Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hunt at Leveson

This is what I thought merited Hunt's resignation today:

1) He did not regularly consult with his adviser as he should have done in such a case. Not do do so suggests gross incompetence given the case, but one suspects Hunt knew exactly what was going but so that cannot be proven. The incompetence charge sticks though

2) He broke ministerial code which says that ministers are responsible for their special advisers. So again, gross incompetence or gross misconduct

3) He thought that a conversation via phone with Murdoch Jnr on BSkyB bid was "Entirely appropriate"! The question is was it morally appropriate?

The real culprits though, are David Cameron and George Osborne. Cameron hired him knowing, as the evidence shows, that he was biased towards News Corp, and Osborne's texts show moral misconduct if not ministerial misconduct. The way things are going both will be toast by Christmas or early 2013 and all in all it shows Cameron's lack of judgement and if things are as stated, unfitness to be Prime Minister!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Cable at Leveson

I think he did well this morning and while Vince Cable should not have given his views in private, let alone public conversations (and to be fair he was under stress at the time), he seems to have been scrupulosly fair over an issue which it is very hard for anyone in public life to be impartial about. Certainly he seems from what we have seen so far to be fairer than Hunt on the matter and for that he should be applauded and from the evidence he seems more sinned against than having sinned

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Blair at Leveson

Whilst this was a master class in political savvy and presentation it was not what was said as much as what was said! For example Blair said no deals were made or implied with Rupert Murdoch, there didn't need to be any. Murdoch made his views perfectly known over the years, not least in Sun editorials. Blair knew what Murdoch wanted, in some respects it echoed his politics and he knew what may be expected. Nothing needed to be implied even with bullying journalists by No 10 spin doctors! Well there is enough evidence to say it happened, but again Blair did not need to know, but I suspect there was a sense of disingenuousness here, as with Blair's statements on Murdoch Where Blair is spot on is where he attacks the Daily Mail. The problem there, as with a no of tabloids, and we know which ones, is that when they go for someone they go full them with full venom to the point where if they claim morality the word "Pharisee" springs to mind! So what we have here is seeing a situation where no deals are made with Murdoch because his views are known already and Murdoch knew his political views would be considered. Any criticism from other stables would be silenced through the Machiavellian machinations of spin doctors, and yet not all criticism was valid. Some of the media in general, whether in the Murdoch stable or not, are feral, viciously arrogant, and out of control. Blair is right on one count. The culture of certain aspects of the media need to change

Farewell Dirk Gently

I was rather saddened to read about this, but inevitably this is a result of the Tories freezing the BBC license fee. There are other ways of saving money and this is not a good one. In fact, given the Tories past comments about the Corporation, it smacks of ideological spite. One hopes this kind of scenario doesn't continue but I fear it will, given the time given regarding the freeze. No wonder many supporters of middle and high brow arts have been anti-Conservative, one hopes that there will come a time when the government will drop the Thatcherite aim of dumbing down for profit like a gang of second hand car salesmen

Monday, May 28, 2012

Downing Street Aide Attempting to Intimidate a BBC Journalist!

Was rather shocked by this but imagine it goes on more than we think, and hat tip to Guido Fawkes for copying it and putting it on his site.
This not only shows the pressure the PM is under, but that they are running scared and aware of the potential damage. The fact a Downing Street Tory hack dashed out of Downing Street and was trying to intimidate a BBC Journalist here shows they are trying to get a grip on the situation, albeit by going the wrong way about it!
Cameron should sack Hunt, but the fact he hasn't and had a cosy friendship with Rebekah Brooks and is getting nasty over this makes you wonder how much he has to hide!

Those Killjoy Republicans?

