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While I try and avoid to much political comment on this website, there are times when I’m tempted to pop my head over the parapet. With the great Brighton fiesta now underway, I’m wondering if Britain, Kent or indeed Thanet has done any better under a Labour government than it might have done under the Conservatives, LibDems or even UKIP, I’m struck by Simon Jenkins’ column in the Sunday Times this morning where he writes:

“Labour conferences now resemble the last chapter of Animal Farm. Old Boxer has gone to the knacker’s. No one dares speak. Some animals are more equal than others. Napoleon is reading Tit-Bits and dressing his sow in watered silk. The ruling pigs are drinking with the old enemy, the humans. In truth they are indistinguishable.”

He continues, “The Labour party will this week cheer a government that in its name is privatising the National Health Service, public housing and, if it can, secondary education. It will cheer the fiscal regression of last week’s cringing U-turn on council tax revaluation. It will cheer parenting orders, internment without trial and curbs on free speech. Its MPs have for 2½, years acceded to an illegal foreign war in alliance with a right-wing American president.”

Perhaps I’m a ‘wishy washy’ liberal at heart but conscious of the example of Sir Thomas More in challenging the Reformation of Henry VIII, I’ve spent five years watching and protesting the dismantling of the freedoms that started with Magna Carta, survived Oliver Cromwell but apparently not Tony Blair. In my lifetime, being British, once implied a moral, educational and political courage that once made us the envy of the world but when George Orwell, satirising communism, wrote ‘Animal Farm,’ I wonder if he could have conceived of political correctness and a 21st century Britain under New Labour?

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