Saturday, 23 May 2015

What's left for the Labour Party?

We went  to the civic reception on Thursday to celebrate the election of the new Mayor.I(t was a decorous affair with the Tory Councillors quietly on their best behaviour and the Labour Councillor,well quiet.
In the press they are boasting that they will hold the Tories to account, and they have announced a shadow cabinet that will 'hold the Tories to account'
Given the fact that decisions taken at cabinet are not open for discussion with the opposition and are presented to full council as decisions already taken, the best the opposition-shadow cabinet member or humble backbencher can do is to question the report.
To appoint a 'shadow cabinet' largely of first time councillors is as futile a gesture as you can make, they've had there five minutes of fame by making thr announcement.The future is quiet obscurity for five years.
But then the Labour party locally and nationally are all about playing the games by the rules that exist-for Christ's sake there was more conflict in Cromwell's parliament than ever there is now.
it's easy to see how the Parliamentary Labour Party can fall into the torpor of being part of the establishment.
The bunch of young SNP members have clearly annoyed the Labour Party,that pompous arse Gerald kaufman called them 'goons' because they did such naughty things as took photographs in the chamber,clapped and made mockery of the 'oath of allegiance
For fuck's sake!
Simon Burns, another pompous arse lectured the SNP members on how to behave in the chamber, and told them not to clap but to say 'hear,hear' or 'rubbish'.
He was horrified when they clapped him
i suppose the most disappointing aspect of that whole charade was the behaviour of Dennis Skinner.Once a powerful voice on the left now reduced to a 'national treasure' a tame parliamentarian prouder of the traditions of the House than his radical past.
There was a time when Skinner would have welcomed the young anti-austerity Scots to join him on the front bench and strengthen the voices against the establishment,against the policies of austerity,against the growing inequalities and against the slimy racialism that is seeming to pervade the political discourse.
But the old 'Beast of Bolsover' is more concerned about where he plants his arse than his principles!
And that sort of sums up the Labour Party May 2015.
The choice for leader seems to be between Andy Burnham,a former minister,Yvette Cooper another former minister and Liz Kendall,another former minister and a reincarnation of all that was wrong with the Labour Party.She is a supporter of Free Schools, defence spending,helping big business and kicking the unions.Peter Mandelson in high heels!
Of the whole sorry parade of potential leaders the only one I have any time for is Tom Watson who is running for the Deputy leadership.
But we all know what is going to happen, Burnham will win and in an effort to 'balance the ticket' some snivelling Blairite will emerge as the deputy.
Business as usual in the people's party.
Yet there is an opportunity for the first time in my lifetime for a real progressive alliance to be built inside and outside parliament to mobilise in the way that the SNP did in Scotland,to create a progressive agenda that could bring about real change.
Just think of a bloc in Westminster the SNP,Plaid,the Green party,and whar socialists are left in the Labour Party.Why it might even attract some real left leaning Liberals( I know that is unlikely given they are utterly useless,clones of Lord Adonis0 and outside parliament the trade union movement that is getting more than a little fed up,the extra parliamentary groups,Left Unity (that hopeful grouping inspired by Ken Loach's film 'Spirit of 45') and others willing to bury sectarian differences.
Remember Shelley's line:
"Rise like lions,fresh from slumber
in unvanquishable number,
We are many, they are few"
The world does not belong to the aspirational middle class-it's still ours!   

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