Why Blairites are going hysterical

In 1994 Blair took over the Labour party and made it safe for British capitalism.   Which is why so many top companies and banks were content to contribute large sums to the party in order to hedge their bets – they gained whichever party won the elections.   Up till now they have dominated the Labour party for the last 20 years.   Blair’s abiding legacy, apart from the Iraq war, was to abandon the fundamental principles of the party and to assimilate it instead to the Thatcherite ideology of ‘let the markets rule and the State get out of the way’.    When Mrs. Thatcher was later asked what was her greatest achievement, she replied without hesitation: ‘New Labour’.   And the Daily Telegraph 6 months into Blair’s premiership published a half-page photo of Blair standing in front of a large picture of Thatcher in No.10 with the inscription underneath: ‘To Thatcher, a son’.   By accommodating the ruling corporate class the Blairites used the Labour party as their avenue to power, and it’s hardly surprising now that they are in such a state of denial and disbelief at their abrupt fall from power over the last month.

Of course the Blairite faction is sincere in believing that they alone know how things should best be run and that, as Blair himself has constantly reminded us, any millimetre departure from his prescribed course will bring chaos and disaster.   Not only does that show their unwillingness to listen (the party was virtually disbanded under Blair into a press release and door-knocking organisation), but it also exposes a deep arrogance about their own invincibility and their contempt for any radicalism from the Left.   The writing was already on the wall in Greece, Spain, and Scotland, but still they thought they could muffle dissent and ignore it.   It is a lesson in political nemesis.

Of course the Blairites will protest that they, and they alone, won three elections in a row.   The truth however is that the Tories threw away the 1997 election rather than that Labour distinctively won it, the second election was marked by stasis after an undistinguished 4 years, and the third saw the loss of 4 million votes after Iraq.   They will also appeal to the huge investment in health and education.   But a large part of the former was spent on building (fine for the construction industry rather than the essentials of health) and on outsourcing and privatisation (again good for the corporates rather than patients), whilst in the case of the latter there were huge building programmes inaugurating academies and free schools which have never proved their worth and have never been popular.

 

12 thoughts on “Why Blairites are going hysterical

  1. This is a really strange situation. Here you have a supposedly Socialist Party that gets really upset when hundreds and even thousands of people (yes thousands, I’m not exaggerating) flock to hear a Socialist candidate for the leadership give speeches about Socialism and sign up to the Party! This must be the only Socialist Party in the world that doesn’t want new socialist members to join or become supporters!

    These are people who left the party decades before, when Blair pulled it too far to the right, plus those people who have never voted, because no party talked about the things that concerned them or offered them a better life and hope for the future. People who had turned to the Greens and even UKIP because their policies appeared to address their concerns when Labour appeared to be trying to out-Tory the Tories.

    A pie chart has been doing the rounds on Facebook. This shows that only 24.4% of people eligible to vote, actually voted for the Tories. 41.7% voted Labour/Greens/UKIP but 33.9% didn’t vote for anyone, as they felt no party represented them or was worth voting for. Apparently only 2% of these had voted for Labour in the past. And yet Labour are denying their core socialist values to appeal to this meagre 24.4%!

    So tens of thousands have actually joined Labour and others have become Registered Supporters; presumably mainly socialists (otherwise they’d have joined the Tories). Yet the PLP are upset that they’ve joined possibly to vote for the true socialist candidate. Are they stark raving mad!?

    I liked this comment in the LP Forum:
    “The word “Leader” implies that you are going somewhere and the three candidates; Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall have all said they intend to follow the Tories. That is not the direction in which I wish to travel.”

    This is the way I see it:
    If any of these three should win, they will be very unlikely to get Labour elected in 2020 because they believe the only way of doing this is to become more like the Tories. This will alienate the core voters as has happened in the last few elections, which is why they have been losing.

    As Jeremy Corbyn has raised so much awareness for Labour’s core socialist principles these have become really popular. So not only will he have the best chance of winning in 2020 (unless he should step down before then) but he will have provided a very strong opposition to the Tories right from the beginning (unlike the others who want to mimic the Tories). This will put Labour in good stead to win as a proper socialist party, which is what it was originally created as.

    This was in The Guardian:
    “Based on the YouGov results, Corbyn appears to be so far ahead in the race that the level of entryists discovered so far would probably not affect the overall result.”

    Yet Simon Danczuk interviewed on Tuesday 11/8/15 by Iain Dale on LBC Radio was still concerned about entryism.
    Asked about entryism by people that don’t have the party’s best interest at heart “we are moving towards a situation where the election isn’t tenable”. Out of a list of 30 names he reckoned “12 shouldn’t be voting in the leadership election” and he also thought that “there would be other names that he would be suspicious of.” Asked if the election should be re-run he said “I suspect we are moving into a position were that is probably necessary”

    The interview starts with Iain Dale asking: What do you make of this poll?
    SD: I’m concerned and I’m worried. I think Alistair Campbell is talking a lot of sense. The last thing Labour needs, the last thing the country needs for that matter, is for Jeremy Corbyn to be leading the Labour Party” “If Jeremy Corbyn becomes leader the idea that he’s going to take the PLP with him is a nonsense,”
    He said to the ID: “You wouldn’t be appropriate to lead the Labour Party and neither would Jeremy Corbyn. He’s quite unsuitable.”

