Sunday, 27 December 2015

The world turned upside down-reprise!

Another year approaching and another feeding frenzy.Without doubt the next few months will be concerned about only two things,the bloody EU Referendum and the feverish plotting in the Parliamentary Labour Party to get rid of the leader elected with the biggest popular mandate in British political history.
What does that tell us about the state of the political realm at the moment.
First the EU referendum, I'm totally bored by it already,it would appear to be already decided anyway and even if it isn't it doesn't much matter anyway.
In or out,the multi-nationals will win, Cameron will come back waving a bit of paper and proclaiming 'peace in our time'-sorry, 'Victory is ours' and that bloke who looks like a frog and didn't win Thanet last may will jump up and down a bit,then go on drawing his fat cat salary in the European parliament.
I actually hope we all forget about the whole thing,and the turnout is lower than the one that got Police and Crime Commissioners elected (Remember them ? about 60k a year for doing bugger all squared!
Now the other issue is the continued harrying of Jeremy Corbyn by the assorted disloyal deadbeats that make up about one third of the Parliamentary Labour Party or to put it simpler about 00000.1% of the Party membership.
Mind you there is a vigorous rear guard action going on to resuscitate the memory of T.Blair. 
In last Sunday's Observer there was a two page spread rehabilitating the man who almost destroyed the Labour Party,who lost thousands of members,who saw local parties contract,ward organisation disappear and affiliated membership collapse.
The piece was written by one Peter Hyman who strangely enough was TB's chief speech-writer (did he I wonder write that immortal almost line 'I'm just a straight sort of guy' or some such tosh) 
Hyman's big argument was that:
"This is an existential moment in Labour's history.It may not survive.And it may never win again."
In order to demonstrate the dreadfulness of Labour's future he outlined the success of new Labour's past.He gave three examples.
1.The National Minimum Wage 
2.The Good Friday Peace settlement
3.Civil Partnerships.  
Now I'm willing to give a cheer for the national minimum wage (shows how fair minded I am) but of course a national living wage might have been more sensible.
And of course the Northern Ireland peace accord was a good bit of work, but I seem to remember it was the bravery and stubbornness of the late Mo Mowlam who had more to do with facing out paisley than ever Blair did.
Civil Partnerships were also a good thing-but changing the course of history ? naw I don't think so.
Hyman also went on to extol the great achievements in Education, health and local government. Well if saddling schools with more ways to weight a pig was an achievement, if dumping on the NHS dozens of costly PFI schemes and introducing cabinet government to creaking local authorities can all be measured as achievements-I suppose Hyman has a point-of sorts.
But on the biggest landmark and abiding feature of the Blair presidency we had this;

"The Iraq war,and the knock-on effect on the region,has for many tarnished the entire record ofv the Labour government."
Tarnished the fucking record-no it trashed the record for all time and virtually destroyed the party as a left of centre force.Even the bloody Lib-Dems had more sense and voted against the invasion of Iraq.
If those clones of Blairism think that there is an appetite for more wars,more weaponry,more aggression then they are as dim as Donald Trump on a clear day.Has no-one on the Blairite wing noticed what happened in Scotland ? One Labour MP left in Scotland.
And they expect Jeremy Corbyn to work a miracle there this year!If you want to know what went wrong in Scotland how about two wee names-Dougie Alexander and Jim Murphy is all that you need to know.
So far this has been a pessimistic piece and I don't mean it to be.At last I believe there is hope emerging within the Labour Party, as there is all over Europe.The old machine politics will take a long time dying, just look at the PLP if you want to see its death throes, but there is something quite exciting happening and contrary to the commentators it is not going back in time.There is an optimism ,but it needs nurturing and building.
What the labour Party needs to go back to is what it was once good at,building support in communities,street by street and in workplaces (where they exist) and it needs to do it not with the dinosaurs of New Labour but rather with the young,inside and outside the party.What we need is not a party but a movement that embraces those in existing parties like the Greens,SNP,Plaid and SF, but also in the broader groups fighting austerity and inequality, fighting for tolerance and for a socialist island.
I believe Momentum needs momentum to move forward,with activists from all over the left,because we have one hell of a war to fight,not simply with the numpties of Blairism but with the awful spectre of the far right, that is rising in many guises,from the crackpot little Englanders of UKIP to dar more sinisterforces of the far right.
It's time for a Very New Labour Party. 

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