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Thursday, 4 March 2010
Sad news. The death of Old Labour seems confirmed with the death of the great Michael Foot, an idealist and Labour leader whose "longest suicide note in history" was none other than a long list of ethically valid and visionary demands. Foot falls into the category of those "peace mongers" and gadflys who sometimes get into positions of genuine power (one thinks of Jimmy Carter, perhaps Obama) and are then accused of weakness when their integrity and goodwill is thwarted by wicked and small-minded men and women, who argue that what is actually needed is electability and pragmatism. Stuff and nonsense. AH was electable, so was Bush. A lot of very evil people have been practical - see Arendt. In fact, what the world has always needed are idealists, dreamers, and far-seers - and those are the ones that too often get defeated, by the likes of Thatcher and co. Sadly, too, Tony Blair came along and sleeked and slicked the Foot vision, in the process getting elected to a vacuous platform in which, it now appears, only the interests of the rich and powerful were truly served (including arms companies, war mongers, and high financiers). Labour became comfortable with the filty rich, and less comfortable with the dirty poor. Foot's death reminds us of roads not taken. Brown could have been a Foot soldier, but has fought different battles. David Cameron is Thatcher Lite. What a world.