October 9, 2020 at 10:18 am #195563NorthumbironParticipantOffline
Registered On: January 3, 2014
Fansy (-99%) used the term “Blue Labour” on another thread recently, and I kinda get what he means.
Is the party heading towards the centre right again as it did under Blair? I too have my doubts over Starmer. I had doubts about Corbyn too but at least he kept Labour firmly on the left.
The question is will we ever see a return to a Red Labour? Or will the party go through murky shades of purple to end up on the blue side of the spectrum?
Surely now more than ever the country is crying out for social reform. Johnson himself has been forced into socialist measures with his furlough scheme and now the £1/2/3 per person subsidies in lockdown areas and help for businesses.
Or is it a case of if you can’t beat them, join them?October 9, 2020 at 11:55 am #195568
I don’t think it’s a case of ‘if you can’t beat them join them’ but if you want to see those social reforms you mention you ain’t gonna see em under the Party Corbyn was leading, regardless of the reasons, which are manifest. So, if you do want those reforms you’re gonna have to accept the Party shifts to the right somewhat to have any hope whatsoever of getting rid of the Tories. Or you don’t. You dig your heels in like 99% and all the other Corbynites and watch people suffer more than they ever would do under a Starmer led government. It really is that simple. Having said that, Labour has an extremely small chance of gaining more seats than the Tories for a very long time. Given the Scotland situation we’re going to have to win back those red wall lot and some traditional Tory voters before that happens. Hence the Party listening to those lot and appeasing them just to have a fighting chance of governing in the future. I’m too old and long in the tooth to be caring about the theoretical rhetoric armchair socialists, who are ‘quite comfortable themselves thank you very much’ spout while all the while ignoring people who have turned against them and those they need to win over. If you are unable to empathise, listen and take on board other opinions then you’re doomed. It’s a losing battle. But hey, hypothetically speaking, you won’t be destitute will you?October 9, 2020 at 11:57 am #195569
Blue Labour has a specific meaning, and it most certainly isn’t what Starmer is advocating. In fact Blue Labour isn’t even ‘Blairite’ and were often critical of Blair and Brown for being to ad hoc to the state and market. Blue Labour commonly argues for ‘guild socialism’ with corporatism and are not particularly keen on what they see as neoliberalism. It is true that Blue Labour have a more socially conservative aspect with regards to things like immigration and are not keen on a welfare state. However, this doesn’t make anyone not in favour with Corbyn Blue Labour.
It certainly doesn’t make Starmer Blue Labour. This is the problem when one wing of the party presents themselves as ideologically pure and demeans any opposition as Blairite. Labour has always been a broad church and those who are more moderate than the kooks who pal around with Cuba and claim themselves as true socialists have ideological differences too. It’s too crude to label Starmer or anyone not fully in tune with Corbyn as some Blair reenactment.
Starmer hasn’t even made a manifesto yet. He has committed to keeping what he sees as a mostly good 2017 manifesto, which would make him more left than Ed Miliband, who most Corbynites don’t dismiss as some Blairite centrist. So I don’t see why this would make Starmer such, except for those who have an axe to grind because there has been opposition to their ideologically pure candidate. Opposition which was not really partaken in by Starmer at the time. but not being a devotee makes him the enemy to those who want to relive old lost battles.
I always think it really dismissive to label more moderate Labour gradualist reform as shades of purple. The actions of the last Labour government did far more than any other Tory government for welfare and the people. Minimum wage, human rights and tax credits for workers was far more beneficial for the people than anything the Tories have ever done. Yet the same socialists who dismiss this as no better than Tory will berate the Tories for destroying these aspects, which I just find ridiculous. You can’t demean a government for being no better than Tory and then just claim to be the defenders of its good aspects without acknowledging where they came from.
Sure, there were less savoury aspects of the last Labour government. There were aspects which heralded to conservative impulse. Law and order springs to mind here, and there is reason for argument against playing to the crowd when it goes against any kind of socially democratic principle. However, I would like a bit more nuance in the debate on what Labour values are and what is permissible than Blairites bad and did nothing to get support, while the hard left are pure and what Labour is really about.
Heck, there is even an argument that Corbyn and his crowd don’t fully represent ‘true Labour.’ Clem Attlee, widely and I think rightfully regarded as Labour’s best ever PM, came to Labour leader from ousting George Lansbury. A pitiful and pious character driven by his own misguided beliefs of pacifism and what he saw as social justice. He spent the 30s decrying warmongering against Germany and believing Hitler wanted peace, so much that he attended a meeting with Hitler alongside Oswald Mosely and genuinely believed Hitler’s claims that he wanted peace during this meeting and saw any negative reaction by Hitler as a reaction to British warmongering. This is somewhat reminiscent of how Corbyn, and many of his stalwart defenders, will take any position in favour of a hostile nation to the UK/USA/west and dismiss bad actions as a result of western provocation, and set themselves as the opponents of this, no matter how well meaning (I know that some aren’t well meaning). Attlee and Bevan successfully convinced the party and unions to usurp Lansbury after bringing in German union men to show how the situation was there for them and to let them know what was at stake for unions if Hitler had got his way. They didn’t go down this tunnel visioned outlook of only opposing the British state, even though they wouldn’t have been fond of Chamberlain’s government.