I can see they are frustrated and, whilst I am no Republican, do empathise! But to go for more strident action will be counter productive and damage their cause. Many people in this country (inc myself) love the monarchy and if they see anything other than approaches of gentle persuasion, then there will be a backlash and the actions of various anti-monarchist groups will be self defeating

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cameron's Apology

Further to yesterday's post at least he recognises he has a problem and he is big enough to apologise. One hopes and prays he can sustain that, because it otherwise does not bode well for a Prime Minister who is under pressure, that he cannot control his temper

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

An Open Letter to David Cameron

Dear Prime Minister,

In my lifetime (I was born in September 1975) there have been, including yourself, seven Prime Ministers. There have also been, (inc those who were PM obviously) six Conservative Party leaders. I am old enough, and geeky enough from a young age, to have heard of Macmillan and Douglas-Home when they were still alive, and knew enough of Baroness Thatcher's three immediate predecessors at the time to hold them in high esteem, even if I did disagree with them on occasion.
In fact I have held every Tory leader from Macmillan to Michael Howard with varying degrees of respect and as a Labour Party activist I regard holding an opponent with respect to be a fundamental part of what helps bring out the best in British politics. That becomes very difficult, if not impossible, when an opponent behaves in a way which merits both political and personal contempt. You, Prime Minister, have managed to encourage that in spades.
When you became leader in 2005, I welcomed your election as an opponent who was a breath of fresh air. I admired your willingness to modernise and your desire to see the end of "Punch and Judy politics", I deplored the attacks on your background, the most damning being your Bullingdon Club membership, on the basis that just because a person has a past doesn't mean they cannot have a future!
Of course that went out the window a long while ago didn't it! You don't just seem to engage in bareknuckle boxing matches, you seem to enjoy them in a way which makes many, inc me, think "Once a Bullingdon member, always a Bullingdon member..." You and your Party lauched personal attack after another on Gordon Brown and his fitness or lack of to hold office, and yet you frequently seem to indulge in behaviour, notably at Prime Minister's Questions, which leads many to question your fitness. I have seen footage of Thatcher and Major and other of your predecessors have off days, and yet you seem to have them often than most, engaging in abuse instead of answering questions. You may say it is the pressures of the job and lacking a majority and you may well be right in part, but Major, Callaghan, and Wilson had similar pressures and yet on most days could be better behaved at Prime Minister's Questions if nowhere else!
In the past six months you have verbally abused two elderly Labour MP's and failed to apologise, you used "Tourettes" as an abusive term at Ed Balls and only today called him a "muttering idiot" and only apologised when under pressure. In fact when you apologised today, you did so with a grin and your MP's shouting "more" with your Chancellor (who still has not apologised for calling Gordon Brown "autistic") seeming to be one of the most vocal in that regard. That seems to indicate you and your Party still "Don't get it!" You also now have a reputation, as I am sure you know, for being tardy and abusive, arrogant and rude in the Commons chamber.
I know it is tough, but many of your predecessors coped better under similar circumstances and I am asking you as someone from the opposing party to please moderate your behaviour and consider carefully your actions and learn to control your temper and seek some form of anger management, a problem obvious to many observers. Be a better man, admit your faults and try better and you'll get more support on a personal level than you dare hope for. Otherwise your behaviour will garner more contempt from not just members of my Party, but also the general public and members of your Party and you really don't want that!

With what respect I have left

Paul Burgin

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Reagan's Blood

I am a bit shocked and morally appalled by this! For one thing it shows no sensitivity to Reagan's family and also  that money means a great deal to many people to the point where it overrides morality. I hope the Reagan Foundation can get it back without spending a penny and that they are able to put successful pressure on the Guernsey government as part of legal means in stopping the auction, and that there is better security in protecting such things in the first place

Monday, May 21, 2012

Classic Desert Island Discs Now Online

The Plomley Years of Desert Island Discs are now available online. Worth a listen as some of the interviewees inc:

  • David Steel
  • Willie Whitelaw
  • Denis Healey
  • Lord Carrington
  • Baronness Summerskill
  • Roger Moore    
  • Helen Mirren
  • Paul McCartney
  • Julie Walters
  • Paul Eddington
and many more as the saying goes

RIP Robin Gibb

Saddened, but not surprising given his long battle with cancer and the end seemed to be imminent a month ago. What The Bee Gees managed in terms of songwriting and sales cannot be underestimated, what they achieved was second only to Lennon and McCartney and that has now pretty much come to an end. My thoughts and prayers are not just to his family in general, but his wife in particular and to Barry Gibb and their mother as Barry was the eldest of five children and only he and his sister are now left, that must be a terrible cross to bear.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Media Reform Rally

