Labour chairman Hazel Blears said the party was "absolutely committed to increased transparency and accountability in political party funding".This is the party whose leader knowingly and deliberately took the decision to circumvent the very transparency rules he introduced. Absolute commitment, my arse.
Blear's statement is a perfect example of the way the Labour Party operates under Blair. They appear to believe that if they endlessly repeat the same words and phrases, those words and phrases will be the truth. And it doesn't seem to matter to them if these statements are utterly fatuous, ridiculous, hypocritical or downright wrong. All that matter is that repetition equals truth.
Yesterday, as well as repeating a completely inaccurate description of the results of the Iraqi elections, Blair yet again conflated a disparate series of problems into one all encompassing evil. He appears not to have any concerns about the fact that many informed observers are asking whether he's a simpleton who doesn't understand the realities of the world he lives in or a mendacious liar who deliberately attempts to mislead the British public. He cares not. All that matter is that the endless repetition of words and phrases equals truth.
The question is, how do you deal with this situation? Clearly, it isn't democracy in any meaningful sense when the Prime Minister and his party are allowed to mislead the electorate on a daily basis without being challenged. What do you call a society in which the ruling party is able to present their own propaganda as the truth and where any dissenters will be shown "no quarter"?
When General Dannatt spoke out about the Iraq war, there were those who rather laughably suggested that it was the beginnings of some sort of coup. For them, the military has a duty to follow orders and keep their mouths shut in all circumstances. The obvious problem with that attitude is summed up in one word: Nuremberg.
To be clear, I'm not suggesting that our action in Iraq is directly comparable to the Holocaust.
The point is that the Nuremberg trials established beyond question that members of the armed forces have moral responsibilities which stand above any orders they have been given by their commanders. In the case of Iraq, with the government adopting their "our words are the truth" policy while in the real world British soldiers risk their lives and hundreds of Iraqis die every week, senior civil servants and military personnel surely have a moral duty to speak out.
And that leads us back to the suggestion that General Dannatt was somehow trying to instigate a military coup. Not a credible suggestion, as I said, but an interesting idea nonetheless. I suspect I'm not the only one in this country who thought, perhaps just for a moment, that maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea. The army dismisses parliament, introduces a fair voting system (they could use the Labour Party's broken promise on holding a referendum on electoral reform as a further justification), organises and holds new elections and we'll finally have something resembling representative democracy in this country. The very fact that Blair's mandate to subject the U.K. to his semi-dictatorial rule comes from only 22% of voters says everything about the current system.
A military coup might be just what we need. And if Blair complains, we'll just get some squadies to endlessly repeat "we're acting on the express will of the British people" until he is forced to concede that it has become truth.
In reality, this idea is very much tongue in cheek; a military coup to dissolve the mother of parliaments isn't an option. But even though I'm a committed democrat, there's some part of my brain which did genuinely consider the possibility. I strongly suspect I'm not the only one either.
That itself is quite an achievement for the man who once promised to clean up politics.
Tags: News, Politics, Tony Blair