Alongside this, as PM, Attlee fully supported NATO, the Korean War and set the course for Trident. All from a Labour ticket, so to set Corbyn’s actions on this as the only possible Labour view is false in my opinion. Labour has always been a broad church for socially democratic views to mingle, and has not been about being a ticket for a more revolutionary socialism and everything else be damned. There are parties for that for those who want to join; these being the SWP and CPGB. I just want a return to the norm where to be Labour means to be socially democratic in some sense and claims to be true Labour go away, and only those who besmirch its name through racism, apologia for hostile forces and outright support for such (as what caused Galloway to be booted out) can be used to for a no true Labour call. As it is, such infighting solely because the leader isn’t pure enough just sets the stall back from trying to win an election and stop the Tory ills we’ve seen for the past decade, and I’d argue that a more moderate Labour is far much more palatable than the Conservatives, and the fact that socialists fight for the achievements of the last Labour government proves this.October 9, 2020 at 12:06 pm #195572
I don’t think it’s a case of ‘if you can’t beat them join them’ but if you want to see those social reforms you mention you ain’t gonna see em under the Party Corbyn was leading, regardless of the reasons, which are manifest. So, if you do want those reforms you’re gonna have to accept the Party shifts to the right somewhat to have any hope whatsoever of getting rid of the Tories. Or you don’t. You dig your heels in like 99% and all the other Corbynites and watch people suffer more than they ever would do under a Starmer led government. It really is that simple. Having said that, Labour has an extremely small chance of gaining more seats than the Tories for a very long time. Given the Scotland situation we’re going to have to win back those red wall lot and some traditional Tory voters before that happens. Hence the Party listening to those lot and appeasing them just to have a fighting chance of governing in the future. I’m too old and long in the tooth to be caring about the theoretical rhetoric armchair socialists, who are ‘quite comfortable themselves thank you very much’ spout while all the while ignoring people who have turned against them and those they need to win over. If you are unable to empathise, listen and take on board other opinions then you’re doomed. It’s a losing battle. But hey, hypothetically speaking, you won’t be destitute will you?
You raise some good points. It’s a shame the much maligned thanks button has gone, because I’d be thanking this post. A Labour government should stand for the poor and vulnerable. To do that it needs to be seen as understanding of their concerns and problems. To do this it needs to be sympathetic to concerns from the base.
It is a tough one though, because no-one wants Labour to imitate UKIP to appease some of the more disagreeable concerns, but more of a focus on community concerns and less on niche issues which suit the more ideologically driven wouldn’t be amiss.October 9, 2020 at 12:39 pm #195573GurnelistaParticipantOffline
Registered On: April 2, 2014
Under our unfair electoral system Labour needs to win back a lot of those voters lost in recent elections in key areas. Many live in low income, low skilled areas, with high unemployment and few job prospects. Many are also on some form of benefits / social security, and really need a lot of state support from the state in terms of health, pensions, housing etc.
Yet, they were persuaded to vote Tory, a party dedicated to helping the wealthy, cutting benefits / social security, removing state support and effectively doubling down on exactly this sort of voter.
Why is this? Mostly the influence of mass and social media, which effectively trashed the Labour party and its leader in the last election, and persuaded its readers their interests lay with people like Boris Johnson.
Plus, there’s the customary deference and forelock-tugging to those perceived as one’s ‘betters’ (!), especially in predominantly rural areas like north Lincs.
And, perhaps most of all, rather than argue they deserve state support, people have been tricked into feeling ashamed to admit they need it; that any expressed need must be their own fault, and an admission of weakness, and therefore undeserving.
So, Starmer needs to win over these sort of voters, many of whom have been brainwashed into a fear of social change, and to feel shame associated with support, especially when it gets branded in the media as ‘communism’, ‘radicalism’, ‘anarchism’, etc.
Sadly, that may mean not appearing too radical and old-school socialist, in case it frightens the natives. No, first, he has to gain their confidence and trust, and save more radical policy and strategy for later.
Of course, our media owning foreigners will scream ‘communism’, ‘anarchy’ and so on from their tax-exiled hideaways, and will do their damndest to persuade people to keep deferring to Johnson and co., not because Boris is brilliant, but because the alternative would be so awful and only serve to encourage those lazy benefit scroungers and undeserving foreigners.
And many on here will swallow it, so successfully have they been brainwashed into voting against their own interests and needs.
