Well after years of Labour supporters and hacks saying that the last Labour government had no responsibility for the financial crash it now seems that Labour’s new Leader is fessing up to what his party did in government.
For having the guts to say this is to Jeremy Corbyns’s credit but you can see all his many right wing ‘Red Tory’ MP’s spluttering away in disbelief!
Of course, I am sure that Corbynomics would be a disaster in itself but at least he has made the Labour Party come out of its years denial and face up to its responsibilities for its part in the financial crash.
The left of British politics has always been factionalised with numerous socialist parties coming and going, the Labour Party often engaged in vicious internal warfare (as they are at present) and the Lib Dems, in recent years, having been pulled towards economic rather than social liberalism. Of course looking back a while the SDP also failed to ‘break the mould’ as it became split by the ‘Owen’ factor amongst other things.
The lack of unity on the left has always been a problem and our warped first past the post electoral system has also helped to put many Tory Governments in power who have nothing like majority popular support; just like the present one.
What beggars belief therefore is why when Labour have grabbed power for the odd short period they have not pursued electoral reform and a fair voting system. I suppose the last Labour government was too arrogant and thought their ‘New Labour’ guise would last and be popular for generations. Well it wasn’t so Labour went further to the right in opposition, even openly bashing the poor along the way. But as they became labeled Red Tories the electorate said stuff that we may as well have proper Tories.
The Lib Dems also discredited themselves by lying about Tuition Fees in 2010. Nick Clegg thought the electorate would forgive him. They didn’t. Indeed, because many of those who voted Lib Dem in 2010 thought he was a straight forward chap whom they could trust his backing out of a clear promise caused them to drop him and his party like a stone. They expected other parties to tell porkies but having been persuaded the Lib Dems were trustworthy they turned against them big time. Rebuilding that lack of trust in the Lib Dems is probably Tim Farron’s biggest challenge.
The Greens tried lurching to left after 2010 and were the most socialist of the mainstream parties at the last general election but of course this move set their traditional environmentalist sect against an upstart socialist sect. Socialism and environmentalism have never sat comfortably together in my experience. Socialists on Merseyside that I have come across have always seemed to be very much disinterested in environmental issues.
But within the left there is at the heart of so many of its difficulties one major factor that causes the disunity which the Tories always benefit from. Many left wing sects think they are absolutely right and all other left wing sects are utterly wrong. Such tribalism then sets these sects against each other and the Tories win again whilst the left debates, often viciously, who is right and who is wrong. In differing ways I think that the emergence of the SDP and the rise of Tony Blair were reactions to the self destructive nature of the left.
The SDP failed and despite huge initial success Blair’s New Labour failed because he wandered to far right, got involved in the appalling Iraq war and probably laid the foundations for Labour to be cat called ‘Red Tories’.
The real danger that the left faces now is that we could have a seriously right wing Tory Party in power for a generation with UKIP effectively pulling their levers. Is this not enough of a nightmare to sober up the left of British politics?
My letter to the Champion newspaper to try to balance up their article of 21st October.
I read with interest the article about the proposed Neighbourhood Plan for Lydiate.
The Plan is of course being proposed by Lydiate Labour to mitigate the worst effects of Labour-run Sefton Council’s Local Plan which is to dump hundreds of houses on Lydiate’s high grade agricultural land which also happens to be Green Belt.
Lydiate people wrote many letters and signed petitions opposing what Sefton Council has been proposing for their community. On that basis it’s a bit rich for those in power to try to sell the Neighbourhood Plan idea as a real opportunity for community involvement when the same political party has been ignoring the representations of Lydiate folk over the very same planning and environmental concerns.
Member of Lydiate Parish Council
The paper used my balancing response in its 4th November edition
Are Corbyn/McDonnell not already in danger of compromising their ‘hardish left’ views simply to keep the majority of right wing Labour MP’s on board?
Yes I know this question comes from me a Liberal opponent of Labour but never the less surely those right wing Labour MP’s have to be deselected (they did not want Corbyn and certainly did not vote for him) or Corbyn and this shadow chancellor McDonnell will have to continue to compromise what they believe in to keep them from rebelling.
Even then it won’t work though as those right wingers will see them off at the first opportunity because they only pledge their support to Labour not to Corbyn and his leadership people. Their first real attack will probably come after the local elections next May if Labour performs poorly.
My advice to socialists in the Labour Party is to do what happened to them in the Kinnock era or they will soon be back where they started with a new right wing Labour Leadership.
This is an interesting commentary on the position that both Labour and the Lib Dems find themselves in – Please take a few moments to read the Independent newspaper article by John Campbell.
With thanks to Jen Robertson for the lead to this posting.
It’s time to welcome the Labour Party back to what it should be, a socialist party. For far too many years it has looked and felt like a Tory Party MK11 otherwise known as the Red Tories.
I am not a socialist and am certainly not in any way a supporter of the Labour Party yet I am strangely pleased that it has seemingly gone back to its roots. In recent years I have seen Labour at a local level opposing every measure of austerity yet at a national level doing the exact opposite as the likes of Rachel Reeves attacked the welfare system in ways I found appalling. So here is an opportunity to make Labour honest as opposed to off to the left locally and off to the right nationally.
The election was an odd affair where Labour seemed hell bent on doing itself as much damage as possible. 3 candidates from Labour’s right wing – all far to far to the right for me – and one of the socialist tradition.
Burnham was the worst of the lot for me as he seemed to put himself forward as a person who stood for whatever voters wanted of him. Would it be unkind to say he looked every inch a popularist? Oddly, I represented Aintree, where Burnham hails from, on Sefton Council for a dozen years.
For all Corbyn’s faults and I suspect there are many he came over as the best available candidate despite Labour’s big guns doing all they could to hole him below the waterline. But the more they attacked him from the right the stronger his support grew from the left.
Of course he is an unlikely Prime Minister but so was Miliband. Will Labour win in 2020? Very, very unlikely but that was always going to be the case no matter who became their Leader. Trouble is Labour’s right wing are seeking to blame Corbyn already for his not winning in 2020 in the hope they can destabelise his leadership sooner rather later.
The big challenge for Labour now though is electoral reform which they have in the many always resisted as it was not in their narrow political interests. Yes, Labour has to embrace PR but that’s a big ask for the old Labour war horses; yet even that old prize fighter John Prescot seems up for it.
We now have a obviously Liberal Lib Dem Party under Tim (a bit of a leftie) Farron as opposed to a party of the middle ground as it had become since Charles Kennedy stepped down as leader. And it seems we have what could turn out to be socialist party in Labour under Corbyn. Yet the Tories remain an odd conundrum. Cameron is firmly a prisoner of the right and UKIP and looks a poor leader these days constantly being blown by the wind. Will the Tories go further right under Osborne or popularist under Boris when Cameron hangs up his hat or is advised to sling his hook?
I have the feeling that Farron and Corbyn may well shape a new way forward for the left but of course we on the left will never agree – we never have – and that’s why the Tories do so well.