Friday, July 27, 2007

What is modernisation?

Quick question to throw out there for Friday, but, what is, in terms of party politics, "modernisation"? Seriously, this notion of "modernisers" when people talk about both New Labour and the Tories, I've never actually figured out what it means.

It seems to me that it's a vacuous self-defining phrase rather than a meaningful term. It essentially tries to paint the entire past as, by default negative, whilst this "modern" thing that they are claiming to achieve is always by definition right.

What was the "modernisation" of the Labour Party exactly? Structurally it is largely undifferent now to how it was before Blair. Some might argue that the removal of Clause IV and nationalisation from their constitution indicated some massive modernisation step. But did it really?

Was Labour, before scrapping Clause IV from their constitution calling for a manifesto of mass re-nationalisation? No. The removal was cosmetic and nothing more. So again, what exactly is "modernisation"?


Sabretache said...

It's one of the 'articles of faith' of the post-modern religion called 'PROGRESS'. Nobody really knows what that is either (as in 'Progress to what exactly?') but if you're not a 'Progressive' politician with a 'progressive' agenda, why then you're a - Horror-of-Horrors - 'Reactionary'; which is somewhat akin to a heretic in the Christian orthodoxy of old. No one really undertood that either (except the guardians of the faith who pretended to and were the sole arbiters of it - nice work if you can get it) but being accused of heresy was often sufficient to get you burned at the stake or some such.

Plus ca change

Chris Paul said...

Modernisation means taking the ball away from any party members who wish to play by the traditional rules for the particular party. And changing the rules so they can never get it back.

For the Tories this means the 1922 committee and cornerstone and all the iijits out in the shires and maggie and lord a and anyone really with strong, ideological ideas about anything.

Transformation from politics to managerialism.

Or in a word: