Cable – has he hit the right notes here? What future is there for the center-left in UK politics?

The Guardian has a comment piece by Vince Cable on its web site – see link below

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/12/wealth-inequality-liberal-democrats-economic-reform

The left of British politics has struggled in recent times to put forward a credible alternative to the popularist right wing policies of the Tories/DUP/UKIP and this despite this same right wing cabal trying to drive through a Brexit which will hurt us all, make the poor poorer and lead to job losses and reduce investment in the UK. You would think this nightmare scenario would galvanise the left into action but sadly that has not happened.

Socialism and an economy based on private capital being invested in it never mix well

Yes Corbyn has his social policy agenda which could look good to voters at face value, but of course he is also wedded to the the right wing policy of Brexit! He’s in that rather bizarre political fix because many of his so called ‘working class’ supporters voted for a Brexit that will sadly shoot us all in the foot (but the poor more so) if it is followed through. So Labour is not presently credible because its policies of the left will be knocked out by Brexit. What’s more socialism and an economy based on private capital being invested in it never mix well. On that basis Corbyn’s lot would probably be a very unhappy one if he was given the opportunity to implement his policies. Indeed, he would be unlikely to be able to deliver his agenda other than in the very short term because economic trouble would surely be stalking him.

Influence the thinking of those across the left

So how do the ideas of Vince Cable stack up? Well he’s leading a party with a low support base so being able to implement his agenda looks to be a significant challenge. I suppose his best bet is to try to influence the thinking of those across the left, but not of the hard left of course. His agenda seems liberal, progressive and even radical. I particularly like his ideas to try to tackle the area of land value as it is of course the basis of the huge imbalance in wealth in the UK.

Back to the days of fascism?

British politics has been turned on its head since the 2016 Brexit vote. The Tories are all but UKIP under a Conservative flag these days and worryingly they have people amongst their leading lights who hark back to the days of fascism. Bluntly a political party with only around 100,000 members, many of them of the elderly, rich and far right are running this country into the ground because they will benefit from such a move. Brexit is the vehicle to achieve their aims and the left has not found a way to combat them because there’s no one of stature (with widespread credibility) on the left to lead that charge.

Breadth of support across the political spectrum

It’s as though our two major UK political parties have both gone into crisis at the same time and this really has not happened before. Labour under say David Miliband would be widely credible, Labour under Corbyn is hugely popular with a section of the British public but it does not in my view have the breadth of support across the political spectrum as Blair did to carry the day it seems.

Realignment of the left

Now don’t get me wrong Blair made some huge mistakes. Iraq obviously and trying to bring private companies into the NHS come to mind as examples but there was a much softer issue of huge importance which he let slip. It slipped ironically because of the huge majority he was given by our rather warped electoral system. That result made him think that realignment of the left need not be pursued further. His talks with Ashdown came to nothing because he thought he did not need to pursue them any more and his party was far from keen on those talks too. That was a huge error of judgement and an easy way out in my view and it probably started the decline (although no one realised it at the time other than a few enlightened folk) into the mess we presently find ourselves in.

The super rich will indeed become more wealthy at the expense of the rest of us

I have deliberately written this posting in a reasonably even handed way as I am convinced that progressives across all the parties of the center and left (although this would almost certainly have to preclude the hard left) need to find a reasonable common agenda which they can coalesce around. This needs to be done to face down the the rich and presently all too powerful right wing. If the left fails the right will reduce workers rights, environmental protections, food standards etc. on the back of Brexit and the minority of the super rich will indeed become more wealthy at the expense of the rest of us.

Put tribal politics to one side?

So having gone though these sobering issues is Cable on the right track? Will anyone be listening to his ideas to re-balance our fractured society? Or will the center and left continue to beat itself up whilst letting the need for great reform in the UK flounder on the back of Brexit? My view is that Cable is putting a credible progressive plan out there which others could work around and build upon if they could just put tribal politics to one side.

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting.

Labour and its pro-Brexit (Tory opposing/supporting) stance

www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/dec/27/labour-voters-could-abandon-party-over-brexit-stance-poll-finds

The Guardian has the story on its web site – see link above

Frankly I’m not surprised by this poll, Labour’s positioning on this most crucial of matters is not one that a supposedly progressive party should be taking and their more enlightened supporters know it.

I know many decent Labour Party members who are keeping their heads down hoping that JC/Momentum will come to their senses on stop backing Teresa May’s mad Brexit.

I also appreciate that within the Labour Party loyalty to the party is absolute so that’s why few will challenge the ruling JC/Momentum sect’s view of things in public. But surely something has to give within Labour as Brexit will destroy the prospects of the very young people that Momentum is harvesting as its core supporters.

This quote from the article is illuminating:- ‘The poll also found many Labour voters have opposing perceptions about the party’s current stance on Brexit. It found 32% of Labour remain voters believe Labour is “completely against Brexit” and a further 31% of Labour leave voters believe Labour is “completely in favour of Brexit”.

