Friday, August 05, 2005

View From The Other Side

Following John Kampfner's piece urging us to adopt 'clear and distinctive' policies, and to reclaim 'the political space we should be occupying', fellow New Statesman contributor Nick Cohen has a go at David Cameron and the modernisers.

Commenting that he 'can't spot the difference from Tony Blair's old flannel', he argues that Cameron is seeking to ape Blair circa 1995. He amusingly compares their pitches, including their rhetorical reliance on the false dichotomy. It's virtually word for word.

But as he points out, the world has moved on since the days of Bridget Jones Mk I. And since 9/11, like it or not, Tony has become far harder edged (and we might note, with the approval ratings to match). In contrast, DC comes across as a phoney, with nothing to say about the critical issues of the day like security and foreign policy.

Yes well, you might say, why would we listen to notorious lefties like Kampfner and Cohen? With all their axes, they're probably trying to frighten us off the candidate they actually most fear.

Hmm...well maybe. But everything they say rings very true to us. We've done Blairism, and the world has moved on. Bridget has moved on. Even Tony has moved on. It seems there are those on the left who have a much clearer sense of that than our muddle-headed modernisers.


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