The Problem with Labour

You may be asking why I’m having a pop at labour, surely with the cuts announced and whatnot I should be going at the Tories.  Only its been done better by better folk.  I recommend a look at Obsolete and Liberal Conspiracy for good arguments against the cuts.

Nope, I’m having a pop at Labour because, not counting the Lib-Dems (And I suspect we have many years of not counting the Lib-Dems consider the damage this coalition is doing to their reputation, ho-ho, political humour) is that like it or not (And I don’t) they are the best credible opposition to the cuts, and the most likely alternative to play the “Big” party in a future coalition (Should we get a fairer voting system)

It looked promising when Ed Milliband beat his brother in the party leaders election, the Tabloid and Tory spin that he was a puppet for the unions and the “Red Ed” moniker seemed like tired old jibes and really weren’t sticking. (In fact my Union backed Diane Abbott, guess more of its members who didn’t tick the box to stop contributions to Labour disagreed.)

Ed made a good start, namely by saying the Iraq war was a mistake.  That made me sit up I can tell you.  I thought this was a turning point, they might now start admitting that not everything Blair did was fantastic and right.  I think Blair did some things right, minimum wage for one, but it seems like the Blairites in the Labour party don’t like to hear any word against anything he did, and he made some howlers.  There was the Iraq war, draconian terror legislation, idiotic and costly Public Private Partnerships, I could go on.  In fact one of the worst policys was removing student grants and introducing tuition fees.  A bad policy in general, and hypocritical considering it was passed by those who had more of their education paid for by the state than any subsequent generation.

The problem with the introduction of fees was that it removed a taboo, Thatcher was too scared to go near free education but now the taboo has been removed the increases proposed by the coalition are merely bartering over how much.  Worse, unless they admit that the policy, which may have seemed right for the time, was a mistake, then Labour look hypocritical for opposing increases, since critics can simply stump any labour minister by asking if they think fees are a bad idea.

Sadly, I see a lot in the Post Brown Labour Party that I saw in the Post Major Conservatives.  back in 1992 many Tories were looking back at the Thatcher years with nostalgia.  In those days the Tories were looking for a new Thatcher, or at least a thatcherite to regain the heydays of that era, not realising that Thatcherism had been rejected by the electorate as much as Major’s government.  The same now stands for Labour, the Blairites get snippy if anyone dares say that anything King Tony did was a bad idea.  This is unhealthy, again they blame Gordon Brown for Labour’s defeat, but people were as tired of Blair before Brown came in.  Just as people didn’t vote out the Tories because they weren’t Thatcherite enough, they didn’t vote out Labour because they weren’t Blairite enough.  Quite frankly this factioning has to end and sadly a leader can’t end it, instead the party itself has to choose to put these things aside.  They can’t really effectively oppose Coalition policy when it so closely matches much of the Blairite policy of the past.  The party needs to cleanse itself of the bad parts of Blair and brown.

Sadly at the moment it looks like they’ll go down the path of the Tories, at the moment the Political party has decided to rebel against the expulsion of ex-immigration minister Phil Woolas.  It is covered very well at Obsolete, Liberal Conspiracy and Enemies of Reason.  Some of the party have decided to defend this man, the man who sang from the Daily Mail’s hymsheet during his tenure as Immigration minister and who chose to use false information against his nearest rival combined with the worst form of dog whistle racism.  He has been rightly punished by the law for his illegal conduct, but instead of doing what the party leaders have done and quite rightly rid themselves of this liability some have risen to defend him, why?  Loyalty? more likely because he is one of “theirs” and they protect their own.  If this is what the Parliamentary Labour party is rebelling over then we are surely doomed to a minimum of 10 years of tory governance.

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