These days it seems to me to be the Labour Party left which is acting as the brakeman which prevents the English left moving forward; and not as was often the case in the past the far or Trotskyist left. What ever one may feel about the antics of the SWP and some of the rest of what in the UK is called idiotically the far left. They at least do not go to the working classes and reinforce any illusions working class people might still have in the Labour Government. But this is just what the Labour Party left continue to do when they call for a vote for the labour party come election time, despite knowing full well that since 1997 both the Blair and Brown government have been the bulwark of big business and privatization within local government the NHS and the economy as a whole.
After the invasion and continuos occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, plus the recent research issued by the Sutton Trust and the OECD report in which it was claimed Britain had the lowest socially mobility out of the 12 major industrial nations. It must be increasingly difficult for the comrades who remain within the Labour Party to justify their reasons for doing so. That the Labour left is beginning to run out of steam is highlighted by the fact that almost the only argument they now put forward to encourage workers to vote New Labour, is they will be better off under Labour than a Tory government; and just how pathetic is that, the worst of two evils. Of course it is worse than that because the LP left are actually members of one of those evils.
I am not accusing those leftists who remain in the LP of selling out or consciously betraying the class, as I am well aware these comrades are as dedicated as those of us who work outside the party, simply asking if it is not time they re-considered their position.
If LP leftists still had any illusion that the party could be a vehicle for progressive change, they surly should have had them blighted when Gordon Brown’s first act as Prime Minister was to invite Mrs Thatcher, the architect of much working class misery at home and in Ireland, to be his guest at 10 Downing Street. What Brown was doing here was publicly stating to the multi national hordes that they have nothing to fear from him becoming PM, it would be more of the same.
During Gordon Browns years at the Treasury we have seen a massive expansion of the privatization of public services. Which in many cases will eventually take the provision of societal welfare and health care back to the Victorian days when working class people had to rely on charities to provide their basic needs when sick, homeless and old. I am not over exaggerating this fact for those public services in which there is very little profit to me made, are being turned over to charities like Help the Aged etc.
It is not over egging the pudding to claim that the Blair/Brown Labour Government’s have displayed a hatred for the public sector ethos, private profit is all. It has intentionally done all in its power to undermine the moral of those who work in our public services whilst attempting to buy off the middle class professionals working within it with unsustainable salary hikes, [police] which when they are not repeated will allow the private sector to entice them away from the public sector.
We have already seen this happening within local government and I might add some of the Labour local Council have been amongst the most enthusiastic privatizers and why would they not be as it is Labour Party government Minister’s who are behind this drive. Whether it is the NHS or local authorities there is only one ‘road map’ coming out of central government and it is the patronage of money making above all professional skills. Whether it be a social worker, teacher, nurse, doctor, health care professional, every single task they carry out must be priced and the only reason for this is to make the change over from public to private as smooth and as profitable as possible.
Yet the LP left despite being fully aware of all of the above still cling to the corpse of the LP, the only other argument they put forward beyond ‘less of two evils’ that has a smidgin of truth is that the Trade Unions created the party and whilst the unions remain they will remain. But this is burying ones head in the sand, for few of the more progressive unions remain affiliated to the LP and of those that do there is a massive gap between the TU leaderships and the members they represent, if anyone doubts this I suggest they check out the salaries of the Top TU leaders.
In any case times have changed dramatically since the LP was first formed and the party with them, and it is impossible to over look the fact that some Trade Union bureaucrats have sat on the hands and refused to challenge New Labour’s Neo-conservative economic and political platform, thus they must carry a great deal of responsibility for the demise of the LP as a vehicle of progressive change; and by refusing even to consider whether there is a need for a new Left Party the LP left are allowing these bureaucrats to set their agenda..
If the progressive group around John McDonnell MP were to stealthily set up a committee to look at the viability of a break to the left of labour, then at least it would be a start, but to carry on as if the LP can be reclaimed and once again become a vehicle for progressive politics is nonsensical and is to play Capitals game. The consequences of this strategy will undoubtedly eventually lead to the demise of the parliamentary left as a political player. With the UK following the lead set by the Democrats and Republicans in the USA, in that no matter which party gains power its main priority will be representing the best interest of Capital.