British Labour Party, rightward or leftward?

This April 2013 CNN video from Britain is called Blair on Thatcher: “A towering figure”.

Another video from Britain used to say about itself:

5 September 2011

[Labour MP] Diane Abbott is asked by Andrew Neil which she finds worse, the fact that the previous Labour government kissed Colonel Gaddafi’s backside so much, they even sent people for torture to Libya, or Tony Blair revealed as being a Godfather to the children of [Rupert] Murdoch.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Labour must stop dithering

Friday 2nd January 2015

Veteran Labour MP Dennis Skinner’s inspiring call for Labour to mount an ambitious left-wing campaign for electoral victory rings true.

Too much has been made of war criminal Tony Blair’s supposed wisdom when it comes to winning elections, since he did lead Labour to electoral victory three times.

But Mr Skinner is right to highlight the circumstances of Mr Blair’s victories. The 1997 landslide had more to do with widespread discontent after 18 years of Conservative rule than with the so-called “third way.”

Mr Blair, along with most of the Establishment, points to Labour losses in the 1980s and victory in the 1990s and 2000s as evidence that people will always reject socialism at the ballot box.

But the labour movement in the 1980s was crippled by the treachery of the “gang of four” who deserted Labour to form the Social Democrats, now subsumed into the Liberal Democrats. The SDP-Liberal alliance took 25 per cent of the vote in 1983, just behind Labour and ensuring Margaret Thatcher was returned to office despite being opposed by a majority of the electorate.

Similarly, the idea that Labour won in 1997 because of Blair’s lurch to the right does not stand up to scrutiny. Labour’s manifesto was more left-wing than new Labour dinosaurs care to remember — the party was committed to establishing a minimum wage, devolving power to Scotland and Wales and reintroducing free entry to national museums, for example.

It also pledged to renationalise the railways and not to introduce tuition fees for university students. The fact that in power those promises were broken does not detract from the fact that they attracted votes in 1997.

In any case the context of this year’s election is dramatically different from that of the late 1990s. The 2008 economic crash illustrated the bankruptcy of neoliberal economics and the fallacy of Gordon Brown’s infamous “no more boom and bust” rhetoric.

On issue after issue the public are miles to the left of the main parliamentary parties. Huge majorities support taking the railways and energy companies back into public ownership.

Polls show most British people are opposed to maintaining our colossally expensive and morally indefensible nuclear weapons, are hostile to the Establishment’s endless thirst for foreign wars and want real action to meet the threat of climate chaos.

The Conservatives’ “all in it together” mantra is the subject of public ridicule and most of us are in favour of higher taxes on the rich and clamping down on the crazy casino capitalism of the big banks.

All this means Labour should be poised to take Downing Street in a walk next May. The only reason it is not is confusion as to what the party stands for.

Dispiriting nonsense from Ed Balls about sticking to Tory spending plans, a failure to be honest with the electorate about the anti-democratic Transatlantic Trade and Investment Pact, a tendency to ape Tory “scrounger” rhetoric about disabled people and a foreign policy which on key international issues such as the far-right takeover of Ukraine remains indistinguishable from that of the coalition, sap the life out of Labour’s vision.

By contrast, when Ed Miliband has been bold — taking on Rupert Murdoch during the phone-hacking scandal, pledging to freeze energy bills, preventing a disastrous war on Syria in which our allies would have been the butchers of Isis — Labour’s support has soared.

Mr Skinner is spot on when he links Labour’s historic 1945 victory with the audacity of its programme. And this is from a man who knows what he’s talking about — having been returned for the Bolsover constituency on 11 successive occasions.

Mr Miliband, take note. There is very little time left.

Labour faced stinging claims yesterday that shadow chancellor Ed Balls’s commitment to cuts makes the Conservatives the party’s most natural coalition partner. Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards accused Labour of planning to spend less than Thatcher in government, leaving Britain’s biggest parties hard to tell apart: here.

Peter Hain will make an impassioned plea today for Labour to break with Blairism and return to its historical socialist mission if the party wins power in May: here.

FORMER Labour Party leader Lord Kinnock urged a renewed fight against the ideologies of new Labour and Thatcherism at a packed gathering in Westminster on Monday night. Lord Kinnock warmly endorsed the new anti-austerity book produced by Blair-era cabinet minister Peter Hain: here.

LABOUR MP David Lammy has attacked a party flier laying out tough anti-immigration polices for trying to “out-kip Ukip.” The offending flier, entitled “Labour’s tough new approach to immigration,” accused the Tories of having “lost control of our borders and have no idea who is coming in or out of the country”: here.

BLAIRITE “bygones” who have spent weeks stabbing Ed Miliband in the back will be told today: End your shameful attacks and join Labour’s fight to turf out the Tories. Writing in the Morning Star, Labour MP Ian Lavery confronts the right-wing critics for “actively trying to derail any chance of a Labour government in May”: here.

LABOUR rightwingers faced mounting pressure last night to reject donations from PricewaterhouseCoopers, after MPs exposed the financial firm’s role helping Britain’s biggest tax dodgers: here.

12 thoughts on “British Labour Party, rightward or leftward?

  1. As this article explains, as example The Gang of Four, how can a elected candidate change the policies he or she is voted in for? simple, to get some oil to move it along will almost in this day and age be enough to what ever morals the individual has will be suspended for expedience, of the bank account becoming greener, this is in part that morality is in the main a secondary consideration to money, this is because low income people are the group that is a group to be feared even by association, in my family less than 100 years ago, were lower class and within two generations one member became educated at Oxford, this member never associate with the part of the family that is regarded as under educated form the stand point of Oxford, what the reader has to remember is that you are not just educated in the subject you are being educated in, you are becoming a snob or put another way you become up your self, to return to The Gang of Four, these people will forsake integrity for money slipped in to their account on the side if they will come over, this money is the useful for educating their kids and in time corruption and ones part in debauchery will all be laundered and time will heal all wounds, is it surprising that corruption on a global scale is now world wide, I would say the planet is now safely run by those who are criminals and now if you mention truth, the word now sounds pretty old fashioned.


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