Meanwhile, in other correspondence, Mark Sinker writes:
'i think blairism had two moves:
one re the constituency (invented by thatcher, stolen by blair) (in the act of stealing there was i think an implicit acknowledgment that the constituency ITSELF had "evolved" somewhat, if that's the word - first-time home owners eg had after all crashed violently into their first political betrayal as adults, given the iconic shape of major's Black Monday etc: but thereafter, their temperature was entirely - and patronisingly - taken via the daily mail)
the other is re the party: i think he divorced it from its mass roots and gave it over to a professionalised media nomenklatura, which i'd always (a bit glibly) labelled in my head as "Market Stalinism" (glib bcz old-skool stalinism wz ALREADY market stalinism, for one thing). All the stuff abt targets!! cf five-year plan/command economy etc --- the revolving-door world of fatuous chief executives (of British Airways etc) being handed an even less accountable Quango Overlord role, while nu-labour luvvies; cool britannia etc were early attempts to give this a vibrant face (i think i dissent more than somewhat from the dissensus consensus that pop media - certain ancient post-punk saints excepted - has been co-opted to support this: i think even in its more twattish manifestations it is still the reserve army of inchoate and inarticulate resistance to all this; TV is more than ever a chaos of glimpses)
the strange feeling i have now is that the variation within the major parties - and also some of the minor parties, such as respect, which is a coalition of extreme outsiders - is way greater than the variation BETWEEN the parties: i guess a representative bodies they too have becomes a chaos of glimpses'
The phrase 'market Stalinism' is absolutely right for Blairism, even though the combination of the pretence of marketization with quotas and five-year plans means that Blairism has the none of the benefits of either markets (low bureaucracy) or Stalinism (let's not forget that, unlike Blairism, Stalinism actually did produce things in addition to statistical PRopaganda). Naturally, I'm with the 'Dissensus consensus' here on the question of present popular culture: I don't see how most of it introduces any incongruence or discrepancy into the Blairite simulation.
To reinforce my recent attack on Gordon Brown: on Thursday, in the Evening Standard, Simon Jenkins said that the London Underground now costs the taxpayer 20 (twenty) times more than when it was in public ownership. Remember that it was the glowering chancellor who took legal action to force the PFI 'reforms' on Transport for London.Posted by mark at May 14, 2005 10:08 AM | TrackBack