Thursday, 31 July 2008

Waiting in the Wings

Borthlas has recently brought up the allusion - the "sinking ship", and as the days and weeks advance we cannot but feel that the fall from grace is endemic and terminal. It remains to send out the call to man the lifeboats, women and children first - if that courtesy still applies in this age of equality and uniformity. The question is: will the captain be the last to leave the sinking ship, or will he go down with it, as did the captain of the "Titanic"? It is interesting to contemplate the death pangs of a once-proud party, when socialism was a cause worth fighting for, and the class struggle was at its height, with marches in the valleys and speeches in the streets, with mounted police and batons raised to quell the demands of a desperate and down-trodden people.

Those days have gone, thankfully, and firebrand socialism has been replaced by apparent innocuous mediocrity. Labour cast aside its socialist past, describing the left as loonies, and politicians of the old school, such as Michael Foot and his religious comrade-in-arms Trevor Huddlestone, appealed only to the fringe of British political thought though their influence spread far and wide. It was calculated to win over the centre ground and so it did, but it was founded upon expediency rather than principle. There lay its eventual downfall following ten years of government under the charismatic leadership of Tony Blair. The situation could have been very different if Blair had not be there and it had fallen on Gordon Brown to take the helm.

Pride comes before a fall as we have all been told, and the saying is as true today as it has ever been. The captain is at the helm, but the ship is sinking fast and there must be many who are preparing to jump ship. The watered down socialism finally became indistinguishable from the centrist policies of the Conservatives and Liberals all striving to fill the middle ground of politics, and endeavouring to come up with proposals which might catch the public's attention - the abolition of inheritance tax for example.

There were mistakes - the cosy alliance with America and the adoption of its risky military strategy: "make the world safe for democracy" and invade other sovereign nations to impose it, without a plan or exit strategy; the placing of education as a priority, without considering the ramifications or teaching the pupils to be literate - claiming GCSE successes by allowing standards to fall; throwing money at the national health service without improving the quality of service; closing rural schools and post offices and withdrawing council services - wasting and squandering public money on prestige projects, starting with the Millenium Dome; cracking down on terrorism and external threats without paying attention to internal societal breakdown - anti-social behaviour, drugs and murder in the streets of major cities. The list goes on...and on.... a catalogue of errors and mismanagement!

In Wales, and in Scotland there are parties, socialist in background and philosophy, which are waiting in the wings. We know who they are. They are the future saviours of these islands, the beacons of hope, and they point the way ahead, if only public percipience will provide them with the support they need. They are waiting in the wings to take over where Labour has failed and they have youth on their side. Their appeal is to the perspicacious intellectual youth, who are growing up in a different age, an age of new challenges, as Europe develops into a powerful grouping of nations. Change is in the air and unless we can meet the challenges of the age we are doomed. As with nature, he who adapts survives. Is Labour on the point of extinction? Is this the end-game for Labour?

7 comments:

Al Iguana said...

Labour was a fantastic idea: uniting the workers in the mines, the factories, the mills and steelworks, fighting for a better society for their members.

However, it's now 2008. We don't have those workers anymore (not as in working communities). So what are Labour fighting for? They are, not a ship without a captain, but a ship without a course, sailing aimlessly around the sea of politics. "New Labour" chose a Tory direction, and in doing so, turned their back on the very people who created them.

Plaid and the SNP are the parties of the new generation, a generation that needs to establish their identities and fight for their country's rights in a global market.

Anonymous said...

What on Earth are "death pangs"? As you are a former teacher of English, I'm afraid that I don't understand your connotation.

Kindly explain.

alanindyfed said...

anon: death "pangs" may be found in the dictionary, if you have one - otherwise they are readily available. Otherwise you could try google. Another word would be "spasms".

alanindyfed said...

pang (png)
n.
1. A sudden sharp spasm of pain. See Synonyms at pain.
2. A sudden sharp feeling of emotional distress.
tr.v. panged, pang·ing, pangs
To cause to feel pangs; distress acutely.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the advice.

Perhaps next time you could try "death throes". It simply trips off the tongue.

alanindyfed said...

Thanks anon : I used your word "throes" in my latest posting on the blog.

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