Last night I attended the Media Reform Rally at Westminster Central Hall, as organised by Hacked Off. It was a seminar in just how feral the press can get.
The rollcall of speakers each gave their own experiences and perspectives. Some frightening, in how the press can tread over people's lives in order to get their own way in a manner which would do the secret police in a dictatorship proud. In fact the former Crimewatch presenter Jacqui Hunt nearly burst into tears when relating her story.
Owen Jones spoke about the need for better Union representation and that Murdoch's attack on the unions made it hard for staff to stand up for themselves or speak out within the News Corp environment.
Former Daily Star reporter, Richard Peppiat, who resigned from the Desmond stable and gave a public letter giving his reasons to The Guardian, stated that the media defence of their behaviour is rather pathetic when you look at it, that it is like defending public hangings because they draw a good crowd and that they are hardly holding the powerful to account when tabloids playing guessing games as to which soap actress's knickers are on the bedroom floor of which footballer!

 Hugh Grant made the important point that, in the flurry of reports about horses and texts one can easily forget that there is more than one newspaper group involved in using dubious resources to make stories. The motorman files make that clear, he said, and that more than one paper used a convicted criminal for their information.Why, he asked, has not one journalist been prosecuted?

Harriet Harman looked at the relationships between politicians and journalists, that Jeremy Hunt has shown that he was not prepared to obey the rules and the law and that this is an historic opportunity to solve these problems and make sure that neither politicians or press get too powerful. She suggested a "knife amnesty" for the press in getting to the root of finding out what happened!

Tom Watson was one of the last speakers and was cool, calm, and stated the obvious in a meaningful way as per usual. Such as asking what do we know about the Murdoch empire that we didn't ten years ago? What does it take for someone to be declared unfit to run a public company? Plus that politicians will come under enormous pressure to dilute Leveson's proposals and we must not let that happen!Later I got a chance to speak with Tom Watson and he stated further on the need for public support. One through letter writing, and sending postcards (such as advertised by Hacked Off) to one's local MP. The other is to make full use of Twitter and Facebook in helping to share information and putting the pressure on the press and politicians alike to bring forward the results that are needed.
Much food for thought and the end, and a reminder that many of us have a role to play and there is much left to do!

Interview with Stephen Timms MP

The follwing text is from an interview I conducted with the new Chair of the Christian Socialist Movement, Stephen Timms MP, at Portcullis House last week.Here he mentions his hope for the CSM, and the need to reach out to those Christians who were attracted by Labour in the late 1990s.

PAUL BURGIN: Well I've got with me here, Stephen Timms MP, who was formerly, is it, in the Blair Cabinet as Chief Secretary to the Treasury?


PAUL BURGIN: And er, currently, you're you recently become Chair of CSM, after standing unopposed in an election. Just quickly first of all, what made you decide to stand as Chair of CSM?

STEPHEN TIMMS: Well I have been in CSM a long time, erm, over thirty years now


STEPHEN TIMMS: And I think it's a very important organisation with a very important job to do. Perhaps particularly of course at the moment. And with the decision by Alun Michael to step down.Giving a view to the vacancy, something I'm very keen to do. Erm as you know I was selected unopposed


STEPHEN TIMMS: Delighted to be in the position

PAUL BURGIN: Yes. Do you have any agenda for CSM from where you are standing, erm, any future plans for the organisation?

STEPHEN TIMMS: Well for me really, kind of the most recent stimulus for thinking about all of this was the Demos report on faithful citizens The "People Who Do God Do Good!" was how they expressed it, and there was some very striking data in there I  think, about the extent to which people in the churches in Britain are natural Labour Party supporters. So for me the point that over half the UK population describes themselves as religious! According to the European values survey and about 1 in 8 of the UK population are a member of a religious organisation of some kind or another. A great majority of churches or church based organisations it seems increasingly other faiths as well. But out of about 1 in 8 of the population er, there are the majority of the population who volunteer, who take part in er, community activity in their areas. The majority who er volunteer to work with Trade Unions, the majority who volunteer on a whole range of things like women's issues, development issues, human rights issues. So there is here a very large and important group of people who should be supporting Labour and at the last election they didn't


STEPHEN TIMMS: For me that's the heart of the challenge CSM needs to be addressing over the next few years, in the run up, particularly to the next election and of course beyond that as well

PAUL BURGIN: So in doing all that, looking at other groups, particularly the social campaign groups, groups where there are Christians involved, how do we respond at CSM to the challanges they make. Take for example groups like the Accord Coalition which one of my followers on Twitter asked me to ask you. What challenges do you see the CSM facing in dealing with such groups and working with such groups?

