The most dangerous man in Britain is the Home Secretary, and now as good as declared candidate for the Premiership, John Reid, previously noted for bragging about directing the Police to arrest people in the middle of the night. Reid was a Communist Party activist deep into his adult life, well before the fall of the Soviet Union, and he has never expressed the slightest remorse. At Stirling University, when the Communist Party ran the Students' Union (with its large cash turnover), Reid was its enforcer. As he later was for Neil Kinnock, and as he now is for Tony Blair, whom he clearly wishes to succeed as Prime Minister.
Furthermore, Reid claims that New Labour reflects what he sees as the "fact" that Britons are now (among other things) "better off", "better educated" and "less deferential" than in the past. What planet is he living on?
First, only a generation ago, a single manual wage provided the wage-earner, his wife and their several children with a quality of life unimaginable even on two professional salaries today. This impoverishment has been so rapid and so extreme that most people, including almost all politicians and commentators, simply refuse to acknowledge that it has happened. But it has indeed happened. And it is still going on.
Secondly, well, where to begin? Britons at large, including graduates and even PhDs (such as Reid), are simply not the best-educated that they have ever been, or even especially well-educated at all. All the paper qualifications in the world cannot disguise this fact, which is only too horribly obvious to anyone who so much as walks down a street in Britain today, never mind to anyone who goes in search of intelligent and informed conversation here.
And thirdly, the extraordinary deference shown to the opinions of ageing rock starts and such like indicates that the generation now running things is actually much more deferential than was or is that of its own parents or grandparents, and is quite possibly the most deferential ever, but merely chooses to defer to different (and, frankly, less deserving) people.
There are many reasons not to want Gordon Brown as Prime Minister. A Left candidate for Labour Leader would always have taken thirty per cent of the vote, and might well have taken forty under current circumstances. So Brown promised Michael Meacher restoration as Environment Secretary if he spoiled John McDonnell's chances of making it onto the ballot paper. This Meacher has duly done, and Brown thought that there would be no election.
But now this, a candidate who can expect hysterical cheer-leading from the Sun and the Times, probably from the Daily Mail, and possibly even (since he is Not Brown) from the Daily Telegraph.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.