Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Precious Prose

Andrew Stuttaford is a transplanted Brit who writes for the National Review Online. He has a brilliant column today on Tony Blair and throws in a pretty good political history of the last 30 years. His prose, if a teeny, teeny bit overwrought, is simply outstanding. Just some choice samples:

To the novelist and journalist Robert Harris, this (Labour 'revolt' against Blair)all looked like madness: “it does not…require a political genius to see…that it is a thoroughly bad idea for a minority party-cabal to bring down an elected prime minister. The Liberals did it to Asquith in 1915 and have never gained power again. The Tories did it to Thatcher… and have since suffered three successive election defeats… Now Labor, like a chimp examining a loaded revolver, shows alarming signs of the same casual attitude to its political extinction.”

Nice tidbit about Asquith that I did not know and the picture of the chimp is simply precious.

Once firmly established in Number Ten, Mrs. Thatcher could always rely on the adulation of her party’s rank-and-file and, until the Gadarene [from Gadara, of the Decapolis, ed.] meltdown of November 1990, her MPs. Tony Blair cannot. As Labor leader he has filled an abattoir with the slaughtered sacred cows of party orthodoxy. [emphasis mine.] This has won him elections, but lost him the love, affection, and loyalty of his activists. They, poor souls, remain trapped in a mindset that blends traditional working class belligerence with the idiot radicalism of a third-rate provincial university.

"...filled an abattoir with the slaughtered sacred cows of party orthodoxy" Fabulous. Oh and that last sentence.

"Power, sycophants, and the ambitious are all ebbing from the prime minister, as Gordon Brown, whose fondness for some of old Labor’s more numbskull pieties has already made him the party’s darling...'

"Numbskull pieties", must save that for later. Nancy Hopkins, the Faculty of Arts & Sciences at Harvard, the Congressional Black Caucus, Columbia...

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