Blairism ruined Labour in Scotland, will it in England and Wales?

Tony Blair's lying 'dodgy dossier' on the Iraq war, cartoon by Steve Bell

By Luke James in Britain:

‘Follow Blair and Scottish wipeout will be repeated’

Monday 11th May 2015

Leeds MP spells out dangers of a return to New Labour for other ‘heartlands’

LABOUR’S wipeout in Scotland could be repeated in other heartlands if the party lurches back to Blairism, Leeds East MP Richard Burgon warns today.

Writing in the Star four days after his election, Mr Burgon appeals for members to ignore the “siren voices that have led Labour on to the rocks in Scotland.”

“Make no mistake, the loss of 40 of Labour’s 41 MPs in Scotland was a long-term ‘achievement’ of New Labour,” he argues.

“Heeding the advice of those who say the Labour Party must return to New Labour threatens to do to other Labour ‘heartlands’ what more than 20 years of New Labour has done to previous Labour strongholds in Scotland.”

His call comes as leading rightwingers, including Tony Blair, have demanded a return to New Labour in the wake of Thursday’s election loss.

“The route to the summit lies through the centre ground,” Mr Blair wrote in an article for the Observer.

Labour has to be for ambition and aspiration as well as compassion and care.”

New Labour chief strategist Peter Mandelson went further, by accusing Ed Miliband of making the “terrible mistake” of taking Labour to the left.

“The reason we lost it, and lost it so badly, was because in 2010 we discarded New Labour,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show.

And Mr Mandelson said the next leader should clear the way for a return to New Labour policies by curbing the influence of trade unions.

He said: “I am not happy with a Labour Party so clearly dependent on people who pay the piper and then in many cases can call the tune. That’s not a good look, that’s not right for a Labour Party appealing for votes in the 21st century.”

Asked if Labour should sever its union link, he added: “It’s undoubtedly unhealthy for us to be so dependent on trade union funding.”

Hitting back, GMB general secretary Paul Kenny said Mr Mandelson “needs to go back to his deckchair in the garden.”

He said: “The world has moved on. Trade union funding is transparent, it’s real, it’s pored over with a microscope. I hope we don’t go back to the days when Labour courted millionaires for peerages.”

GMB leader Paul Kenny blasted Blairite “nostalgia” for New Labour yesterday as he urged leadership candidates not to take the party back two decades. Mr Kenny, chair of the Unions Together group that represents Labour’s 14 affiliates, said Labour returning to the politics of a “bygone age” would not help it win the 2020 election: here.

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