STEPHEN TIMMS: Well the way I look at CSM, I think it's got a twin role. On the one hand it is facing people in the churches and it needs to be, and will under my Chairmanship, be promoting the policies of the Labour Party for people in the churches. Seeking to build alliances with people with concerns about a whole variety of social justice matters and seeking to persuade them that Labour is the Party that can deliver their goals, the best place to do that and I can think of a whole range of organisations will benefit, that undoubtedly is the case. But it's also got a job in facing the Labour Party, I think, and to draw attention to the Party, the Party leadership and others, of the existence of this very, very large group of people, who are on the left of politics. Who are coming up into politics from a starting point of their Christian faith, and whom worship really is at the heart of their identity and the reason why they do what they do, and that in saying to the Party that the Party needs to make some effort to ensure that those people feel welcomed in our Party and not feel driven away and my concern is at the last election a lot of people did feel they were being driven away and we really need to change that in the years ahead

PAUL BURGIN: That leads me to another question which I want to raise and this was from the God and Politics blog, which was "Is Ed Miliband's atheism an issue with Christian Labour supporters?", that you have seen?

STEPHEN TIMMS: Well I think Ed is someone who understands and actually values very highly, the contribution that people's faith makes to their values and to what they do about their values, and Ed's made that clear for example already in a no of interactions he's had with the Christian Socialist Movement, including the morning after he was elected as Party leader, that was at the Party Conference in Manchester. He came up to a reception after the CSM Conference service, so for me that's crucial thing, that Ed's values and understands the importance of the faith which is at the heart of many people who are absolutely committed supporters of Labour. And I think he has made that clear. So the fact that he is not himself a believer I don't think need be an issue at all

PAUL BURGIN: And working outside of that in terms of our engagement outside of the Labour Party, one or two have mentioned that some churches in the South East seem to be increasingly "Conservative Christians". Do we at CSM see that as a challenge? And if so how do we engage, well even if we don't how do we engage with that?

STEPEHEN TIMMS: I certainly see it as a challenge, I mean I grew up in a church in the South East in the 1960s and the 1970s and I vividly remember being told in my church that "we are Christias, we vote Conservative!" so it's not a new problem. I think actually it was one of the less appreciated achievements of Tony Blair to bring a whole swathe of people from that background to vote Labour in 1997, 2001, and 2005, an awful lot of them didn't vote Labour in 2010. So that's, we need to address that and your characterisation of Conservative churches in the South East is one effect of that, it's a wider problem, and one of the biggest successes of the Labour government was the very strong collaboration with the churches around Jubilee 2000 campaign, leading up to the Millennium, and Make Poverty History Campaign in the middle of last decade and what that showed was that a lot of those people who could be regarded as Conservative Christians were actually  willing to campaign against poverty in the developing world. That's a very  good example of a kind of issue where Labour and people and the churches can and should and actually have made common cause and I'll certainly be wanting to explore that and more like that in the period ahead

PAUL BURGIN: There's one more question, I know you've been very busy today and in a rush but it is a very trivial one. One or two have rather cheekily asked who you'd like to see as the next Archbishop of Canterbury?

STEPHEN TIMMS: Well I, the church I attend is not an anglican church, so I am not sure that I really got any grounds or legitimacy to express a preference for that one, or more necessarily that I know the figures in contention particularly well. I'd only say for me Rowan Williams has done a fantastic job as Archbishop of Canterbury and I think he has perhaps yet been given the credit he's entitled to from what he's done. I hope that somebody will be appointed who can take forward the great job that I think he has done and can work closely with the leaders of all parties and in particular the leader of mine

