Labour's legacy - an Augean mountain of corruption
Ten years in power, and the newspapers will doubtless reflect over the next week on Blair's manifest failures; on crime, on health, on public services, on poverty, on defence, on foreign relations. Bloggers will mourn the greatest erosion of personal freedoms ever seen in this nation. Ordinary citizens are angry that Blair has failed to secure our borders, angry at his Chancellor's fiscal incompetence, angry at a great river of government lies, angry that our nation under Blair has become Europe's bitch and Bush's poodle. Every new announcement of Blair's failure provokes ever less ire and ever more weary resignation; we are suffering from failure fatigue.
But the most corrosive, the most corrupt, the most cynically opportunist crimes of the Blair years are the undermining of the basic and fundamental bedrock of fairness and equality in patronage. He is now so mired in the filth of sleaze he simply doesn't care any more; not even the pretence of fairness or political impartiality.
It is wholly wrong of course that over 60,000 appointed quangocrats rather than elected representatives run our national institutions. However, there is an explicit expectation that these appointments should be made on the basis of merit, not party affiliation. Blair has spent ten years locking into place those who, if they are not Labour members, subscribe to the Labour lunacy of Big State individualism and central control.
Chief officers of police must demonstrate political sympathy rather than policing skills. Lottery board members must exhibit socialist philistinism. Health board members must be committed to state intervention in people's lives. The Chairman of the BBC must proceed from a basis of belief in Big Government Good, Small Government Bad. In addition to all the unelected bodies in existence before 1997, Labour has set up over a hundred more; energy, food, sport, GM foods, education, disability, equality, housing, skills .... and these have been packed with hand-picked appointees ideologically committed to the bankrupt Blair agenda.
Even if Scotland gives the SNP a majority, Blair will still be there in the scores of unelected bodies; 790 Blair quango appointees in Scotland run budgets of some £9.6bn annually.
Small wonder then that when Labour's blatent gerrymandering in ensuring that 85% of investment in new hospitals has gone to Labour constituencies is revealed few are surprised. It is called in the US 'Pork Barrel Politics' - and it was just one of the things we used to pride ourselves on being free from.
Cameron must resist at all costs the temptation, if he wins power, to merely substitute Blair appointees with Cameron ones. We must clear out this Augean stable of filth and corruption in its entirety; bring back to the local ballot box control of our institutions, restore public appointments on the basis of merit and not on the basis of ideological whoredom, and truly shatter this most corrosive of Blair's failures.