Monday, July 25, 2005
Things fall apart
Rory Bremner today (Independent) is ferociously and wonderfully outspoken about the Prime Minister. The news that Mr Bremner is to write a weekly column in the New Statesman will increase that magazine's circulation by at least one reader.
Bremner marvels at Blair's ability to "get away with it".
"It's rather like an illusionist, a David Blaine. You know it's a trick, but you want to believe it. He's so self-righteous, so priggish, that I don't find him a particularly attractive character to do. Whereas I enjoy someone like Tony Benn or George Galloway."
They are proper "characters", he says, with real passions.
Real passions.. with the emphasis on real. Blair's blaring sincerity is all marketing. A trick.
....."He has such vast reservoirs of confidence," says Bremner. "I don't know if he stands in front of a mirror saying: 'You are great, you are great, you are great.' But he is a consummate actor and communicator. It's when you look behind the reality that it begins to fall apart."
Yeats' prophetic poem.....
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
....goes on to speak of a terrifiying Second Coming; "... twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle..."
Accelerating centralisation, pushing people into rigid lines not of their own making, is causing much that we hold dear to fall apart. The police have received training in Israel to stop suicide bombers. The technique is shooting the suspect in the head. When Ken Livingstone points out that Britain has practised 'double standards' in its foreign policy by
- '80 years of western intervention in predominantly Arab lands'
In Europe the Rough Beast of an unaccountable, unstoppable European Commission has snatched away local responsibility. The French and Dutch vetoes on the Constitution notwithstanding, the Commission now exercises almost total supranational authority over civil and criminal law, over taxes, over defence policy, fiscal policy, agriculture, fishing, the environment, weights and measures and much else.
Rory Bremner says "For Blair, it's not about politics, it's about marketing" The politicians who strut and fret their hour upon the world stage look ever more strained. They are indeed obsessed by marketing, about covering up, about justification. No wonder Mr Blair spends so much on face powder and make-up. ( It's Enough to Make a PM Blush writes David Cracknell, Political Editor of the Sunday Times). It is all that's left when genuine substance has gone. They may try to justify globalisation by talk of "free trade" - but genuine free trade is surely a removal of regulations preventing commerce between willing buyers and sellers. The centralising regulatory monstrosities of a different world order, overriding national and local common sense and bringing poverty and despair to the developing nations, have nothing to do with free trade or free anything. A cradle of poverty, of impotence, of frustration, of terrorism.
"The best lack all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity..." Who is there left to argue that the Centre of global control cannot hold? No Opposition - except for a few brave voices. My solemnity and sense of unease is not helping either, I know, - so thank all the gods for Bremner, Bird and Fortune, their conviction and the weapon of laughter. Falling about may help us in the fight against falling apart.
(Roger emailed later in the day to say that you can read the New Statesman article, "Rory's week - Rory Bremner admires a salesman at work" here )