PAUL BURGIN: Well thankyou very much and I know you've been busy today

STEPHEN TIMSS: Thanks for the chance to meet up

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Tawney Lecture 2012

I arrived a bit late for the annual AGM and in time for the Tawney Lecture. As seems to be the growing trend it was given by a panel of people and Chaired by the outgoing Chair of CSM, Alun Michael MP. The panel contained academic, the Rev. Dr John Hughes, Rachel Reeves MP (Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury), and Lord Myners (formerly City Minister at the Treasury during the last Labour government)
The panel seemed to agree that with the current economy crisis the problem was that the market lacked morality and needed morals, and, as Dr Hughes stated, if markets needed morals then where are those morals? What is more, for too long we have allowed the question of globalisation to be dominated by the neo liberals.
Rachel Reeves went further. The economy depends on the success of long term gain. Short term pursuit of gain erodes the trust that market economy depends on. What is more, if the previous Labour government had a problem, it was that a future Labour government needs to transform the economy as we did with public services. The Blair/Brown governments, she hinted, did not deal squarely with the economy.But it is more than that. How can we expect the markets to bring forward long term, real growth of prosperity if they are not connected to the values of the society they are in?
As for Lord Myners. he started with a personal account. That he is not a Christian and yet was aware of the value of the Church and morality. He added that he decided he was a socialist when he saw that many did not get the opportunities in life that were afforded to him! Using Biblical language, he added that "markets cannot thrive without morality and that we live in a greedy, unspiritual, world!" and that when he was a government minister he became aware that it was the City that called the shots when attending a meeting with leading figures as an observer and seeing Brown and Darling trying to cater to their whims. He then stated that "The widening of inequality was the shameful outcome of a left of centre government". A future Labour government he added, needed to be aware of this.
The meeting was wrapped up by the new Chair, Stephen Timms, who touched on some of the points he made in the interview I had with him earlier that day. Namely that the CSM managed to persuade many Christians who usually voted Conservative, to vote Labour in the 1997-2005 general elections, that we lost them in 2010, and that we needed to win them back.
What is clear from all of this is that the CSM, and indeed, Labour in opposition, have a lot of work to win back voters and return to government, and that we need to do so with humility and with a desire to have a strong moral stance in how we deal with the economy.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Miliband Got It Right!

Ed Miliband got it spot on when he attacked the government over the Queen's Speech yesterday. Cosmetic, no detail, no hope for those on the breadline who need encouragement that there are positive moves to help get the economy moving again. As he said, "They stand up for the wrong people!", referring to the PM who seemed more worried about not upsetting Rebekah Brooks over the phone-hacking scandal and sending a message apologising for being cold towards her.
Doesn't this say much about the governments lack of moral judgement, lack of ability to get things moving, and willingness to lash out and blame all and sundry but themselves?

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Waterboarding is NEVER Right!

I cannot understand how anyone could read and watch this and feel ill and disgusted. What gets me is not so much that it is done, but that clinical words and broad statements are used to explain what is a flagarant abuse of human rights! The fact it has American involvement makes it even worse and it makes it harder to persuade people that the West are better than those who are our enemies. In other words (and again I am surprised this needs spelling out), we sink to the level of Al Qaeda and Middle East despots when we engage in acts such as water boarding!
What gives me some hope however is the sense of fear and guilt, why else destroy the videotapes of Abu Zubaydah being tortured!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Congratulations to President Hollande

I have to say that this week has been a joy for those of us who are Social Democrats or Socialists. President Hollande's victory will do well, not only for France, but for Europe as well, and as mentioned by Stephanie Flanders of the BBC this morning, Hollande is not that much socialist in comparison to Sarkosy. Steady as she goes seems to be the economic watchword in London right now!

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Ken's Campaign Should Cause Those of Us in Labour to Hang Our Heads in Shame!

I have a confession to make! I joined Labour in 2002. I helped in the 2004 and 2008 London Mayoral elections. This time I deliberately stayed away.
I stayed away because whilst I did not want Boris Johnson to win, I could not in conscience, openly support Ken Livingstone. I am also loyal to Labour so I decided the best thing to do was to keep quiet and hope Labour did well in London generally. 

The reason? Well I wonder if I need to give one, but I have little respect for a candidate who demands loyalty, yet support non Labour candidates! Who does not make swift rebuttals to fair criticism from respected journalists (if untrue that is and I happen to have a lot of time for Jonathan Freedland), who is arrogant enough not to go out of his way to reassure minorities outside his own constituent base, who seems to fail to learn from lessons made from a previous defeat, then there are the questions regarding tax, and so on and so on.. For the first time, to my dismay, I felt a regard for those who are tempted to stay at home on Polling Day and if any good comes out of this for me, maybe it will help me connect better with the average non voter.I just could not go into London and, directly or otherwise, support a candidate that showed a disgusting lack of consideration for one ethnic minority, or indeed the Labour Party as a whole, without feeling morally compromised and having a damaged conscience!

