Blair embraces post-modernism [re: statment to blair]

Kevin Cabral kcabral at
Mon Oct 7 13:15:44 MDT 1996

On 7 Oct 1996, Jon Flanders wrote:

> Adam,
>   Last night I watched a bit of Blair's speech to the Labour Party conference
> on C-Span, followed by the Clinton-Dole debate, which I watched for a
> half-hour or so.
>   I was struck by the Reagan-Clintonesque image Blair projected. This is truly
> an international phenomenon of the television age.
>   Blow-dried Blair offered up sentimental anecdotes, platitudes and paens to
> opponents in the grand Reagan tradition. We have come a long way in bourgeois
> politics from the haggard image of Nixon in the 1960 debate with Kennedy.
>   The irony of all this is, that as the ruling class has become more
> sophisticated in their image-mongering, their audience ratings drop. There is
> virtually no discussion up to now of the presidential campaign on my shop
> floor. Unlike the situtation you describe in England, the rank and file expect
> very little from another four years of Clinton. From the point of view of the
> ruling class, this is one of his sucesses, I suppose.

	I did the exact same routine last night, and actually enjoyed
watching the humorous Blair much more than Clinton. I took some notes last
night to keep myself busy, and here are parts of various Blair quotes I
wrote down. If postmodernism, as Doug Henwood says, is "truly an ideology
that rests on the denial of history" then it seems that Tony Blair has
been converted to pomo..

Some Blair quotes from the conference as shown on C-SPAN, note than the
Conservative conference will be on C-SPAN next Sunday at 9pm if anyone is

The tradition of the Labour Party is about "the heritage of hope passed
>from parent to child."

Labour is the party of "sound financing, a stable economy, long-term
investment, and good housekeeping."

We [Labour] will "lead Britain into a new age of acheivement." Doing this
means "making Britain lead Europe." "The Tories made glory in absolute
isolation, but that is a betrayal of British interests." "In this new
world..we will help small businesses. Move over Tories, Labour is the
party of small business."

Blair, discussing towards the end of his speech the new era of Labor and
his adoption of post-modernism:

"I ask, in the name of this country, that there will be no more bosses
versus workers [that rhetoric is the prejudice of the past]. [we have to
realize] that we're on the same side, we're in the same team." "Class
divides have no place in the 21st century [and the new age of acheivement]."

"The Labour government today is not the arm of anyone but the British

Blair on the priorities and programme of the Labour government:

The 3 priorities of a Labour government will be "education, education,
education!." "Imagine Britain, the skills super-power of the world!"

We will "pass basic civil rights for people at work, and a minimum wage."

We will "ban the private ownership and possession of handguns." <this
statement drew some of the longest applause of the day>
I will "legislate a parliment for Scotland, and an assembly for Wales."

"The quangos state will be in the dustbin of history where it belongs"
<Blair echoing Trotsky? Quangos refers to semi-autonomous governmental
organisations. Is Blair trying to bring some sort of federalism to Britain?>

We "will end the voting of hereditary peers in the House of Laws." <I
don't understand what that means, will a Brit please inform me.>

The Labor government will:

"promote democracy, civil rights, and *free-trade* between nations."

We also promise to "cut unemployment...and keep interest rates low." <hmm..>

"This is my covenant with the British people, for the future and not the
past, for the many and not the few.

Blair reflecting on the past:

"Yes, we are a democratic socialist says so in our Constitution
that I drafted and the party overwhelmingly supported."

Labor "stands in a tradition far above ideology..we are part of the
constant striving of the human spirit towards progress."

<Blair mentions someone named Sam Jones who fought in the Spanish Civil
War in his tribute to Laborites of the past. Who is Jones?>

Blair, forgetting history once more, while reflecting on the glorious past
of Britain:

[we had] "an Empire, the largest the world has ever known, relinqiused

Finally Blair wants:

"a society of opportunity and responsibility. The decent society: for a
new age of acheivement in Britain."

United States of America

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