Category Archives: Blairism

The English Perón

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Always on the lookout for new worlds to ruin

A merciless enemy of liberty

The British repeatedly elect, writes Dalrymple,

nonentities distinguished only for their ambition and relentless pursuit of office. Mediocrity and ambition often combine with vast self-regard.

An example is Tony Blair. In the US it is not appreciated

how ferocious and inveterate an enemy of freedom Mr Blair is. Perhaps the most dangerous thing about him is that he doesn’t know it: he thinks of himself as a guardian of freedom, perhaps the greatest such guardian.

It would be almost correct to call Blair

a fascist, were it not for the fact that he is unaware of it.

Blair’s emphasis on youth as the source of all wisdom and strength

is reminiscent of Mussolini.

His notion of the Third Way

has fascistic overtones, and reminds one of Juan Perón.

Blair is

always on the lookout, not for new worlds to conquer, but for new worlds to poke his nose into and to ruin, or ruin further.

In Britain once, most people

had an idea of virtue that was intensely focused on their individual conduct, irrespective of whether they were rich or poor. People did not believe that poverty excused very much. One of the destructive consequences of the spread of sociological modes of thought is that it has transferred the notion of virtue from individuals to social structures, and in so doing has made personal striving for virtue (as against happiness) not merely unnecessary but ridiculous and even bad, insofar as it diverted attention from the real task at hand, that of creating the perfect society: the society so perfect, as T.S. Eliot put it, that no one will have to be good. It is that kind of society in which Mr Blair believes.

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Cameron’s repellent utterances

Complacency and ruthlessness masked by sentimentality

Utter complacency and ruthlessness, the reverse side of the coin of sentimentality

Dalrymple points out that the language used by David Cameron, the British prime minister, is

deeply repellent.

It is

a mixture of undignified and condescending demotic and mid-Atlantic psychobabble. Just as Mr Blair was never Anthony, so for Mr Cameron dads are there for you (the kids), so that there comes a time when you (the kids) turn to them (the dads) and a light bulb suddenly flicks on inside your head. Psychobabble, the language of Rousseau’s Confessions without the confessions, does not come much shallower than this.

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 08.28.35The choice of language is

a transparent attempt by Mr Cameron to persuade the public that he is just a normal chap – or as he would no doubt put it, guy – who happens to have found his way into 10 Downing Street, in more or less the same way I sometimes go down to the Castle Tea Rooms for my lunch.

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 08.55.25Worse still is the sentimentality of what Cameron has to say, closely allied as it is, to

utter complacency and ruthlessness, both express and implied.

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British taxpayers are sheep to be sheared

Tony Blair, Dalrymple writes, 'is to Churchill as the Emperor Bokassa is to Napoleon'. (It has emerged that the British taxpayer is shelling out £16,000 a week to help  Blair build his business empire.)

Tony Blair, Dalrymple writes, ‘is to Churchill as the Emperor Bokassa is to Napoleon’. (It has emerged that British taxpayers are shelling out £16,000 a week to help Blair build his business empire.)

An English Elmer Gantry

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 09.00.50Tony Blair, writes Dalrymple,

keeps inviolable his belief in the existence of a purely beneficent essence of himself, a belief so strong that no quantity of untruthfulness, shady dealings, unscrupulousness, or impropriety can undermine or destroy it. He came into the world marked by Original Virtue.

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 08.26.22Blair

has an unfailing eye and ear for the ersatz and the kitsch, allowing him to play upon the sensibilities of a large section of the population as upon a pipe. He is a devotee of the cult of celebrity, in which the marriage of glamour and banality both reassures democratic sentiment and stimulates fantasies of luxury. He seeks the company of minor showbusiness personalities and stays in their homes during his holidays.

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 08.59.14He is an enemy of freedom.

Starting with an assumption of his infinite beneficence, he assumes infinite responsibility, with the result that Britain has become a country with a degree of official surveillance that would make a Latin American military dictator envious. The only people this troubles are the people who need no surveillance.

Some other qualities of Blair: he

  • Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 09.11.10suffers from delusions of honesty. His capacity to believe his own untruths proves persuasive to others
  • is expert in the postmodernist art of spin. The whole of society finds itself corrupted and infantilised by its inability to talk straight
  • is authoritarian in a Mussolinian or Perónist way
  • is morally and possibly financially corrupt, also shallow and egotistical
  • combines the qualities of Elmer Gantry with those of Juan Perón

(2007)

Thatcherism is at the root of the health service mess

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 08.50.52Dalrymple lists the failings of the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust:

  • the ravening ambition of bureaucratic mediocrities
  • institutionally perverted incentives that reward those who do worst
  • the creation of a nomenklatura…at the head of an apparat staffed by bullied, intimidated, fearful but…unscrupulous apparatchiks
  • an inability or unwillingness to speak or write in plain English
  • intellectual dishonesty with compulsory lying on a vast scale
  • the proliferation of procedural objectives and bureaucratic tasks…unrelated…to reality or to the welfare of patients
  • a revolting tendency to Pecksniffian self-congratulation and righteousness

He calls the NHS

that vast charitable organisation for the outdoor relief of second-rate bureaucrats.

He points to the slick insidiousness of Tony Blair, who made Labour, once the party of the working class, the party of the nomenklatura. But Dalrymple’s greatest scorn is reserved for arguably the most overrated post-war British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher,

with her crude sub-Marxist view of the professions as…exploitative monopolists….She thought the methods and disciplines of the marketplace, imposed by ‘scientific’ management but in the absence of anything resembling a…market, would eliminate chronic inefficiency….This was…stupid…it called into being a managerial class, cunning and unscrupulous.