||On 10 May, in his
Blair exposed one of the worst flaws in this approach, its
liquidation of history. Looking back to when he was elected he said:
"1997 was a moment for a new beginning - the sweeping away of all
the detritus of the past."
This is Year Zero
thinking, ignorant and wrong. The past, especially the historic
inheritance of British politics, needed to be respected in order to
be thoroughly replaced. It couldn't be "swept away" like so much
rubbish. It was structural. What would replace it? A "new
vacuousness. What replaced the detritus of the old constitution with
its antiquated, informal checks and balances, its Lords and Knights
was, in Blair's case, an even worse version of the same: naked,
royal power exercised by an upstart, or as it is now called "sofa
government". He fell back, or fell upon, the worst deep-structures
of the old order, such as rule from above, glorification of "hard"
power, imperial ambition, corruption. Just as the adage says...
those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.’
Anthony Barnett, on
the Open Democracy website.