I’m lovin’ it. The excruciating final decline of the Brown government is like watching a prolonged torture session of someone you really, really hate. It’s fantastic. I’ve enjoyed the last four days sooooo much!
If I was given a roomful of kiddy fiddlers, schoolgate heroin dealers, and people who talk in cinemas – all strung up by their ankles – and then invited to get creative with a rusty toolbox and some electrodes, I honestly don’t think I could have a better time.
After Friday’s cabinet reshuffle, aka rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic, it was obvious Brown wasn’t ready to give up. Compromises stopped his Darling blubbing, but Balls was a balls-up and Ed himself is now locking himself in his bedroom and refusing to come out. Meanwhile, that creature of the night Mandelson is trying desperately not to do anything he really wants to do, and two more bits of female window dressing, sorry Ministers, have started buffing their CVs. What a mess. Brilliant.
On the basis that a Labour government doing nothing is more useful than a Labour government doing something, Britain is in its best shape for years!
Careful, guys. Let’s play this. We don’t actually want Brown to go yet; if he departs it’d force an election, probably with Alan Johnson leading Labour, and there’s a chance it could win another term on a sympathy bounce. We need to drag this out for a few more months, until it’s impossible for a new leader to establish himself before next June’s election deadline… and then force Brown out, assuring a Conservative victory.
British conservatism is coming home from its long, dark winter away. Its new tax-and-spend clothes, a necessity to fool the proles, will fall away once in power. And public sector bloat, the UK being a high-tax jurisdiction, profligacy towards left-leaning quangoes and Britain’s attitude of victimhood and blame culture, so richly rewarded under Labour, will start to dissipate.
There is one thing missing, of course: the understanding (destroyed by Labour) that government isn’t actually there to solve everyone’s problems. Millions of British voters genuinely believe that the government should take care of them, love and protect them, pay for their children. That’s not what a government is for; a government is there to enable things to happen, not make things happen. See two poor towns? Build a road between them so they can trade. See barbarian hordes approaching? Send in the boys to whack ’em. See a lot of kids? Pay someone to teach them to read. See litter on the streets? Pay someone to clean it up.
And that is the absolute limit of what a government should seek to do.
What a government must never, ever do – and which Labour has done, consistently – is create the impression that it’s a loving parent, someone who does everything so you don’t have to. The entire culture of dependence and handouts that’s grown up in the UK over the last decade is entirely due to the Blair/Brown government. And it’s wrong.
The centre-right is coming back to Britain, at last. And my only remaining worry is whether it’ll be right-wing enough to repair the immense damage Labour’s done.