How can supposedly intelligent observers imagine New Labour was ever anything more than a cosmetic label, or that the Blair régime is a conservative administration? The Great Charlatan will leave only one legacy: an exponential increase in the scope and power of the state. If that is a conservative programme, then Burke, Disraeli, Churchill, Kirk, Hayek and Thatcher must all have got it wrong.It's certainly true to say that Mr Blair has conned a lot of voters who should have known better. The purpose of the Labour party is to tax and regulate - Blair's just a bit cleverer at disguising this than some of his predecessors. Warner concludes by saying:
The crass notion that Labour has stolen the Tories’ clothes does not stand up to any factual scrutiny. It is the Tories who have lost their sense of identity and their nerve. They have six months to recover both and save us from a one-party socialist state.None of the above is surprising coming as it does from the pen of Gerald Warner who is one of Scotland's most outspoken conservative writers. But this article was a big surprise. In many ways Iain Macwhirter is the left wing equivalent of Gerald Warner. Every week in the Herald - our very own tartanised Guardian - we can rely on Iain to give us the bog-standard leftist outlook on the week's events. To paraphrase: it's Tories, Bad and Labour (or someone like them), Good.
Now some leftists are intelligent enough to realise than the proposed introduction of ID cards is a bad idea, albeit one that follows logically from the very same leftists' own worldview. Mr Macwhirter (like Muriel Grey) doesn't like ID cards. Good for him (and her). Echoing so many other socialists, Mr Macwhirter is moved to write:
In five years’ time it may be too late to stop Britain becoming a nastier version of Britain under Margaret Thatcher.No surprise there. But then I almost fell off my seat when I got to the next sentence:
I never thought I’d ever say this, but she was more protective of fundamental rights than Blair. Nearly blown up by the IRA in 1984, she didn’t introduce ID cards or imprisonment without trial.No, indeed she didn't. And I would guess that Mrs Thatcher opposes ID cards now. Sure, Mrs T wasn't perfect: she failed to slash the welfare state and gave far too much away to the EU. But she did have a feeling for British liberties and it is rather wonderful to observe that a few of the leftist commentariat are beginning to understand that.