Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Hugo Young - and some predictions

I've been reading Supping with the Devils, Hugo Young's collected columns, recently. It is sad and astonishing how often he got it exactly right. I am going to ask readers of this blog to guess when each of these major statements were made:
1. " In the end, it's a question of how you define leadership. Is leadership a matter of soft-soaping the editors and readers of the Sun? Or is the relevant constituency one whose interest is served by doing things the Sun does not like? This constituency could be called the nation as a whole. Its concerns are massively wider than the lowest common denominator of xenophobic prejudice to which the Sun consistently plays. Who, one must ask, is running this country? Who was elected by the readers of other papers? Is the European Union a threat to the sovereignty of the British government? On present evidence, it cannot hold a candle to the Sun.

2. "The second chamber could be one such institution. What its proper reform must surmount is not only the passion for control but the constitutional weariness that is already setting in. We have done plenty, I hear ministers say. The people do not want yet more upheaval. With the descendants of the centuries now departed (next clause removed as a giveaway), the comedy is over, which is all that anybody ever knew they wanted anyway. The countervailing case against this requires energy and belief. I predict it will not be made. The peers will soldier on. Those progressives who joined the Lords under the impression they would soon cease to be there will be, poor fellows, disappointed. An irony will engulf them. The only elected bottoms on the red benches will be the rump of ninety-two, who will have the merit, at least, of being chosen by a group somewhat larger than the PM's patronage committee."

3. It is safe to say, I guess, that not a single glass of Chateau Petrus has been drunk in the Dorchester Grill by anyone who ever voted Labour, or ever would. But the leadership still sounds more anxious to make the world safe for the Petrus-drinking vclasses, for fear of alienating the £10-a-bottle brigade, than standing up for an equalisation that would drive an even bigger inroad than £960 a time into their taxed income."

A total critique of Blair in three quotes, really. This is the worrying one, though:
4. "It shows that our country and its politics have a capacity for outrage, and reserves of bold vitality, that nobody could credit."

It's coming, and it will probably go Right, unless the process of toxic waste removal begins soon.

No comments:

kostenloser Counter