New Labour’s Health Secretary Alan Johnson spoke on Friday at the Malta Labour Party Annual General Conference. “The state secretary said that only the MLP could lead Malta into the future with its vision and integrity.” Having spoken to leading Labour officials, and having had his turn at being amazed at Alfred Sant’s recuperative powers, Johnson addressed the assembly in absolute awe declaring that “the atmosphere in the hall reminded him of when the UK Labour Party won in a landslide election – much to the delight of the audience.” Boy does the man know how to play the right tune.
When a foreign invitee speaks of the vision and integrity of the Labour Party one wonders how much time he has had to examine their 100 point plan and other similar electoral machinations before reaching the inevitable conclusion that a new Blair is born. One wonders, in fact, how much AJ really is in tune with what the MLP has to offer as the alternative to government. Speaking to the assembly of a party that up until the mid-eighties would have not allowed anyone like him near a podium (remember the Foreign Interference laws?) AJ was there to milk the momentum of a confident MLP. Not that there is nothing to be confident about – I am sure MLP have all the right reasons to note that the Nationalist Government is not exactly riding the high wave of popular contentment. It’s just that the necessary compliment to such confidence would ideally be a convincing plan to get the floaters to shift their preference to MLP and it’s leader in recovery.
That, Alan, is not exactly present yet. You see, many people who, like you, would have read Gramsci and Das Kapital in their youth do not seem convinced that the MLP is the bees knees. They might not have been militants in the Communist Party of Great Britain or openly declared their atheism like yourself (good on you for that one), but they are all the same unconvinced that the MLP can guarantee a change in politics and a new vision. In fact, Alan, if I may call you so, to a certain extent it’s not even vision that some people look forward to but down to earth politics away from – oops here I go again – partisan reasoning based on getting in government at all costs.
What we do not like Alan, is opportunistic politics. A bit like being a Blairite lapdog for much of the Blair administration only to become a Brownie once the wind begins to change. It’s been nice seeing you talking to a gaggle of party members. It was even moving to know that your manager at Tesco’s was Maltese and helped you through those formative years from can packer to postman to MP. Without the Secretary of State tag I too might have been fooled in thinking that you are another of our own. Thanks again Alan, it’s been moving, but then again I have not exaclty been moved to tears.
And by the way, if you do have time for another little talk would you be so kind as to explain how Europe’s Socialists are so keen to embrace that eurosceptic bunch you addressed? Or I guess I know the answer already – when the wind changes… all is possible isn’t it?
Sources: New Statesman on Alan Johnson
Post Scriptum: Thank you for all the wishes of recovery. The eye is back in full function. Just in time to see Juve get trounced by Livorno tomorrow. At this rate I’ll offer myself up for a place in the beleaguered defence.