Monday, August 24, 2015

Nothing lasts forever

There is no natural law that says that the Conservative Party, or the Labour party, or the Liberal Democrats, have to be an important part of Britain's power structure (as the third of those parties has just found out the hard way for the second time in a century)

No rule is more true in politics that the three words which began the third "House of Cards" TV series (the UK version): "Nothing Lasts Forever."

Since the first decline and fall of the Liberals, people have been writing books and articles with titles like "The strange death of Liberal England." and inserting the name of various parties in place of "Liberal." Sometimes these articles look a bit silly a few years later, because as parties and movements can apparently be knocked down to insignificance, they can also sometimes come back - but this is not as inevitable as the people in those parties might want to hope.

Peter Franklin has a great article today on Conservative Home which refers to that familiar title: it's called

"There's nothing strange about the death of New Labour."

It begins with a very amusing comment:

"Oh, to be a time traveller!

Imagine, for instance, paying a visit to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown on the 2nd May, 1997. The things you could tell them:
“Well, Tony, the good news is that you get to be Prime Minister for the next ten years… put that Nokia down, Gordon! You get your turn next – though only for three years.
“Yeah, in 2010 the Tories get back in – sort of.”
“Who succeeds you? Miliband.”
“No, not David…”
“Of course the Tories win a second term – this time without the Lib Dems.”
“Oh, did I not say about Nick Clegg?”
“No I don’t supposed you would have heard of him, not yet anyway. But you know who Jeremy Corbyn is, don’t you?”
“You might want to sit down for this bit…”
A mere 18 years after its landslide electoral triumph, everything that the New Labour project fought for stands to be lost. The Blairites are already consigned to the fringes and the Brownites could soon follow. It all seems very strange. Indeed from the perspective of 1997, a description of current events would sound like the ravings of a lunatic."

Indeed. You can read the full article here.

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