UK labour booked a long date with opposition last night. The union movement put the parliamentary party in a headlock and pushed ‘red Ed’ into its leadership position. The WSJ notes that when UK Labour loses power it tends to lose it for some time (13yrs to 18yrs).
Ed’s victory is yet another blow to Blair’s legacy. Ed beat his brother, David. Ed staffed for Brown; David staffed for Blair. That they are brothers doesn’t mean peace between the old and new parts of the party – ruthlessness between brothers is a theme as old as the bible.
I suspect Blair had some foreknowledge that labour was in the process of further trashing the ‘new’. In a recent interview with the WSJ, Blair concluded that:
In today’s world, in the 21st century, a progressive party that stands essentially for the state and big government is not going to succeed. Simple as that.
The nascent global drift away from the centre is a little worrying to me. I am worried about a Smoot-Hawley error. Nationalistic populism is par for the course in hard times – let’s hope it doesn’t get far.
The various national drifts reveal something about the soul of the polities.
The UK drift toward big government is common.
The US drift is exceptional. The Tea Party movement is a small government, low debt, individual freedom drift. These values are the key reason I am confident the US will fully recover from the recent financial crisis.