New Labour

Can't remember when I wrote this piece, or even if it is a completed article or the notes for one - just found it on my pc, so stuck a 2002 date on it:
To begin with, the great swing to New Labour at the May 1997 General Election was hardly a mass endorsement of Blair’s policies by the electorate. A quick look at the statistics shows the turn-out at the 1997 election to be the lowest turn-out on record – if anything the abstentionists won the election. Rather, it was more a case of voters simply desiring a change of government, believing Blair could offer some digression from 18 years of Tory rule. In reality, the voters were simply electing to office Thatcherism with a smile on its face.

Blair in fact had much praise for Mrs Thatcher. Prior to the election he declared she was someone “Britain needed at the time’” and she was amongst the very first invites to 10 Downing Street in May 19997 when Blair took office. And though critical of Tory policies whilst in opposition, it was Blair himself who told voters that new Labour would be adhering to Tory pending plans for 2 years – so we feel we have every right in “lumping the Labour party in with the Tories.”

Throughout their term in office, and just like their predecessors, the Labour party have proved themselves to be the party of capitalism, a party f reactionaries, more than ready to suck up to their cronies in big business and to clout the poorest at every opportunity

Prior to the election, Blair so enthralled a CBI conference that they gave him a 14 minute standing ovation. He even travelled to Australia to meet with right-wing media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

In 1996, Blair accepted a ride in the private helicopter of Sir Anthony Bamford (of JCB), later announcing they shared “common purposes”. At conference that year he declared “we are on the same side. We are on the same team.” Within 3 years, JCB were fined £24 million by the EU for restrictive practices. In February of 1996 Blair had even told another audience of businessmen: “I want to see Britain become an audience of millionaires.”

Seeing profits at every turn, Blair would go on to tell the Green Alliance/CBI Conference (sponsored by BP) and at which such matters as alternative energy sources were discussed: “We should see protecting the environment as a business opportunity.” A shame BP was not listening, for they have just announced record profits of £24 million per day. And of this how much is invested in sustainable energy (an alternative to oil)? – 0.05 per cent of it!

Sidekick Peter Mandelson could be found on the other side of the pond in January 1999, telling an audience of business people how Labour “is intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich

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