This can only surely be explained away by the fact that Labour attacks the Government over Brexit by word but backs it by deed in House of Commons votes.

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Brexit – That self-destructive objective that’s so not British

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/may/05/theresa-may-brexit-britain-uk-europe-liberal

The Guardian has the commentary on its web site – see link above.

We live in very strange times and are acting as a nation in ways the majority of us could surely never have envisioned and which are so obviously self-destructive.

A government of the far right, our leading opposition party following them into the Brexit voting lobbies, who would have thought it possible but it is happening.

I heard of a voter yesterday via the radio who was saying that they had no political home now as they wanted the Brexit of the Tories but the social policy of Jeremy Corbyn. Well yes that is odd except of course Jeremy’s MP’s (with a few notable exceptions) voted with the Tories over Brexit! But it was as though the consequences of Brexit were completely lost on that voter because Brexit is going to cost us so much economically that the social policies of Jeremy, like them or not/support them or not, will be unaffordable.

The more I see of Brexit the more I realise that the supporters of it really don’t know or in some cases even care what the consequences of it are. The rich and powerful who are manipulating these Brexiters know only too well though, as it is they who will benefit and its the poor, powerless and ordinary folk who will end up paying the price.

And what are we doing whipping up distrust and even hatred of our European neighbours, what good can possibly come from that except of course making the electorate fearful will get them to march behind our Bluekip Government and their lapdog main opposition party.

‘I fear Theresa May is negotiating us all towards Brexit disaster’ says Keir Starmer of Labour – well yes of course but it wouldn’t half help if Labour stopped voting for Brexit!

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Brexit – Lib Dems attacked by the dithering party

www.theguardian.com/law/2017/jan/20/keir-starmer-lib-dem-tim-farron-fanning-flames-of-division-over-brexit

The Guardian has the story on its web site – see link above

This is an interesting intervention on a number of levels but it actually helps to expose the weakness that Labour is presently suffering from.

Firstly, whilst Keir Starmer is attacking Tim Farron Labour is actually leaking party members to the Lib Dems. Secondly, Labour is all over the place with regard to Brexit, having adopted more positions than the Kamasutra since the EU Referendum. Thirdly, Labour is in a difficult bind in that many of their MP’s represent areas that voted to leave the EU, although that may well have been caused by the lack luster campaigning of the party before the referendum. Who can recall any prominent Labour politicians really and passionately backing Remain other than Gordon Brown?

But probably more than anything this attack pulls together what would once have looked like a highly unlikely alliance of UKIP, Tony and Labour as the joint political force backing leaving the EU. Contrast this with the SNP in Scotland and the Lib Dems across the UK backing Remain.

The best that Labour seem to be able to muster is that it will hold the Tory Government to account over the way we leave the EU. So by implication Labour are in effect abandoning the 48% who voted to remain in the EU.

Interesting times indeed.

Labour privatisation in Haringey

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/19/lives-torn-apart-assets-labour-privatisation-north-london-haringey

The Guardian has the story on its web site – see link above

Seems that Labour still has a significant Blairite following despite Corbyn’s socialist agenda. But what is this all about as it looks to me like mass privatisation and by a Labour-run council too!

Quote from the article – ‘Lives torn apart and assets lost: this is what a Labour privatisation would mean’

‘Moderate’ Tim takes the gloves off as Jeremy goes UKIP-lite!

I am the first one to say that I think Tim Farron over eggs his ‘moderate’ approach to things and I seriously wish he would drop that word from his speeches. But hey there’s nothing moderate about this response to JC!

Tim Farron responds to Corbyn speech
By Greg Foster on January 10, 2017

Tim Farron, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, has responded to Jeremy Corbyn’s speech on Brexit.

Tim Farron said: “This confirms what we all suspected, that Jeremy Corbyn never had his heart in fighting to protect Britain’s place in Europe.

“He failed to pull a shift to keep us in the EU before the referendum and now he is helping Theresa May, Liam Fox and Boris Johnson yank us out of the single market.

“He called for Article 50 to be invoked the day after the referendum and is now egging ministers on towards a Hard Brexit.

“He is giving a speech signing up to the Vote Leave £350 million myth, he might as well go the whole hog and borrow their bus. I imagine it still has the lie slapped on the side of it.

“On immigration, we are still no clearer about Labour’s position than when Jeremy Corbyn’s deputy admitted Labour is hopelessly split. Jeremy Corbyn has ceased to be Leader of the Opposition to become cheerleader in chief for the Conservative Brexit government.”

And in case Tim’s comments are thought to be a little over the top the Guardian ran an article only 6 weeks ago on 26 Nov 2016 which said – ‘Labour will not win a general election if it lurches to the right to become “Ukip-lite”, Diane Abbott has said.’