Labour’s new civil war over racism and power

To see senior Labour figures literally kicking verbal lumps out of each other may be entertaining to those of us who despise the authoritarian Labour Party but what is going on is more than a spat about racism vitally important though that is.

For a party supposedly of the left to be openly at war over racism is bizarre in itself but I go back 30 years or more to one of the most telling things I was told as a young politician. It came from a young Labour Party member who quite openly said to me that there were more racists in his party than in the other political party or words to that effect. And it seems to have come to pass many years later played out on our TV screens with senior Labour figures making such allegations about others in that comradely Party.

But of course this is just the latest spat in Labour’s ongoing civil war. The Red Tories want Corbyn out, they want him to look like he can’t lead his party, they are making the Labour Party impossible to lead.

Yes Corbyn is no great leader of men and women but neither is he the appalling man many of his own MP’s are trying to make him look like. He probably has many principles which his own party is trying to make him compromise. They may, in many cases, be principles that we libertarians could not agree with but at least he has principles.

Burnham is quite obviously jockeying for position as he can smell a possible end to Corbyn’s leadership and he needs to reinvent himself again after getting such a pasting in the last leadership election. He’s even using left wing rhetoric these days; very different to that he used when he lost to Corbyn and even further away from his days as a Blairite Minister privatising the NHS.

The majority of Labour MP’s want their party to swing back to the right, to be Blairite under a more palatable title. No more New Labour by name but very much so in policy terms.

My argument is that a right wing Labour Party is no good for the UK. Yes they may be able to unseat some Tories but why do we need Red Tories to replace Blue Tories? The changes would only be at the margins.

What we need is a radical, diverse and yes yet more radical alternative to Labour settling back down as the just slightly better alternative to more Tory years. Canada has that alternative model and those of us who want open inclusive government should take note. Why even some Americans can see that a more radical path needs to be taken with the rise of Bernie Sanders in the Democrat Party. I am always amazed to hear Labour Party members arguing for Hilary Clinton to win the Democratic nomination.

Justin Trudeau did not come to power by being slightly less right wing than the Canadian Tories he did it by turning the Canadian Liberal Party into a radical party that is openly prepared to tear up old outdated policy stances.

Radical policies are not based on class war as Labour and its core supporters believe, they are based on true empowerment of people, celebrating diversity and getting voters to coalesce around a common radical and positive agenda. Labour are incapable of such an approach whether the left or right is running their show.

The UK is crying out for a Justine Trudeau type leader not talk of moderation and aiming for the center ground, or worse centre ground positioning dressed up by left wing rhetoric. Is Tim Farron up for that?

In search of Robin Hood in a society that now seems to take from the poor to give to the rich

Maybe as a Nottinghamshire lad and a Liberal it’s no surprise that I see redistribution of wealth from the richest to the poorest in our society as being fundamental to a caring socially progressive society.

Basket weaved statue of Robin Hood in the grounds of Nottingham Castle

Basket weaved statue of Robin Hood in the grounds of Nottingham Castle

Maybe it’s because we seem to be going in exactly the opposite direction that I and other progressives are saying we can’t keep running our society based on the principle of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.

Statue of Robin Hood outside Nottingham Castle

Statue of Robin Hood outside Nottingham Castle

From Thatcher through to Blair, Brown and now Cameron we have been building a society that seems to be ever more selfish and about the greed of individuals rather than about the common good and the environment we all depend on.

Looking across the pond to Canada and the recent election of a truly Liberal government there gives some hope though. Advocating a free and inclusive society, strong environmental stewardship whilst embracing diversity is something that electors will clearly endorse if political leaders are credible. Sadly, credible political leaders are in short supply in the UK.

Could you imagine David Cameron doing this:-

no neither could I and it shows how our society is changing for the worse in my view. Years ago our government would have been welcoming those with nothing, now we are governed by people who turn their back on desperate people and who do as little as they can get away with.

Are we really going to continue down the road of division, class war and the rich getting ever more bloated at the expense of the poor? Such a vision is not worthy of what we like to call our civilised society.

The photos are also amongst my Flickr photos at:-