Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Six stages in the life of a New Labour politician

The first stage is, if we may call it so, the virginal stage - that is the season of grand promises, populist overtures and effusion. (In the FV Gaul inquiry saga, this would be the time when the families of the Gaul crew were promised a thorough and honest investigation of the tragedy.)
The second stage we would call the temptation and fall stage, which would correspond with the time when the Labour politician, now in power and overwhelmed with the giddiness of high office, succumbs to temptation, reneges on his promises and gives in to shabby compromise and complacency. (In the Gaul case this is the time when the 2004 RFI took place and when the Labour government, in response to pressures from various quarters as well as out of cynical calculation, decided to skew the investigation in a way that would bar any future claims for compensation)
The third stage is when the Labour politician, now hardened and over-confident in his luck, is eventually caught red-handed. I suggest we could call this juncture the awakening stage, because this is the point when the public realise whom they are dealing with. (This is when disclosures challenging the outcome the 2004 Gaul RFI were brought to the attention of the public)
The fourth stage, which we might call the denial stage or the period of ‘angelic pharisaism’, is the stage when our politician fights back trying to save his image. This is the time of quibbles, protestations of innocence, ‘national interest’ arguments, disinformation, lies and, eventually, stonewalling. (In relation to the Gaul, this is the period when, confronted with embarrassing evidence, the government kept re-asserting their innocence and their faith in the results of the 2004 RFI.)
The next stage, and the most distressing, could be called the decomposition stage. That means that, too much having been already revealed, the Labour politician has no longer any appearance to preserve and is therefore no longer bothered to cloak his inadequacy. The time has now come when, since there is no honour or legitimacy left to hang on to, our politician clings only to his chair, and from the armrests of this chair no one can unclench his fingers. This is also the time when the dirtiest weapons in his arsenal are pulled out. (In respect of the Gaul inquiry, this is where we are now)
The final stage …it’s up to the rest of us

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