David Miliband and the Mel Gibson effect

David Miliband, Blairite, will be targeting ‘immoral’ city excesses.

There’s a few images come to mind when we think of what it means to be a Blairite; that it is a portion of New Labourism that promoted, and was happy to see, the super rich.

That it excused immaturity, ill-thought and unnecessary risk in the city so long as UK boom financed the public sector to an extent that we no longer have the privilege of maintaining.

I mostly agree with Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT and the gentle face of trade unionism, when she says that:

The Chancellor has failed to recognise that quangos are not all bad. Some of the organisations whose funding has today been slashed by the Chancellor are better placed than individual schools on their own to achieve the value for money the Government craves.”

This is true, and ought to be a lesson for those who are keen to see services freed from the state; namely that big society is abandonment not freedom, and that some non departmental bodies can have a fuller view of services and finances, that perhaps devolution of power won’t properly achieve.

But this is not to clear the slate entirely. There has been wasteful spending and it is a product of boom, but reform should come from within the government departments themselves, so as to keep a sensible, non-boom, eye on financial matters.

It ought to be remembered that the Total Place programme was realised under Labour’s watch, and though some in the Labour camp have been sceptical, and some Tories have been favourable, it is not an insult to the Labour party as a whole to say that within that camp there were people who were not sensible with finances, and there were people who were themselves consumed by boom.

That is a Blairite to me.

So why is D. Miliband taking on the city now?

Two options: either he’s playing the game. Like his now very anti-war brother and the other Ed in the leadership race, they have realised the game, they’ve read the rules, it’s no surprise they are spinning the nicities.

The second option asks a lot more: perhaps it is what we should call the Mel Gibson effect. Mel Gibson wrote a terrible film called the Passion of the Christ. There was controversy. The Anti-Defamation League put a statement about the film saying:

It must be emphasized that the main storyline presented Jesus as having been relentlessly pursued by an evil cabal of Jews, headed by the high priest Caiaphas, who finally blackmailed a weak-kneed Pilate into putting Jesus to death.

Gibson had uttered anti-Semitic words since the film which did not help counter the negative view (of all but the Pope who said of the film, apparently, “It is as it was”). In 2006 he was stopped for drink-driving where it is reported that he called a female officer ‘sugar tits’ and was said to have hurled ‘religious epithets‘ – notably towards Jews.

Some have decided to say that this burst of Gibson’s is something that lurks beneath, located in his unconscious, linked to his Father as a kind of underbelly of a narrative, waiting dormant to be released, and only able to be when the subject is squiffy to the nines.

Gibson’s Father, Hutton Gibson, is a famous anti-Semite who has ‘been quoted as saying the Second Vatican Council was “a Masonic plot backed by the Jews”.’ Is there the chance that Mel was communicating an urge to fill his Father’s nutty place in the world?

Gibson apologised later by saying he was ashamed of what he did.

Is it that David Miliband is experiencing the same urge, to fill his Father’s place in the world by disavowing his Blairism for a stab at city excess? The chances are no, but worth a thought.

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3 Responses to David Miliband and the Mel Gibson effect

  1. harpymarx says:

    Think you are giving Miliband junior far too much analysis…Freudian at that with the Father figure comments…. Though I do wonder what he thinks about his dad, the great Ralph M.? I take the first option, he’s playing the game, he’s an opportunistic and cynical apparatchik indeed like all come over anti-war. But the analogy with that horrible racist and misogynist Mel Gibson?

    • I admit to being a little Freudian with my Mel Gibson reference. I also take the first option, but it wouldn’t have been democratic of me to offer only one option. I despair that he has the most support from MPs I really do – do these fools think we’ve come up trumps with Blairism?

  2. Pingback: Is David Miliband’s attack on the City credible? | Liberal Conspiracy

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