Saturday, August 02, 2008

Still alive

...and back from the beaches of north Wales. I will resume putting the world to rights as soon as I get round to it, etc.

Actually I did pop in to the David Lloyd George museum in Llanystumdwy. I learned that Lloyd George was the greatest statesman of the 20th century; the man from whom Churchill learned everything he knew (except, presumably, disastrous naval tactics); a man without flaws, at least none worth mentioning.

It impressed me how much he did for ordinary working people - pensions and national insurance and more, and yet he and the party were brought down effectively by the rise of the Labour Party. How does that event look today? What is the Labour Party for? A class war movement winning power has to either represent this new elite, and invent new class enemies, or become a cipher, or a bit of both, as it happened. We have been out of power for 100 years for this? What a stinker.


David Boothroyd said...

You've made some pretty fundamental mistakes here. Firstly, it's not for me to recount the very many flaws in Lloyd George, both politically (look up the Chanak affair for starters, before travelling to Berchtesgaden) and personal (they didn't call him 'the goat' for nothing).

Secondly he was not brought down by the rise of the Labour Party; he sustained himself in power after the Great War by doing a deal with the Conservatives at a time when Labour was very weak in Parliament. It was the Conservatives finally deciding that they would do much better on their own which doomed Lloyd George, plus the fact that his rise had already split the Liberals six years before.

Finally for now the Labour Party was not then, and never has been, a class war movement. Labour has no class enemies. It makes war on a system, not a class.

Joe Otten said...

Yeah, the without flaws bit was a reference to the impression I got from the museum. Would have been clearer in audio I guess.

LG was living on borrowed time and immense personal reputation, and yes was eventually brought down when the Conservatives had had enough of him.

You can have your distinction between class war and war on the system. But if that is your ideology, what do you do when you are the system? Find scapegoats or become ciphers.

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