themes of individual freedom, socialisation, survival and support of the strongest and the weakest – as well as the more traditional aspects of modern life which tend to occupy our leaders: economic and political organisation 

In any case, good politics is always more a case of reinterpretation over pure invention.  Blair wasn’t really original – he just gave the impression of being authentic.  And people value that – at least as a starting point.  It helps to build on the past, on previous foundations – something our most recent generations of politicians really haven’t cared to productively contemplate.

So what I do miss Blair for is that sense of authenticity and roundedness.  For that, I really do. 

I also agree with Chris that Miliband (D) should be allowed to be heard – mainly because if he is permitted his voice, the left will be on the road to a recovery of sorts.  Prioritising the bright and breezy generation of ideas over their dusty and technocratic classification is always a good sign.  And right now, we on the left need as many good signs as they can throw our way.

As Chris concludes:

Granted, David’s analysis and solutions here would be rather different from mine. But he is posing a good question. The tragedy is that, in our anti-political political culture, this question will be ignored.

It is up to us, then, to ensure that exactly this must not happen.

Jan 162012

There have been a flurry of tweets over the past twenty-four hours on the subject of a defection to the Tory Party of one of Labour’s most controversial tweeters, Luke Bozier.  You may not have heard of Luke, mind – if you want to know more, Mark Ferguson’s short and eventually dismissive piece over at Labour List this morning is probably the best place to start.

Meanwhile, I was minded to respond to a tweet from Anthony Painter earlier in the day on this very same subject of how Labour had to learn to deal with different ideas and people and places, when he wrote:

Labour has to learn that people can disagree with it, vote for others, join others, not vote and not be bad people…..

My response being:

@anthonypainter No. It’s not Labour that needs to learn this lesson. It’s political activism in general.

Something, in fact, we could expand to many relationships and sectors these days.

And then came along this other tweet – which got me thinking further:

Fellow Tories, what are your thoughts on a sudden influx of Blairite/New Labourites into our party?

Two questions immediately arise, of course.  The first one, the obvious one, being: could Labour survive as a governing political force?  That is to say, would Labour minus the Blairite tendency equal the wilderness years from now on in?

But the second – far more intriguing – one goes as follows: what about the Conservatives?  Could the Tories as they currently perceive themselves even survive such a stampede of an influx of potentially overwhelming proportions – if and when, that is, the political dams broke (as they might) and a flood of disaffected triangulators invaded their treasured Etonite playing-field?

In a sense, the right-wing of the Tory Party and the left-wing of the Labour Party are literally mirror images of each other: their relationship with and attachment to much-needed badges of courage – those political markers in the sand they use to auto-define their positions – is a given in both extraordinary cases: signs of tribal loyalty and righteousness, indeed, if there ever were any to behold.

So that’s why the more I think about it, the more I do wonder.

And you know, I really wouldn’t be surprised if the often worthy and positive cuckoo that was the New Labour tendency mightn’t end up destroying the heart and soul of the Tory Party over the next two governments in much the same way as it has already manifestly managed to do to what used to be Labour, its class movement and its society-loving instincts.