Monday, July 09, 2007

The hype dies.

So, the meagre, little white hopes about New Labour's newest labours are dead already. You remember how it was: the uber-Atlanticist Gordon Brown included one or two people who were critical of the war on Iraq to his cabinet, and even allowed some people to say mean things about the Blair period. Everything would surely change. Well, I doubt many people really bought it, but we may as well update the story. Brown brought Digby fucking Jones into the government to be a trade minister. That's right, the union-bashing, war-supporting, pensions-busting, right-wing former tub-thumping tub of lard for the CBI. He isn't a member of the Labour Party, doesn't support it, and has often led the charge against it from the right.

Today, David Miliband - who, though he voted for the war on Iraq, supposedly held very private worries about the whole idea - told the press that he would not take the option of a military attack on Iran 'off the table', implying that Iran was developing nuclear weapons and that was destabilising its neighbours. Of course, these claims were delivered with a singular lack of conviction, because the purpose of this isn't to persuade but to wear down your resistance to these manifest lies, to dull your outrage on hearing this nonsense, so that eventually stop fighting it.

Now, take Kim Howells, the ridiculous Foreign Minister, and former chair of Labour Friends of Israel. This is the exchange between Claire Short and Howells over the current crisis in Palestine. Short's intervention is admirable, draws attention to the depraved activities of the IDF that she witnessed, outlines the conditions of the Palestinians, and explains who the putschists were in Gaza. Howells gives a classic piece of Foreign Office obfuscation - thanking this or that state leader, issuing glittering generalities about progress, making greasy insinuations, diverting the discussion down his memory lanes, and refusing point blank to consider any of the punitive actions against Israel that have been applied to its victims.

So, welcome to your new New Labour government. Same bullshit, same flies, same smell.