Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Until they regain their sanity

During the late seventies a lunatic fringe seized control of the British Labour party and forced through a hard-line leftist platform of compulsory socialism at home and messianic pacifism--particularly unilateral nuclear disarmament--in defense and foreign affairs. As a result, Labour lost four consecutive general elections to the Conservatives: three times when the Tories were led by Margaret Thatcher, in 1979, 1983, and 1987; and once when under John Major, in 1992. One leading Labourite characterized the party's "loony left" 1983 election manifesto as "the longest suicide note in history."

Mrs. Thatcher was quite candid about it: "We have a two-party system so inevitably Labour will be elected again some day. Our job is to stay in power until they regain their sanity."

After the 1992 election debacle, some younger and more moderate Labourites purged the militants and, calling themselves "New Labour," turned the party hard to the right. And in 1997, Tony Blair and New Labour won a general election with a huge majority. They were reelected in 2001. Thatcher and the Conservatives had accomplished what they set out to do: to stay in power until Labour regained its sanity.

Some day a Democrat will be elected president ...