Monday, 14 October 2013

Blairites by any other name.

Ed Miliband's latesr shadow cabinet reshuffle  has been called "The  purge of the Blarites"  or a lurch to the left.

But the reality seems th be quite different as tjhe two major newcomers hardly look like they would have been quite comfortable sitting in Tony Blair's cabinet.

  New shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves announced that Labour would be “tougher than the Tories” on benefits

Reeves has been defending  firstly, defending Labour’s compulsory jobs guarantee, and secondly, for supporting the £26,000 a year welfare cap provided it takes regional variations into account.

As a commentator (insolito) on Left Foot Forward points out in response to those defending Reeves jumping on the cuts train. who appear to be arguing she is responding to the polls this is no argument.

I produce some of insolto comment here because I couldn't put it better myself .
There's a very simple conclusion to be drawn from this article, and indeed, from the stance of the modern Labour Party: Labour has forgotten what it means to be a political party.Of course 73 per cent of people are in favour of benefit cuts - because the entire argument for at least the last five years has been 'we have no money, yet we're making payouts to scroungers'. And Labour's response? First to have no real response and now to say they agree with public opinion.But Labour's job is not to agree with public opinion. It's to shape it. That's what the Tories have done, which is why 73 per cent of people support benefit cuts and yet 68 per cent of the population knows little or nothing about benefits and how cuts will be delivered. The Tories have told them we must cut benefits, and that people on benefits are a) lazy and b)thieves, so they support benefit cuts.In 'accepting public opinion' as this article praises them for, Labour is in fact admitting that it believes in Tory ideas and ideals. That it has not only been defeated in the argument, it has not even had an argument (and just blankly stating we oppose benefit cuts is not an argument - it's not even really stating a basic position - it's just a negative response without reason or alternative). It is admitting that it exists solely to be elected: it has no ideas, no beliefs, no political standpoint from which to deliver a better state for us all. Labour is admitting that because something is popular, it will do it, even though the whole point of a political party is to develop ideas, and to persuade the people to come with you on those ideas.

At the same time Reeves looked to the polls to continue thge attack on those on welfare new shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt t said Labour would back a version of education secretary Michael Gove’s flagship free schools programme.

Are we entering into a period when the two major parties resemble the USA when the distinquishment between left and right depends on the Republicans calling the Democrats socialist for wanting to implement modest health welfare reforms.

In the late 80's. a Irish friend lamented on the fact with then Progressive Democrats ,Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. Ireland was the only European country with three conservative parties.

Alas it did not take long for the UK to follow suit.

Tony Blair sold his party lock,stock and barrel to the rich and powerful in exchange for their support and Gordon Brown de relegated the banks to the extent that it contributed to the financial crisis we are now in.

We mow have three major parties in Westminster who are virtually indistinguishable ..

So what of the Left in Wales?

Carry on supporting Welsh Labour because it makes the right noise of "Clear Red Water" between Wales and Westminster even though the Assembly has no real powers to make any major difference.

Or to look to break away from Westminster and the right wing dominance of the three major parties and seek Welsh solutions, through an Independent Wales  which reflect "Our Values" and our vision.

To continue supporting Labour because they are not the Tories is not the answer.

No comments: