So, is New Labour dead?

It’s worth asking.

Or stating, as Compass have…

New Labour is now dead. The strategy that saw the Party continually triangulate interests and concerns, tacking endlessly to the right, doing what the Tories would do only doing it first, fixating on a mythical middle England and denying that free market policies are having a damaging effect on society is now finished.

Brown’s a true-blue Blairite, and yet in the local elections in England and Wales

The Tories got 44 per cent of what was a miniscule 35 per cent turnout.

This debacle happened because the Prime Minister not only insisted on carrying on with the completely discredited privatising, wage cutting, deregulating policies of the former Prime Minister Blair, he actually decided to speed them up, and deepen them in the face of the developing crisis of capitalism. […]

Under Brown the job of the government is to defend the interests of the bankers and the bosses, no matter what. The role of the working class is to hand over the cash to allow this policy to operate.

Unlimited subsidy to the banks has gone side by side with the robbery of the working class and the middle class. To keep the banks subsidised, Brown has decreed three-year wage-cutting deals for the public sector workers, offering a less than 2.5% ‘wage rise’ a year, at a time when the real cost of living, in terms of basic working class necessities, has rocketed up by about 30% in the last year.

To rub in his basic principle that the poor must sacrifice for the rich, Brown insisted in pushing through his policy of ending the lower rate of tax for the poor of 10%, and making them pay a higher rate than the rich, of 20%.

This pushed five million of the lowest paid into greater poverty. It is these policies and this approach that has seen the support for the Labour Party collapse.

A fairly coherent argument from the WRP, there (please, no lauging – The News Line is a great news-site).

As socialist Labour MP John McDonnell has argued,

After the worse results in 40 years it is intellectually unsustainable for ministers to simply tell the electorate that the government is listening. Prevarication will only lead to a Tory government – what people want is decisive action to change the policies immediately.

And there may be a chance for a great debate sooner rather than later. Reports Dave Osler:

One MP I campaigned with yesterday suspects that Charles Clarke will formally launch a stalking horse leadership bid this weekend, if Ken Livingstone is ousted as mayor of London.

That has since happened, alas, and though rumours about the Clarke stalking horse have been circling for ages, I can’t imagine he and fellow Bliar-loyalists will keep shtum.

The question I am asking myself is, will Compass and the Campaign group – the social democratic and socialist groupings within the parliamentary Labour Party – co-operate and field a pro-worker candidate in the event of a leadership contest? Considering that they are at least in the same party, collaboration shouldn’t be all that hard if past events can be put aside…

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2 Responses to “So, is New Labour dead?”

  1. London votes for ‘Boris’, who said… « The Daily Terror Says:

    […] A New Mayor and a Newish Fascism (The Cutting Edge) Enter the jester (John Harris, Guardian CiF) So, is New Labour dead? (Rebellion […]

  2. Seán Says:

    Charles Clarke stalking horse? I always had him down as Roland Rat, especially with those ears.

    Btw capitalist democracy and consumer capitalism offer merely an illusion of choice. I wonder how long this current bout of soul searching will go amongst the micro left?


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