So, it’s a tricky act he has to pull off. Keeping onside more radical members of his own party, while also winning back many of the brainwashed ‘red wall’, especially those north of the border, as DM mentions above. And, in one of the most unstable times socially and politically in our history. This country badly needs radical change, yet how many are woke enough to vote for that?October 9, 2020 at 1:05 pm #195574
Just to be clear, when I say the Party needs to listen and empathise with the red wall and moderate Tories, I’m not advocating it accepts any of the despicable aspects of the Tories or UKIP. I’m saying the way forward is not black and white. How that’s achieved needs a lot of work but the alternative is pissing in the wind.October 9, 2020 at 1:34 pm #195576HeathParticipantOnline
Registered On: August 5, 2017
I would also have given thanks to the post by Deerey which sums up well my opinions. The threads which basically argue Starmer bad Corbyn good, or Corbyn bad Starmer good are black and white nonsense.
It will take a monumental effort for Starmer or any leader to get Labour elected again, particularly if the Tories stitch up electoral boundaries or reduce the number of MPs in metropolitan areas. England only parliament is also another threat. Can’t see Labour forming a Government without SNP support.
Corbyn was never going to win an election so I do support Starmer playing a long game which does rely on the Tories continuing to show their gross incompetence and corruption.
If Labour get the chance to form a coalition majority, the top priority must be to change the political system to proportional representation. Hopefully that will allow for the changes NI and others on here want to see.
A split Labour party will have no chance. Starmer is not the enemy, the Tories ARE!!October 9, 2020 at 1:38 pm #195577
Just to be clear, when I say the Party needs to listen and empathise with the red wall and moderate Tories, I’m not advocating it accepts any of the despicable aspects of the Tories or UKIP. I’m saying the way forward is not black and white. How that’s achieved needs a lot of work but the alternative is pissing in the wind.
I think that’s what most would have interpreted the opinion you expressed.October 9, 2020 at 2:00 pm #195578THE-99%ParticipantOffline
Registered On: February 14, 2015
The real problem issue is the center is now almost Thatcher,look at the media and how far right,they are the ones who pronounce people as moderates .look at Labour 2017 manifesto, socially aware but far from the communism people claim the Looney lefties were.In fact some on the left were disappointed at how bland it was, I thought personally it was a great one.
Does anyone else get lost in political buzz words,Neoliberal, Guild socialism? My mates spout this crap too and I turn off. Paul Mason, is the worst,he is politics for politics sake . It’s designed to keep we normal folk out of their little game.
A spade is a spade, if you want to end social injustice,you vote in parliament against it,you don’t abstainOctober 9, 2020 at 2:16 pm #195579
Yes, it’s far more healthy to say it’s goody, goody socialists and a grouping of evil Blairites working for shadowy cabals, LFI or some other obvious nefarious group isn’t it? I am fairly critical of the use of terms like neoliberalism, because usually it just means a system which the ideological disagrees with, without being specific (there is a reason why I said what is seen as neoliberal for what Blue Labour disagree with). The point I was making was that Blue Labour is not a term which can be used to describe anyone you disagree with, as you have done. It’s got its own ideas and motives, and Starmer is not a part of it. For someone who cares so much about involving anyone in politics you seem happy to use simplistic accusations to accuse opponents of being part of some untrustworthy group, even when they aren’t.
For some reason some of those goodies are out insinuating that a prominent moderate former Labour MP is a CIA asset and those who wanted to end social injustice on that part didn’t want to end social injustice for Jews; they threw a paddy because they were asked to implement measures against it in the party.October 9, 2020 at 2:26 pm #195580
If you’re against buzz words, why fling claims of blue Labour and Blairite around? Those are quite clearly buzz words, often ill defined by those who make the accusation (certainly the latter) and are jargon, just as neoliberal and guild socialism are.October 25, 2020 at 11:14 am #196562BobbyGmeisterParticipantOffline
Registered On: January 12, 2014
Orange Labour anyone?October 25, 2020 at 11:52 am #196567NorthumbironParticipantOffline
Registered On: January 3, 2014
Hopefully the world will be rid of one orange politician next month.
TRUMPKIN (n) Orange on the outside, hollow on the inside and should be thrown out in November. 🎃October 25, 2020 at 2:08 pm #196575
He has done serious shit coming his way if he doesn’t get elected.October 25, 2020 at 3:51 pm #196578Iron-aweParticipantOffline
Registered On: June 21, 2017
He has done serious shit coming his way if he doesn’t get elected.
I presume you mean ” some ” serious shit DM, although the amount of junk food the fat orange bloater consumes he probably has done a serious shit or two in his time. If he loses ( I hope ) I believe he will go to jail, unless he stands down for the last two months, makes Pence President and gets Pence to pardon him. Bet his missus doesn’t hang around either.October 25, 2020 at 4:47 pm #196581
😂 yes, I meant some!
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