An explosive return?

I think I’ve chosen a good time to come back. The Blair years are over and the Brown years have begun. Brown like sugar or brown like dog poo? Time will tell, I suppose. I must admit I’d been viewing the Brown government with a certain amount of scepticism before it actually came into power. I was always a bit cynical as to how far the man’s economic policy had really done the country any good, especially seeing as he once claimed we’d never had it so good since 1976. I’ve always been of the opinion that general quality of life post-war was at its best in the late 80s and early 90s (answers on a post-card if you’re over thirty and therefore in a better position to judge…), so either there is a reverse correlation between public wellbeing and economic stability or his view on things is a touch skewed. Yet, despite this, I have a strange feeling of optimism about the next few years. The cabinet reshuffle has made me think a little and my inner optimist is coming out in his favour. The realist in me is on the pessimist’s side, though. For all that I believe in selecting competent ministers with a virtual disregard for their home party, I find it disconcerting that so many overtures were made to the Liberal Democrats. This smacks more of securing support in case of a hung parliament than finding the right people to do the job. And there have been a few accusations of crony-ism in his selections for the cabinet, too. Personally, I feel a leader should surround himself with people he can trust, but does that support the former motivation for cross-party appointments?

Meanwhile, the term itself started with a few difficult circumstances. An Orwellian voice in the back of my mind wonders sometimes if the whole terrorism shebang is just a plot to keep us, the public, complacent. Will our being on high alert over terrorist attacks make us feel better about Brown when we’re told we can relax again? I don’t know, but the events of the past week have given me an interesting insight into our perceptions of the world. As a middle-class white Englishman, I’ve always had that safe view of policemen as a reassuring presence as part of my childhood culturisation. However, experience over the last decade means that I now take the sight of a policeman to be a sign that something’s wrong. The lack of visible policing means that a visible policeman is a sign of trouble. So when I came home from Gwyn’s place the other day to find no less than four bobbies wandering around the local suburban high-street, you can imagine my total lack of surprise at the news about Glasgow airport. Funny how times change, isn’t it?

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~ by Scary Rob on 9 July, 2007.

5 Responses to “An explosive return?”

  1. Tho I disagree with you view on the possible plots with the whole london/glasgow shebang I concur with the fact the I also was poisoned by politics in general so I couldn’t view any new Gov with anything but trepidation, however as you also point things are pointing in a promising direction, I especially am in favour of the new raft of Grants for higher education, tho they dont go as far as id like…..this is my longest comment ever.

    kiss……no kiss

  2. Being in the “over 30’s” category, and in the position of buying my first property in the late 80’s/early 90’s, I have to disagree with the idea that those were the most prosperous of the post-war years.

    The price of houses meant it was easier to get on the property ladder than it is now, but the pressure of upwardly-spiralling interest rates on homeowners’ – many of whom were also facing financial hardship through redundancies following the collapse of industry and its associated sectors in the UK – caused record levels of homeless families due to repossessions. Golden years indeed. 😉

    As for the lack of visible policing… I’d put that down to a severe shortage in officer numbers and a misdirection of policing efforts due to idiotic Government target systems.

    Just a thought or two.

    Nice to see you blogging again. 🙂

  3. Ralph – I suppose the best approach for us armchair activists is ‘wait and see’…

    Englisc – in that case I retract the statement in question. Although, would you say 1976 was the best year ever?

    Any passers by reading – what do you say was the best year ever, in terms of quality of life?

  4. 1976 was great! I was 9 years old, hadn’t a care in the world, and the summer was hot. Can’t remember much more about it than that, I’m afraid. 😉

    It’s the nature of the beast with politics and economics that, no matter what the situation, some people / businesses will flourish while others will suffer because of the differences in individual situations. Low interest rates have been great for property investors, but at the same time have been horrendous for savers (not to mention Gordon Brown’s tax theft of 5billion from pension funds as soon as he became chancellor in 1997. Not that I’m bitter about that for any reason…)

    From that perspective, I don’t think there ever has been – or ever can be – a true golden age where everyone prospers. The current economic climate in Britain has been positive for a great many people, but at the same time has seen the gap between rich and poor evolve into a yawning chasm.

  5. Brown is interesting, his actions thus far have seen him try to move away from Blair as much as possible. The scrapping of the super casinos and very recently with the focus on poverty, the millenium development goals and Darfur have been a very welcome step on my part.

    Brown is currently up in the polls and with Cameron stumbling. ( I think he was right to go to Rwanda) I am optimistic that things will continue as they are at worst and at best slightly improve for the majority.

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