Talking with Tatchell – Archive

Gordon Brown – change? What change?

20 July 2007

Gordon Brown promised change. But has he delivered? Chris McLaughlin, editor of Tribune, Labour’s left weekly, discusses Gordon Brown’s performance as Prime Minister and the prospects for a snap election in the autumn.

Peter Tatchell writes:

Much of the country was hoping that Prime Minister Gordon Brown would break with the disastrous policies of his predecessor Tony Blair. During the run-up to his election as Labour leader and his assumption of the Prime Ministership, Brown promised change and offered the tempting prospect of a new New Labour.

Although I want to believe him, I fear his rhetoric of change and renewal is just more spin. Where’s the substance? I don’t see it. Well, not yet.

Aside from a refreshing change of style and tone, there have been no significant policy shifts. Indeed, Brown seems to have reaffirmed his commitment to continue all of Tony Blair’s disastrous policies: Iraq, Trident renewal, ID cards, creeping privatisation, road building, airport expansion and more nuclear power stations.

Gordon’s much proclaimed changes are, to date, rather superficial and marginal to the central agenda of the New Labour project; more a shift in manner and emphasis than a break with the last decade.

The hope that Brown will return the party and government to its Labour roots is, I suspect, wishful thinking. He has already said there will be no back-tracking on Blair’s agenda. Nothing surprising about that. After all, he was the co-architect of New Labour. He has backed and funded every Blairite blunder. Brownism is, it seems, destined to be a continuation of Blairism by another name. Different PM, same old policies.

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