Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Brown Conference Speech Lies, No 94

Start of the Peace Process, Downing St, 1993 (where's Blair, Gordo?)

Brown cited the Disability Discrimination Act (1995) as a Labour success in his shockingly awful conference speech. But, as a commenter in the Guardian has pointed out:

Did I hear right in the speech. Did his list of Labour successes include the Disability Discrimination Act? I am fairly sure that Act was a private members bill passed in 1995. As with all such bills, it required government sympathy - that would be the Tory government...

I think they assume that all progressive legislation must be Labour. So much so that they don't even check the facts.

Exactly. It was a cross party bill, not some sort of 'evidence' of Labour's moral superiority and 'progressive' credentials. It's just hideous this bilious, vile, tribal hatred of the Tories just for the sake of it. It's utterly corrosive, anti-democratic and contemptuous of the pluralist ideals this country was built on. But claiming credit where it is not deserved and flies in the face of easily checked facts! I'm sorry, but that's either pathological, desperate - or both.

Combine this with the wicked untruth Brown uttered in the same speech that Blair (Blair?) began the Northern Ireland Peace Process. Er, no. It was John Major in one of his greatest successes as (elected) Prime Minister, won in the face of stiff opposition from his own party, with the Downing Street Declaration of '93, the negotiation of the first IRA ceasfire in '94 and the subsequent Good Friday Agreement of 1998, in which he played a - or even 'the' - crucial role, who actually "answered" the Irish Question. In fact, I strongly recall thinking at the time that a still very much wet behind the ears Blair seemed to be muscling in on what was, in fact, Major's final triumph.

But in the end, that all will be for history to decide, (not Labour - and certainly not Brown!). I think you can see a pattern forming, though, can't you? This particularly sordid piece of Tory-hating Labour revisionism isn't all Brown, of course. It started with Blair during his farewell tour in 2007 (remember that assault on our senses!) in his long search for some sort of historical "legacy". Northern Ireland is Major's legacy, not Blair's - and certainly not Labour's! But Brown's complete omission of Major, the architect of the Peace Process, from history in his speech spoke volumes about the man's extraordinary capacity for deceit, among many other things. It's all the more hypocritical for a man who pretends to be a historian.

The point is that the unravelling of this utterly moribund, dishonest, conference speech is already gathering pace, just a few hours after it was made. And so is the final end of Brown. He is as contemptuous of the the political process and true democracy in Britain as he is deluded about his own significance in the long history of this country. Fifty years from now he will be a footnote tacked on to the end of Blair's premiership - if he's lucky. A bit like Alec Douglas-Home (although I'm uncomfortable comparing a decent, honourable, honest party leader like Douglas-Home with a viciously ambitious abuser like Brown) after Macmillan.

He's very, very close to that rude awakening millions of right-minded, decent (and yes, "hard working") people that disagree with him, and whom he therefore despises so much, have been looking forward to for so long. Well, it's been a costly wait in so many ways. But his downfall, quite possibly, will be Britain's salvation and therefore worth that wait.

Brown: No one's hero and everybody's fool.

(PS: Something once said, with typical modesty, by Alec Douglas-Home seems to me to be more applicable to Gordon Brown than to himself.
“There are two problems in my life. The political ones are insoluble and the economic ones are incomprehensible”
Ironically, you can find this in the biography section of Number 10's own website. I doubt whether Brown has read it. He doesn't really "do" history. And if he had read it, I doubt it would still be there (too close to home).)

5 comments:

  1. I think you're maybe a bit harsh on Blair over Northern Ireland. While Major had made substantial progress and laid the groundwork for much of the later achievement, his stalling on the issues of improved minority rights and more power for the Irish, caused by his need for Ulster Unionist backing in the House of Commons, also led to a resumption of violence in 1996 (Canary Wharf).

    It is also true to say that Major was a little unlucky with an Irish leadership that broadly sympathized with Sinn Fein. When Blair came in he was fortunate that Reynolds was also ousted and the less Republican-minded Bertie Ahern was willing to do business with him, but he also did work very hard and achieved a great deal - it didn't just fall into his lap. From that point of view, the Good Friday agreement was Blair's achievement rather than Major's.

    I agree totally about the disability discrimination act. You could also add the Welfare State (dates from 1912) the NHS (founded to all intents and purposes in 1943 by the Beveridge Report) and votes for women (enacted by the Conservatives in 1928) as changes that Labour likes to claim credit for that in reality had nothing to do with them. Plus ca change...

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  2. I disagree - somewhat. It's worth remembering, for instance, that the real key figures in the months running up to the Good Friday Agreement were, I believe, if memory serves, the Americans: Senator Mitchell (hence the "Mitchell Principles") and, of course, Bill Clinton. But Blair, Clinton, Mitchell or even Mowlam (who deserved more credit than Blair ever gave her and received about, er, none - surprise surprise) could have achieved none of this without Major's long rapprochement with the Irish, and his achieving two IRA ceasefires, the second of which held.

    I'll concede the point about the augmented influence of the Unionists in parliament because of the Major's slim majority, but I do not believe that they were somehow causing Major to 'stall' (stall what, his own policy?); that they were somehow holding him to ransom. That seems an oversimplification in what was, after all, a very complex affair with many other dimensions, such as, as you rightly say, the shifting position of Eire's leadership. As I said in the post, however, "history" will debate this more thoroughly as the distance from the events grows. I also said it should not be up to Brown (or Blair) to apportion credit, particularly to their own party.

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  3. Whatever the details of the process, there can be no justification whatsoever for erasing Major, the man who *did* start it all for heaven's sake, entirely from history (although, even this is debatable. Some might say it began in 1985 with Thatcher's Anglo-Irish Agreement, which certainly did not please the Unionists, so it must have been a good thing!).

    But "Started by Tony Blair," as Brown boasted? For pity's sake. And that frustration, at Brown's ridiculous, shameless revisionism, was meant to be the main theme of what was after all a little bit of a late night ramble :)

    The main theme was "lying".

    Anyway, cheers for the comment, CB - and glad you agree with me about Brown's other lie - itself one of many, many examples, some of which you mention in your final paragraph.

    Labour - and Brown particularly - need to be hammered for these.

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  4. I didn't mean to call you 'CB'. You are HBW, of course. Je suis desole.

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Any thoughts?