25 October 2010

Thirteen worse than wasted years

Ian Duncan-Smith's wholesale reform of the welfare system, Gove's first step in the reform of the educational system and now Vince Cable's trailing of a "very radical" reform of the state pension system - all of these could have been, and should have been carried out by the Blair government. There is not one thing about the new policies that Blair did not identify as "progressive" alternatives to a dysfunctional status quo.

So why, possessed of a repeated electoral mandate such as few prime ministers have ever enjoyed, did he not carry them out? Because he lacked the courage to get rid of the malevolent Gordon Brown, who sabotaged every such initiative, and inflicted him on the nation when he departed to cash in his international IOUs.

If posterity even bothers to do so, it may record - as the Massachusetts polemicist Sam Adams predicted it would in 1772 - that 1997-2010 marked the point of no return in Britain's journey to "obscurity and contempt".

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