Today’s SST includes an interview (a puff, in truth) with Michael Bassett about his book on the Fourth Labour Government, Working with David. Predictably, it was all her fault. Like the bishop’s wife in Trollope’s Barchester novels, Lange’s love interest Margaret Pope, “started to try to run the diocese,” says Bassett.
Well, it couldn’t possibly have been that there were any flaws in the neo-liberal juggernaut launched in 1984 by Bassett and his cronies Douglas, Prebble and (to a lesser extent) Moore, could it? This continued denial that there may have been good cause to pause the destruction is a little rich coming from someone who said of Lange that, “when he couldn’t deal with the message, he’d attack the messenger.”
He’s one-eyed. “Margaret Pope seems to have convinced Lange that the role he had adopted in selling the government’s policy was belittling of him and of his status,” says Bassett. Note “seems”. Note the absence of any consideration that it may have been the dreadful consequences of those neo-liberal policies — countless farmers ruined, countless workers deprived of their livelihoods — that convinced Lange that it was time for a cuppa and a breather.
Readers of Bassett’s account need to recall that Bassett was not unloyal to his cousin… (more…)