Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Heroes Of New Labour

The Economist's Bagehot has a column hailing the "Heroes of New Labour", the figures who in the last 12 years have accomplished something positive. The list is understandably short with only 5 names making the cut:
  1. Lord Adonis for education reforms which is reasonable enough, except the big policy for which he is credited- City Acadamies- is essentially the recreation of the Grant Maintained Schools that Labour abolished in 1997.
  2. Donald Dewar for devolution- I wouldn't argue with that.
  3. Lord Mandelson for peace in Northern Ireland, I've said previously that I rate Mandy's work in the province so I agree with that.
  4. Sir William MacPherson for improving race relations. This is a ridiculous choice, the MacPherson report poisoned race relations. How can anyone claim that race relations are better now- when the BNP regularly wins council seats and MEPs- than in 1997?
  5. Robin Cook for his resignation over Iraq and his presience about the absence of WMDs. This is fair enough I guess.
Are there any other "Heroes of New Labour" who should be included?

Incidentally the presence of Dewar and Cook on the list reminds me of something I've been wondering- do Labour cabinet ministers have a higher mortality rate than their Tory counterparts? All of the last Tory cabinet are still alive, whereas of the first New Labour cabinet three (Cook, Dewar and Mowlam) are dead. There has been at least one other cabinet minister who has died since 1997, Lord Williams of Mostyn, and I strongly suspect that Alastair Darling is a ghost.


banned said...

Pretty poor list for 12 years as you say.

3) Mandelson for peace in Northern Ireland Surprises me, the press gave the increasingly isolated Tony Blair credit for that.

Ross said...

I don't think Blair on his own would have been willing to challenge Sinn Fein-IRA on decommissioning in the years following the Agreement.

JuliaM said...

"...something I've been wondering- do Labour cabinet ministers have a higher mortality rate than their Tory counterparts?"

Maybe there is a god after all...

Letters From A Tory said...

Errr, any sign of John Major being credited for peace in Northern Ireland as well?

Mark Wadsworth said...

John Smith (who might otherwise have ended up as Prime Minister) is also very much dead.

Also, what LFAT says, Labour just continued Tory policy and kept throwing money at them until they rolled over.

asquith said...

David Freud, for incarnating the ill-informed & unprincipled nature of the government.

James Higham said...

Heroes? Some sort of Christmas prank I suppose.