This Mayoral election has tested the loyalty of a lot of Labour voters and activists in London to their limit! It has also made them feel there are double standards! How do you think they will felt when they were told that backing another candidate merited expulsion, and yet knowing that (because of their stature) Lord Sugar and Lord Winston etc.. will not face censure!

We have some tough lessons to learn here. 1) In 2016 we need a candidate who has not been rushed through and will have time to reflect, prepare, and bring forward their vision, before being selected 2) We need a candidate who plays by the rules and take attacks seriously but equally does not live in fear of them! 3) We need a candidate who is not a politician as such and brings something fresh and vital to London (If nothing else, the freshness of Siobhan Benita's campaign showed how much that is needed from the main parties, and it's also worth taking a look at Obama's campaign in 2007-08 for similar reasons) 4) Above all we need a candidate who cares for Londoners. All Londoners. Muslims, Jews, Christians, White, Black, Asian, Poor, Rich, Central Londoners, North and South Londoners etc.. and for that to be seen without fuss or pretence because if that does not come through Labour cannot expect to do well next time.

Luke Akehurst, articulates this far better, as does Atul Hatwal, and indeed Emma Burnell.  Now that Ken has lost, I ask that the NEC and the London Labour Party bear this in mind and make sure that we are not coerced, or blackmailed, or pressurised into voting for or backing any of Ken's ilk again.This put the strain of loyalty of many London (and outside London) Labour activists to the limit. It is best not to test that again!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Are We About To See Another Sea Change in British Politics?

Every thirty-forty years, so the theory goes, we see a sea change in British politics! This does not just touch the Party political, but the ideological. In 1906, the Liberals won a landslide general election and brought in policies such as pensions for the over 65s, reform of the House of Lords, and set the groundwork for the Welfare State. In 1945, following the Depression and World War II, the Labour Party swept to power in a general election, bringing in the "Postwar Consensus" which lasted some thirty plus years and brought in the Welfare State, the NHS, and further benefits for Agriculture, Education, and for women and children!
Obviously things go in swings and roundabouts and with the 1970s, with the oil hikes, growth of militant unions, and signs that Keynesianism had it's limits as well as it's short term benefits, the stage was set for Margaret Thatcher and free-market monetarism.
To be fair, Thatcherism had it's benefits. The sale of council houses, the growth of competition and choice, and giving people a sense of confidence. But the Thatcherite culture of the 80s had it's drawbacks. There was lack of concern for the poor and vulnerable, a lack of concern for social safety nets, a lack of discernment when various privatisation acts took place so that the spivs and shysters also got to eat at the table and steal from everyone they could without concern for the consequences! This was backed by a newspaper industry that appealed to the lowest common denominator and helped create a climate of fear and Right-Wing control.
There was a tacit recognition of this in 1997 when Labour won it's biggest landslide so far, but one could only change so much. The governments of Blair and Brown did much social good, but much of it almost hidden and unnoticed. It failed to deal with excessive borrowing and did not, understandably, take on the Right-Wing culture still prevalent in British society.
This may change very soon!
Over the past two years we have seen one of the biggest economic upsets since the War. This was recognised in the 2010 general election when the Tories had the majority of seat in a Hung Parliament! The Conservatives, having lost more seats in 1997 than Michael Foot did in 1983, and finding themselves in a Hung Parliament, did not recognise this cold fact and behaved as if the disgust over Thatcherism by the electorate never existed. In short, imagine a 1997 Labour Government behaving as if they were Michael Foot's Party and you get the picture!
Now we see a lack of confidence in the Chancellor, in the PM, in the bankers, and we see the prize Tory newspapers of the Thatcher era, The Sun and the Daily Mail, almost tottering on the brink! We have seen an incopetent Chancellor blame everyone but himself and his allies as to the causes of the double-dip recession and soon we are to see the consequences. In short nearlky every ideol of the Right in the 1980s is now viewed by the public with contempt. It leaves one to ask, are we about to see another sea change in British politics?