Saturday 28 February 2009

The Triumph of the Political Class

Knowledge is power and power is a weapon, as well as a goal, of war.

The Triumph of the Political Class by Peter Oborne is a very fine weapon indeed, as it is a rich source of truth about the present and recent past of British politics.

A political journalist and author, Oborne has anatomized our new ruling caste: their origins and beliefs; their activities, inter-relations and ways of life, and what this all means for good government. It means death.

Bullet-points now for the skim-reader, about the political class, hereinafter referred to as the PC;

# What we’ve got here is a self-perpetuating elite of lifelong, full-time politicians who are usually university educated and have no business or military experience and who subsist pretty much as financial beneficiaries of the State and the State’s clients and supporters (such as the mainstream media, the subsidized arts and academia, and certain favoured State-supplying private contractors and think-tanks.) They have no interests inside civil society and none within politics other than the accumulation and use of power for self and partisan – or factional – gain.

# The PC has corrupted almost all the institutions of government and society that once were anatomized as ‘The Establishment’: the formerly neutral Civil Service, the security services, the judiciary and rule of law, parliament and the independent press, and has even muscled into the Royal Family’s private grief for partisan advantage.

# It has blurred the distinctions between the private spheres of family, charity and commerce and merged them into public power and the institutions of government and on top of this it has broken down the separation of party political interests and the State and the State’s resources.

#Why?Political party membership has tumbled since 1945 for 20% of the population to a few hundred thousand now. Political parties need media resources to persuade would-be voters as the mass doorstep canvass has become a thing of the past. This requires money and control over the media.

#What?The PC believes in the overwhelmingly beneficial power of government to improve the lives of individuals and nations – if government given enough power and freedom to use it at will.

#Who? The 1960’s university Marxists plus the Age of Aquarius radical individualists have moved into politics to effect their ends peacefully but dishonesty via the conquest and subordination of traditional national institutions to their ends alone.

Some impatience with the old establishment began under the Thatcher Tories’ time in office – remember her liking for Yes Minister?, and so some boundaries began to be eroded or overleapt in her eagerness to get the country working and prosperous again, and to win the Cold War. However, this was as nothing compared with the monsoon of subversion and the embedding of partisan ‘advisers’ throughout Whitehall when New Labour came to power.

They have no income of their own apart from what they can make in government and from its clients so they can’t really do the honourable thing when they are proved to be wrong or dishonest and resign – so the Civil Service gets to carry the can instead.


>Corruption of the Civil Service’s upper echelons from being professional and permanent governmental advisors to becoming partisans of the ruling party’s policies. Subordination of Cabinet Secretaries’ impartiality to New Labour’s factional needs, for example, began much from the start of Tony Blair’s first term of office.

>Creating a political and media elite who feed each other – exciting initiatives announced in newspapers whose circulations rise in return for support up to and including the whitewashing of corruption and the smearing of honest officials and whistleblowers. The press was right at the head of the queue to trash the reputation of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner Elizabeth Filkin as she battled and tried to punish MPs’ corruption. She was ousted in part by the press and in part by briefings made by senior figures in all three major political parties.

>Bringing partisan outsiders (‘advisors’) into government – and empowering them to issue orders to the Civil Service.

>Muscling in on the judiciary.

>Absolving a tame and well-paid Parliament from the consequences of improper conduct and persecuting the upholders of its honour and propriety.

>Using military and political intelligence data for purposes of public persuasion.

>Well-paid movement available and unchecked between politics, Civil Service, private companies that water at the public trough, plus quangos and think-tank/’charities’ that support the statist party line. Bankers’ bonuses, anyone? Polly Toynbee at Guardian and BBC.

> Absorbing the leadership of all three national parties into a comfortable club wherein mutual support and shared values set them against their own core supporters and the national interest. Creating and fighting over a soggy centre ground where, for example, the class interests of the working classes or the middle classes are frustrated by the sheer lack of competition between party leaders and their policies.


# Democracy becomes a meaningless sham; a game of musical chairs played by a small group of friends where everyone gets a go at the prizes in return for not offering the voters distinct choices that would exclude the other players for a parliament or three. Call them the NewLabDemoServatives.

# Government is incompetent: unquestioned by an investigative media which has now become government’s poodle, and unchecked in folly and haste by a neutered Civil Service and a weakened judiciary, it spends money like water on projects that achieve little or no good, often do great harm, and managed to make a just war against undoubted tyrants and the foulest ideological and existential assailants on Earth both unpopular and Britain’s part in it unappreciated by the bulk of a (briefly-indoctrinated) British public.

# People are looking for something else; something that the deracinated, internationalist corrupted, invaded and subverted gentlemen’s club of Westminster Whitehall and their arts, media and academic cheerleaders and apologists and their refuses to address.

In a recession which is morphing into a depression, what people turn to might not be very nice at all.

And the PC is clueless when its policies lead directly to something other than the heirs of Churchill and Atlee.


How to find stuff in Citizens and Neighbours.


  1. Northish West, I enjoyed very much this missive. I do rather hope Cameron will go some way to redressing some of the balance.
    Forgive a slight bit of proof reading, though. It's Oborne although I like the Georgie fella too!

  2. Oh goody another lengthy political tome telling us the bleeding obvious. Perhaps the next volume will actually bother to peel-off the next layer of the onion … well maybe not at I suspect finding a publisher might be somewhat difficult and quite likely very dangerous.


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