Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The curse of Gordon

I fear for the fate of anything endorsed by Gordon brown, the man has failure and compromise written all over him. When faced with a decision he makes a compromise that satisfies no one and fails to solve the problem at hand. Whoever he endorses in anything will be tainted with its association, I fear then for Ken who’s got Brown’s backing, for the MDC in Zimbabwe and for anyone who thinks that Brown will win an election for labour. Much as he may be a competent leader in many ways, he can get things done and he has results to back him up he is just fucked by a combination of fate, inertia and his own lack of decisive charisma to be being a john major figure.

Take the credit crisis, not his fault, in as much as he oversaw the treasury for a decade and failed to prepare for a event he must have known was coming one day. As PM he gets to oversee a recession and inevitably have to bail out the city whenever they squeel for it. Which brings us to northern rock, which brown managed to fuck on his own. He did the right (Ish) thing in the end by nationalizing the fucker but ummed and ahhed for ages, looked indecisive, failed to set the agenda or defend the principle of nationalization. He also let the bank fuck off with all the good accounts and let the british taxpayer pick up the tab for the shitty debts they’d accrued.

Before that of course was the election that never happened, where for whatever reasons he lost his bottle. Fair enough if brown had seen a genuine killer crisis to come he would have battened down the hatches but it was a matter of style. He let them talk up an election then seemed to loose his nerve, a thing a PM must never do. Fact was he could have called the election and would have won fairly easily, if he waits another year or more then it gets ever likely that Cameron will ooze his way into power. He should realise by now when you are the incumbent of a long running government all that will happen during your reign no matter how good you may be is that there will always be a string of corruption scandals and sleaze that will drown out any new policies or agendas you set. Ken Livingstone has found this and he is twice the savvy politician that Brown is. For all his power play brown is just a slightly insecure control freak, like good old Blair but without the nous and pretending to be a regular guy.

Another obvious pointer to Brown’s inherent indecisive nature in power is the Olympic flame nonsense. His behaviour showed up in stark contract to Australia’s new PM Kevin Rudd who made it clear he will take no part in the flame’s journey across Australia and that he will keep on at the Chinese about their human rights record. This is more remarkable considering that Australia’s economic growth over the last few years has been funded largely by china and that Rudd has always put china at the centre of his international policies. Plus he speaks mandarin which always helps, one wonders if he does so in an aussie accent. Compare this with Brown who meekly posed for the photo op while outside there were hundreds of protesters shouting angrily and the whole farce was unfolding (helped in a small way by yours truly, in that I waved a small Tibetan flag). He somehow though that by not holding the flame itself he would not be implicated in the whole furore, which again incapsulates his whole flawed attitude. Brown always tries to find a compromise that suits everyone, to be all things to all people, to not offend the Chinese Government or the pro Tibetan protesters. The fact is he does nether, he comes across as weak, as Rudd has shown you can tell the Olympic flame to piss off and still keep favourable trade with china.

Points go to Ken Livingstone for staying the fuck away from the whole thing, if it had been any other country he would have been grinning like a lizard and reminding everyone how he’d got the Olympics for London. The fact he didn’t take that gamble so close to an election shows how savvy he was. A lesser politician would have dived in there straight away, especially if they were facing knife edge reelection and would have burnt his fingers accordingly.

There is in fact no one in the current labour party who even looks like they could lead the country, the sad thing is that though Cameron is clearly a cunt he at least looks electable. I fear the inevitability of an eventual Tory majority and a time for labour in the wilderness again; sadly now though what with Brown’s shiteness and the whole new labour plan of driving of the unions they won’t actually have a base from which to come back from. Another Brown gaff is related to exactly that, the control of the party that is so essential to the running of the governments elections. The fact that there is no general secretary for the party and that the man Brown wanted in the job can’t take it up means that it will roll rudderless for the next year or so. Perhaps in brown wasn’t so keen on central control of the party he might have let the popular choice through, but then that guy was an ex amicus man and it would never do to that sort at the controls of the party. It is that combination of blair like control freakery with an inherent indecisiveness that will be brown’s undoing, that and the fact fate is not on his side. Jimmy Callaghan and Johnny Major would sadly nod in agreement.

whiting up brixton

When they first started playing classical music in tube stations and outside shops to drive off young people I was amused. I thought it a master stroke of psychology, that by accepting that classical music was inherently uncool they had found the perfect tool to bring young people into line.
"kids, pay attention at school or we get out the Debussy"
"hand in that homework or its the bach for you"
oh the hilarity that would ensue, either that or i was hoping that kids would co opt the classical music scene and hip hop groups would start adopting the mannerisms of middle class Prom lovers.
the dissonance started to hit though when they were playing Beethoven as i went down into Brixton tube, the same composer who the characters of a clockwork orange liked to fight to. This was meant to calm people? Stop them intimidating people?
Because much as i accept that kids won't hang about when you play them dead white dude music enforced listening will not make them suddenly into the ideal Daily Mail citizen (thank fuck). That was when the rationale became slightly sinister, because its all about asserting middle class white identity into areas that frighten the selfsame voters.
It has little to do with actually changing anything other than the perception of crime, which is the new big thing for the Labour government once it realised that crime rates were falling but the voters were still shit scared of each other. That is what all the anti hoodie bollocks and getting part time coppers on the beat is all about, making people feel safe. Never mind that a lot of people aren’t really encouraged by more coppers hanging about looking for an excuse to hastle anyone young looking. frankly i'm more scared of constant CCTV surveilance and the thought that the Met could get away with shooting me for no reason than by a bunch of pimply 14 year olds in hoods. who only wear them to be honest in order to hide from the world because that’s what you want to do for the most part as a 14 year old boy. Adolescence has a lot to answer for.

It is also part of the ongoing war on young people, who are assumed to be root evil of everything because they don’t respect their elders anymore. Notwithstanding the fact their elders are the worst examples of materially obsessed, broken down wankers who live in a culture where capitalist individualism is the only religion and where young people are shown no respect in any way. Respect has to be earned, as the right likes to say, and that goes double for adults. No wonder most kids hate their parents, they aren’t stupid and they question things.
So the playing of classical music in Brixton tube especially has that nasty undercurrent of racial assumption, that it will somehow better the people who live there, that the non white, non European origins of most of the people using the station are not culturally allowed. That we all must go to work under the banner of dead white men's music, to assert should we ever forget it that this country is a white, middle class homogenous daily mail reading flag saluting nation. Which of course it is not, but we have to pander to that minority who think it is because they shout the loudest.