July 15th, 2007

Regime Change

I'm not going to read the Alastair Campbell Diaries on principle (I think he's a horrible man and I don't want to put any money in his pocket) but I'm not averse to reading about them. And I've read everything that's crossed my path. It seems Armando Ianucci's The Thick Of It gets the ambience of the Blair government exactly right-  laddish, desperate, dithery,  terrified, shallow. These people weren't fit to govern- but is anyone? Apparently most of the Cabinet had serious doubts about the invasion of Iraq- so how come only Robin Cook resigned? 

There's a nice line from Neil Kinnock apropos Blair's decision (before he became P.M.) to send his kids to private schools. "He's sold out before he's even got there."

But Blair and his gang have gone. There's no longer any point in raking through the detritus to prove how disgusting they were.  Lets do our best to forget them.

So- like almost everybody else-  I've been impressed by Gordon Brown's first few weeks in office. Firstly the style of government has changed: no more of that Blairy mateiness- and that's so refreshing. Also- am I absurdly prejudiced?- that policy speech he gave yesterday seemed to contain less uplift and more detail than we've become used to.   I like how he seems to value the House of Commons, I like how he's licensed his underlings to say he won't be "joined at the hip" to George Bush, I like his squashing of the Blairite scheme for funding urban regeneration with "super casinos"  and I like how he seems to be serious about tackling the housing crisis. 

I'm sure I'll find many reasons in future for deploring his premiership, but right now it's just so good to feel there's a grown-up in charge.