Dead Men Left

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

More sound and sensible stuff from the Parliamentary Labour Party, this time courtesy of Tom Watson, MP for West Bromwich East, who (apropos of Lib Dem "dirty tricks") notes that:

They should stick to the issues - like why they don't want crack heads and junkies to go to jail.

A little later, he berates the Lib Dems for voting against the Anti-social Behaviour Bill, on the not unreasonable grounds of wanting to defend rather basic human rights. Obviously, I'm no great fan of the Liberal Democrats, but given the provisions of the Bill anyone with the vaguest concern for civil liberties would think that handing our racist, corrupt and incompetent police forces yet more powers is hardly sensible.

What is truly incredible, really sit up and gawp shocking is that a Labour MP - a Labour MP - is shamelessly, indeed proudly, appropriating the language of the Right; and not a comparatively pleasant one-nation sort of Tory rhetoric, either; more the spitting, hissing Norman Tebbit mode of proceeding. We're all well used, by now, to New Labour pilfering the policies of the Right, but to steal also their bovver boots and skinheads (as it were) is disturbing. The slogan "YOUNG THUGS MUST BE CAGED" - as coined by a group of terribly clever young Blairites for the 1997 election campaign - was rejected by the Labour Party leadership as being just a little off. And yet here we are, seven long years of ill-government later, Blunkett apoplectic about immigrants and this monstrous creature, Watson, spouting the sort of vitriol once fermented at Tory party conference platforms and distributed at saloon-bars the length of "Middle England".