Pass the sick bag - Blair's creeps turn my stomach

By PETER HITCHENS, Mail on Sunday,
October 5, 2003

They should issue sick bags to the nation before Anthony Blair makes a speech. It isn't so much what he says, which we all know by now will be a lake of syrupy drivel containing a few gristly lumps of congealed arrogance and vanity.

The problem is the behaviour of the organisation formerly known as the Labour Party.

The sight of grown men and women - educated, possessing a sense of humour, probably even liked by their wives and children - standing and applauding this second-rate actor's indifferent oration for more than seven minutes was actually nauseating.

They batted their palms together and simpered, while cautiously looking around to see if it was safe to stop. And it never was. They would still be doing it now if drastic action had not been taken to bring the idiocy to a halt. They did it because they feared what might happen to them if they were spotted failing to do so.

To this extent they were no better than the creeps and sycophants who provided the endless, stormy applause for the great dictators of the past century.

I don't think much of Gordon Brown, who I suspect of being a secret Euro-fanatic and who would certainly have gone to war in Iraq, but at least he had the self-respect to keep his hands still.

Regular readers of this column will know that I believe it is time the Conservative Party was stuffed and mounted in a museum. Its uselessness and feebleness are beyond dispute.

But don't get the idea that this has made me soft on Mr Blair's organisation.

IT IS only because of the wretched Tories that Labour survives, piling up gigantic majorities on a falling vote, spreading like a stain through the state machine while its actual membership crumbles. For Labour is politically bankrupt. It is no longer a great party of state, but a machine for servicing a government elite.

It couldn't even have a proper debate on the decision to invade Iraq, a shameful evasion of the truth.

Once Labour really did speak for a large number of the British people. I don't agree with many of its solutions to the problems of health, housing and unemployment, but it won its way to power because of a genuine, honourable passion to better the lives of the poor, honest and hard-working.

Its Christian roots made it reluctant - too reluctant sometimes - to support war. But it was a genuine voice for half of the population.

Now it is the instrument of an elite far-Left group with an agenda that Mr Blair hinted at in his dreadful speech - the end of British independence, a continuing attack on our free constitution, the salami-slicing of our liberty through such things as identity cards, the establishment of a permanent one-party state.

To those who really suffer --the neglected old, the victims of crime and disorder, the families crushed out of shape by debt and hard work - the Blair Party has nothing to say. Many of them are the very same people Labour once promised to lift out of misery, who now find themselves deeper in it than ever.

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