    He will not command any discipline, He has broken the Labour Whip in Parliament on numerous occasions…..I’ve been very loyal…… am I going to put up with some crazy left wing policies that he’s putting forward and traipse through the voting lobby to support him? It’s not going to happen.

    I’d give him about 12 months if he does become leader. I think we need to take stock of the whole situation and work out where we’re going. Alastair Campbell is absolutely right”
    ID “So essentially the plotting will start almost on day one”
    SD: “Yes, if not before; as soon as the results come out. People in the PLP aren’t going to put up with it. They were very loyal to Miliband but I don’t think their loyalty will stretch to Jeremy Corbyn, I really don’t.

    So they want to get him out already and the fact that 100,000 people have joined the Labour Party as FULL members over the last 3 months and 65,000 joined as registered supporters (15,000 in one week alone, and 7,000 over the weekend of the Camden rally) doesn’t mean anything to them!? Many of the registered supporters have said they will join the Party if Corbyn wins.

    These are people who believe in Socialism and will most likely vote Labour in the next election, (which I only wish could be brought forward from 2020).

    Yet the PLP don’t want the man who has brought them into the Party to be their leader!? Many members/supporters have already said they’ll leave Labour if he doesn’t win, so they’ll definitely leave then, as will others who will be thoroughly disgusted with the way they will have treated their champion. That’ll leave the PLP with few supporters and no chance of winning the next election. Crazy.

  2. Oops, I meant that, of the 24.4% who voted Tory only 2% had previously voted Labour.
    Is there any chance of adding an edit feature to this blog!?

  3. I have every confidence that Jeremy and his Deputy will reconcile the PLP, but it looks as though it’ll be an uphill battle. We all want him to fight the Tories and not have to waste time and energy fighting people in his own party!

  4. I just want to remind you, we haven’t won an election since Blair left. That isn’t to say Blair’s right about anything (or even nearly everything), but it certainly indicates swinging to the left and (as you most certainly seem to be) acting like we’re in a cult isn’t going to address the serious strategic issues we have regarding electability.

  5. I have voted Labour in every election since 1983, you have been my MP for all that time. I will not vote Labour if Jeremy Corbyn is elected Leader.

    Why vote for a party that has lost the will to win and is retreating into its comfort blanket.

    People are about to get hurt by this government, lthe people the Labour Party are supposed to protect. Just one example, tax credits changes this is really going to hurt ordinary working people and will need a Labour Government to put it right.

    Your answer vote for someone who is unelectable so we can feel good about a losing manifesto .

  6. Trouble is the current leadership of the PLP has shown itself up to be such a corrupt undemocratic bunch of clowns with its campaign against Corbyn that I ask myself would I want to vote labour for just the one decent, intelligent and honest leader who will be subject to the dangers of a blairite conspiracy ( and a possible mossad poisoning/assassination ) . Who wants a government staffed and influenced by people like the three alternative candidates and others who have been rubbishing Jeremy?

  7. Dear Mr Meacher,

    Thank you so much for such insightful post. I’ve just subscribed to your blog.

    Keep up the great work!

    Regards

  8. I have desperately wanted to vote Labour in the last two elections, but quite frankly couldn’t. The only thing drawing me back is Jeremy Corbyn. Without him, and with one of the Three Stooges in his stead, I will walk away and never look back.

  9. Hi Wanda that’s a very interesting statistic (2% of 24.4% tory voters had voted labour before), where did it come from just so I can use it for reference. I believe it is the biggest knock against the ABC campaigns that there could be. Thank you!

  10. The time of New Labour has passed. Now is the time of True Labour. Can’t wait to vote for Corbyn x

  11. Milliband failed because of the attacks he sustained from his own party. If Labour MPs can’t stand the Party if it’s not their fav shade of red, and would rather slag off their elected leader than honestly work to get their views represented, they should be bounced out. Why bother with the back-biting bustards? Militant was excommunicated in the 80s, maybe it’s time for Progress to rethink their allegiances, I’m sure the Tories will give them the box room.

  12. A pity you feel the need to trash all the good that the New Labour governments did for so many people. Basically, you fall into the same trap – you think this is a simple Left/Right thing. It isn’t. Whoever leads next will need to do what Ed Miliband was trying to do (but didn’t succeed in doing) i.e. put together a coherent narrative of some quite popular leftish policies (on energy bills, rent control etc) with a pro-business (but not pro-austerity) message. Maybe a leftie could do that. But not Corbyn, who is too old, has too much baggage, and who has zero experienced of leadership. Foot was a disaster not just because of policy – although unilateralism was never going to sell. He was a disaster because he couldn’t lead, and didn’t know what to do when Tony Benn destructively challenged for the deputy leadership in 1981, which did no end of harm. And at least Foot (unlike Corbyn) had the backing of the PLP.

    People need to wake up. There’s space (within limits) to build in some popular left wing policies in some cases. But Labour isn’t suddenly going to retake the whole of Scotland. It needs to win Tory/Labour marginals. Corbyn isn’t going to do that, not remotely. At the moment the party’s response to that is to say a) we don’t care b) the others can’t either. But this is the counsel of despair. If he does win, it’ll just be the IDS moment in 2001, not anything heroic. The hangover of a Corbyn win would be very very long.

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