Blairite Miliband’s Murdoch press attack on British Labour

This video from Britain says about itself:

New evidence of UK complicity in Libya torture

8 February 2013

Exclusive: what was the role of MI6 and Tony Blair’s government in the kidnap of Abdul-Hakim Belhaj from Malaysia in March 2004, which delivered him into the hands of Colonel Gaddafi’s torturers? …

For 10 years British politicians like Jack Straw, Gordon Brown and David Miliband have flatly denied that the British state was complicit in torture during the war on terror. But new evidence in Mr Belhaj’s case appears to strongly challenge those claims.

By Keith Flett in Britain:

The other Miliband obfuscates for Murdoch

Monday 27th February 2017

KEITH FLETT takes David Miliband to school after he claimed in the Murdoch press that Labour is miles from winning power

DAVID MILIBAND, who lost out to his brother Ed Miliband for the Labour leadership in 2010 and subsequently departed for a role in New York as the president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, has given a wide-ranging interview to Rupert Murdoch’s Times newspaper.

The Times predictably chose to run it in the wake of Labour’s low poll performance in the Copeland and Stoke-on-Trent Central by-elections.

Former MP for South Shields and foreign secretary in the 2005-2010 Labour government, Miliband is often touted by the right-wing media as a future Labour leader over the water.

Miliband does not actually attack Jeremy Corbyn in the interview, confining himself to the more potentially interesting point that he believes a more radical outcome can be achieved in different ways to current Labour policy.

He doesn’t make it clear whether this is just a retread of New Labour thinking or something else.

It is his comment that Labour is “further from power than any time in [his] life” that has particularly been seized upon, primarily by Corbyn’s opponents. As with his views on current Labour policy, it is not entirely clear what Miliband means.

Fifty-one years ago, Harold Wilson was Britain’s prime minister in the 1964-70 Labour government. One could argue that Miliband, who was born in 1965, has in mind the period before Labour was elected in 1964 with a very small majority.

Labour had lost the 1959 general election which, after the Suez debacle in 1956 and Anthony Eden’s sudden departure as Tory leader, the party had some hopes of winning.

Under the new Tory leadership of Harold Macmillan, with the economy booming after years of post-war austerity, Labour, to some, appeared out of touch with the beginnings of the “consumer society.”

After the 1959 election, a wellknown study of Labour’s support and policies was undertaken and published in 1960 under the title Must Labour Lose?

The conclusions will be familiar enough to anyone active on the left now because they are essentially the same ones that the Labour right still use to attack the left, namely that talk of public ownership must end and “free” market capitalism be embraced.

This was very much in line with the politics of the then Labour leader Hugh Gaitskell but after his sudden death Harold Wilson took over.

Wilson came from the centre-left and with his speech-writer and spin doctor, Tony Benn, had a rather different take on matters.

Wilson’s perspective on modernisation involved a technocratic future, which the Tories, under old Etonian leader Alec Douglas-Home, were certainly not in tune with.

In the interview, Miliband also compares Labour’s position now unfavourably to the 1980s when it was last out of office for an extended period.

He correctly notes the changes in Scottish politics but also argues that Labour’s core support is now weaker.

In this he is probably right. The Iraq war led to the desertion of many voters and support for both major parties has been in decline for decades. Labour and the Tories took just 67.3 per cent of the vote between them in 2015.

In 1964 the comparable figure was 87.5 per cent. Yet it was also in the 1980s, with the struggles of the miners and printers, that the left rebuilt itself after the defeat to Margaret Thatcher in 1979.

As Henry Mayhew’s Victorian London costermonger noted of an earlier period of left-wing defeat: “People fancy that when all’s quiet that all’s stagnating. Propagandism is going on for all that. It’s when all’s quiet that the seed’s a growing. Republicans and Socialists are pressing their doctrines.”

Maybe that’s not David Miliband’s idea of how to rebuild the left but it may well be Jeremy Corbyn’s.

4 thoughts on “Blairite Miliband’s Murdoch press attack on British Labour

  1. Pingback: British media anti-left Labour witchhunt | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Tony Blair wants British Conservative election victory | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Tony Blair, enemy of democracy | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: British Blairite-Murdoch anti-Labour coup plot | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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