I was not aware of the total dictatorship by Blair until I saw two of the three programs on his management of our affairs, on BBC TV – it was frightening. What has passed can’t really be corrected in most cases, but what frightens me is that when Gordon Brown and David Cameron are quoted in the press, and often speak on screen, they say ‘I’ when it should be ‘we’. Are all top politicians now in Blair’s mould? If they are, and the Cabinet is an apparition rather then a reality, then God help us!
Blair was a dictator in that he ignored advice, majority opinion, whether in his party, in the House, or the general public if he thought he was right, and everyone else couldn’t see what was obvious to him. The Dome is a glaring example. Whether he always thought he had a response on earth to divine help, I believe towards the end of his reign, the last 5 years, it would seem that he was convinced of his own accord with God. Since I was a small boy reading stories, I believed even the British Army, whom I, like everyone else, considered to be almost invincible, was told they couldn’t roust the rebels in the Afghanistan mountains, or the Hindu Cush as I knew it then. It seemed this was right, when Russia gave up, and we know what they are like as an aggressive force, Blair went ahead in spite of strong professional advice against it and overwhelming disapproval in the country.
I always thought that approval of the Lords was essential before action was put in hand, but that appears not to have been the case with the Blair administration. If this is so, then there is no way a dictatorship can be avoided, and if it does surface, controlled. This seriously worries me. There has been such massive waste of tax revenue over these years, from tiers of staffing which duplicated responsibilities and merely added to confusion, legislation, put into being and then rescinded and retraced again in yet another form, vast sums spent on retaining people in prison at huge sums per head per day, when a proportion could be dealt with more cheaply. The wars we didn’t want, as was the Dome, there is quite a list.
I would like to see a committee set up, made up of members of The Upper House, with all the parties equally represented, (say two from each) and not by the proportion of members in the House, to ensure the Punch and Judy ethic of the Commons is not replicated. They would only meet when some controversy, indiscretion or similar cause of serious importance, reported within the Commons or proposed by the public and vetted, required research, examination and reporting on to Parliament, such as the Iraq decision. The proposal of an even bigger data base as currently said to be a proposal by Brown, or the loss of the ‘discs’ are two more I would suggest. In the latter case I am not convinced there were only 2 disks. If an eight letter word is 20 Kb, how many bytes are needed for the information concerning one family, multiplied by 25 million? The mind boggles, and the word disc needs a bit of explaining to me at least, as does sending through the post.
When we had intelligent men of wealth who went into politics because it interested them and they had no need to toil, I suspect the Whip’s office had a harder time getting them to follow party lines on occasion. Now most are there as a job, and with some of the strong, hard-men we have seen as whips recently, it has seemed to me they troop through the lobby as instructed more than makes logical sense, especially when one reads or hears biographical snippets later, My proposition of a Watchdog Committee would ask awkward questions, and stop rubber stamping, or dictatorship – I think!