I’m not surprised by His Davidness’s employment of Alan Milburn and David “Machine gun the bastards” Blunkett as government ‘advisors’. They were, after all, staunch Blairites, who had a penchant for the sort of ‘thinking’ that sits rather well with the Tories. I like the ‘cut of your jib’ and all that. This announcement follows from Frank Field’s new job as ‘Poverty Tsar’ – well, knock me down with a feather…Frank Field working with the Tories. Who would have thought it? Field has always had that reputation for ‘thinking the unthinkable’. In other words, he shares with the Conservatives a similar approach to social issues. That is to say, there is nothing social about the way they consider issues such as poverty, crime, education and so on. We should also remember that Field was once a True Blue in days gone by.
During the 13 years of NuLabour, Milburn always stood out as a little, well, right of centre on a range of issues. Milburn is well, interested in Milburn; he does what he does because he is a careerist reptile. Once the owner of a radical bookshop in Newcastle in the 1970’s, he was elected as the MP for Darlington in 1992. When Blair was elected leader he immediately fell behind him and was rewarded with the job of Health Secretary. Indeed it was Milburn who imposed the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) on the NHS. But what does he know about social mobility? Not much, I’d wager. Just the usual guff about ‘bootstraps’ probably.
We all know about David Blunkett, the former leader of South Yorkshire Council who, along with other leaders of similar councils stood defiantly against the Thatcher government by opposing rate-capping. Blunkett was seen as a proper lefty; the leader of one of the most left-wing councils in the country. It was dubbed “The People’s Republic of South Yorkshire” by those who supported the council’s stance and p0licies and seen as “loony left” by the Tory press. But what happened? He met Tony Blair and the rest is, as they say, history.
Maybe Blair magicked them with his eyes . You know, the mad eyes that IDS used in his election campaign to claim that Blair had demonic powers. But Field never needed any spell cast over him because he was already to the right of Blair. Job done. This commenter wryly says
Field should do the honourable thing and join the Tories properly. Only snag is that if he did that he would never get re-elected in Birkenhead ever again and he knows it.
He’s on to a good thing and he knows it.
Ramsay MacDonald, thou shouldst be living at this hour!