‘New’ Labour and Polly Toynbee in Britain

This video from Britain says about itself:

15 February 2003: The day the world said no to war

15 February 2012

15 February 2003 was the biggest protest in human history. In Britain there were two million on London’s streets. In Rome there were even more. Tens of millions of people in over 800 cities across the world said Not in My Name. We didn’t stop the war in Iraq but the protest that day has shaped the politics of a whole generation. Now a feature length film titled We Are Many is being made by Amir Amirani which will document a momentous day. This is the inspiring trailer for the film, which captures the spirit of that day – a spirit which has been shown time and again since, not least by the Arab Spring uprisings.

Polly Toynbee is a columnist of British daily The Guardian. She has a record of supporting Labour party leaders, also after Tony Blair and his successor Gordon Brown brought policies further and further toward the Thatcherite Right, with privatisations, growing social inequality, cash for honours scandal, BAE corruption scandal, war in Yugoslavia, war in Afghanistan, war in Iraq, support for war in the Caucasus, maybe another oil war in Nigeria, etc. etc.

All this drove half of the Labour party membership and even very loyal Labour voters away, making Labour the fifth party of Britain in at least one by-election.

Today, even Polly Toynbee seems to have had enough:

The smell of death around this government is so overpowering it seems to have anaesthetised them all. One bungle follows another and yet those about to die sit silently by. …

The imaginary Blair/Brown ideological distinction has now been exposed as the sham it always was. Brown used to let it be known he opposed university fees, war, ID cards, Trident, foundation hospitals and a host of other things he now supports.

However, before the 2005 election, Ms Toynbee wrote, advising her readers to vote Labour, though admitting that the Iraq war had made Blair unpopular:

So forget retribution [for the Iraq war] and look to the future: vote Blair, get Brown. Gordon Brown is all but certain to succeed and looks set to become this election’s saviour. This architect of Labour’s prudence has the aura of authenticity.

To a large extent, as Polly Toynbee writes now, the Blair/Brown distinction has indeed “always” been a”sham”. However, Ms Toynbee did not see that in 2005.

Labour was embroiled in a fresh row over donations last night after it was forced to pay back £15,000 to a children’s charity which illegally donated cash to the party.

British top bosses widen gap with workers: here.

6 thoughts on “‘New’ Labour and Polly Toynbee in Britain

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