Tony Blair's Dilemma

Tom O'Lincoln suarsos at alphalink.com.au
Wed Feb 19 19:39:30 MST 2003


A minor comment on an otherwise very interesting post:

>>Tony Blair, a politician whose entire
career has been built on pandering to opinion polls, finds himself
isolated, confronting massive opposition<<

It's also common in Australia to describe bourgeois politicians as
"poll-driven". The left does this when they are catering to the right, the
right does it when they make concessions to the left.

I have two objections to it:

1. Looked at within the framework of bourgeois democracy, it's an
undemocratic sentiment. Why should we object if politicians respond to
public opinion? More importantly:

2. From a Marxist perspective, on major questions it's never true. They do
what suits the needs of capital, or the dominant fraction of the ruling
class, or whatever. Even on lesser questions, for the most part if
politicians say or do things that suit the talk back radio crowd because
it's in the interests of capital to divide the working class. The poll
results are shaped, in subtle ways, by our rulers. The problem is that the
politicians are pandering to the bosses, not the polls per se.

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