Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Self-Preservation Society?

A wee while back, Will Hutton had me shaking my head in disbelief (so much so that I had a pop at him for something he wasn't actually to blame for). What got me going that day was his opinion on the secret loans scandal.
Blair cocked up; he should never have allowed fund raising to get so close to the office of Prime Minister. There should have been more transparency. However, as the week wore on, I found myself grudgingly admiring him. He took the criticism on the chin, made the argument, and fought back. Amid a Cabinet of rabbits and a party collectively blame-shifting, here at least was somebody prepared to lead from the front.
Er? Even for a fully signed up Blairite propagandist, that's a breathtaking statement. Blair made the argument? When?

Has Blair explained why his chief fundraiser, who reported directly to the PM, was explicitly asking for loans rather than donations? Has he explained why the Lords appointment commission was not informed that four of his nominees had lent substantial amounts of money to the Labour Party? Has he explained why he thought it was acceptable to exploit loopholes in regulations he himself introduced in order to "clean up politics"? Because if he did, I didn't hear his answers.

It takes a certain kind of person to ignore the unanswered questions hanging over the prime minister while simultaneously chastising others for "blame-shifting". Try as I might, I can't understand the motivations behind it. It is, I suppose, something to do with loyalty.

Loyalty, for most people, is a two way street. If someone takes advantage of or exploits your loyalty, you're likely to be cautious about continuing to offer it to them. For Blair's supporters however, it seems that they're quite happy to allow him to use and abuse them in any way which takes his fancy without ever asking themselves whether their man actually deserves their loyalty. It is a strange state of affairs.

The question is, are they now going to loyally go down with Blair's sinking ship? I'm of the opinion that the country needs a strong Labour Party. I genuinely don't want Blair take it down with him. Cut. Him. Loose. It might not be too late to save yourselves.

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