The Labour Party need to reinstate Clause IV of the Labour Party Constitution in order to bind members to a common purpose and understanding of what Socialism actually represents to the Labour Party. At the moment we have a situation of chaos where each member seems to have a different interpretation of socialism there seems to be a lack of common understanding. The very meaning and understanding of socialism is open to interpretation in today’s Labour Party. This is an ill advised system in my opinion. In the past members knew instinctively where the Labour Party’s values were and they knew what was meant when referring to socialism. After Blair this all changed and there is now mass confusion and this is reflected in the mass confusion regarding the overall direction of the Party. The idea that socialism is an system of economic principles and values has seemingly been rather too conveniently forgotten about, and when many members refer to socialism they are simply referring to notions of fairness relative to the other political parties. Simply being nice and fair and listening to the opinions of others is not socialism. It should not be forgotten that socialism is actually a set of economic principles designed to bring about a greater distribution of wealth in an economic system and is something that challenges the notions of Adam Smith’s ideas regarding Capitalism. Socialism counters the greed of a purely Capitalist System of Economics and it gives people a stake in society through the benefits of the State owning some part of the economic system in order to obtain capital for the investment for the good of all the country’s citizens. In particular the key industries it targets are those that are essential for the running of the country such as Energy Supply and Transport. These are the key industries which socialism targets to generate capital for re-investment in the country’s health provision (NHS), to reduce the burden of taxation on the individual and to support local essential services, police and council provisions etc.
Despite not winning the General Election of 2017 outright there was only one real winner on that night and that was Jeremy Corbyn.
In a very understated way Mr Corbyn has shown that the Labour Party can be a real contender again if it sticks to what it has always been: a Party which represents fairness for all not just the few in other words a real Socialist Party. It is time to dismiss and bury the embarrassing Blair/Brown years and time to go forward with Mr Corbyn’s vision of a true to itself Labour Party Movement. For putting the Labour Party back on track again I will always be indebted to Jeremy Corbyn. Let’s finish the business now Jeremy and lets get Clause IV re-instated back into the Labour Party Constitution in a meaningful way.
I do not wish to be too negative here but this election has probably come when the Labour Party are the worst prepared than they have ever been for a General Election Battle. Theresa May knows this well and has seized upon this as the moment to pounce. However this is not a reflection of Mr Corbyn’s leadership it is simply that the Labour Party is itself in turmoil. Corbyn although appearing strong has failed so far to take ownership of the Party or to steer it in the direction that the membership want. He has failed so far to live up to his left wing promise and is struggling to appease both the growing left and diminishing right in his Party. The Labour Party is struggling with an Identity Crisis and amidst this we now have a General Election to fight. However there may yet be a twist in the story and the election of Trump in the USA is a reminder that there are no certainties. Corbyn could still claim a victory of sorts if he diminishes Theresa May’s majority in the House of Commons and/or if he wins back the Scottish Labour Vote: so even in defeat he could theoretically win something in this battle. Would this be enough to help him retain leadership of the Labour Party well this remains to be seen and in any case who could really follow him?
In the May 2015 General Election the Tories exploited the Scottish People’s desire to get independence for Scotland. In truth Cameron was dependent upon the hope that people would vote for the SNP as a protest vote or at least to split the vote and divide what were traditional loyalties of the Scottish People towards the Labour Movement. There is some truth though that Miliband offered nothing more that a wet version of the Labour Party during this period but this is only a small part of the equation. Alex Salmond in his quest to become ‘King of Scotland’ simply took his eye off the ball and failed to grasp that he was nothing more than a Tory Puppet being used to undermine Labour’s overall position in Scotland.
The 2017 General Election is not a vote for Devolution for Scotland: it’s about which political party governs the United Kingdom in the meantime
In truth the Labour Party need to do better in Scotland and the only way they can do is to give the Scottish people what they want: which is a referendum on Scottish Independence. This is to avoid this General Election in 2017 simply becoming an opportunity to get this referendum regarding their independence and a vote simply about regional politics/issues or devolution. The SNP are in reality a single issue Party so the Labour Party need to blunt Sturgeon’s sword and steal the rug from under her and her Party by offering the Scottish people the very thing and only thing that the SNP can really offer. Once this is done and promised by Labour in a Manifesto Pledge then Scotland can get to grips with the real political issues that face not only Scotland but the whole of the United Kingdom.
If this can be achieved by Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour Party then if there were to be a swing back to Labour in Scotland then even if Labour were to loose the General Election it may still be possible to increase Labour’s seats and thus reduce the Conservative’s majority in Parliament. This could be seen as a miscalculation by Theresa May and a significant loss if her majority were actually to be decreased in a General Election of her own calling. The Labour Party have a great deal to gain by stealing the show from the SNP in Scotland by playing Sturgeon at her own game. In the same way the Scots have to answer questions about why they have let the Tories in at the last General Election by taking their focus off what happens to the rest of the United Kingdom by simply focusing on their own needs in a General Election situation. General Election’s should not simply be about regional politics and attempting to get the most out of it for yourself and your locality: you need to see the bigger picture by establishing a Government that will bring about not just localised improvements but improvements across the whole of the United Kingdom, this is a given up until the day when devolution does actually occur. In the last election the focus on regional politics simply let the Tories in to have a greater share of the vote than they have historically held. This situation simply gifted the last election to the Tories and gave the a much stronger position in Parliament than they actually deserve. Scotland and the Labour Party need to get it right this time for the sake of the greater good in the United Kingdom.
Here we will be looking at whether or not Jeremy Corbyn really plans to change the Labour Party into a left wing political party with socialist principles or whether it has just been a stunt to gain the left wing support he needed to retain the leadership.
The first clue is to have a look at who has been selected to his shadow cabinet and who has been chosen for the front bench. We need to look at these candidates in detail and see on what basis they were selected and whether or not they are committed to socialist left wing or whether they are moderates loyal to the principles of Tony Blair. A good leader will surround himself with people he can trust to be loyal to his cause. Change can only result from commitment and hard work from people who are loyal to the cause and who actually believe that the cause is worthwhile. Mr Corbyn has suggested that he wants the Labour Party to return to it’s traditional values and socialist principles. The only way to achieve this is by electing the right people available to do the job and surrounding himself with the right team. So has Mr Corbyn selected wisely?
Since winning another Labour Party Leadership Challenge it may appear to some that Jeremy Corbyn is unassailable. He may even believe so himself. It appears that the promise of change and a possible swing to the left helped propel Jeremy Corbyn back into the leadership post. In my opinion this was because he came across as the most left wing of the candidates. He had a longer left wing legacy that the newcomers. However so far we have seen nothing that radical from Mr Corbyn and nothing really that justifies all the left wing support he received to secure him another term as the Leader of the Labour Party.
Well in my opinion it is not. The Labour Party is no longer a Socialist Party nor will it be again until the day it brings back a proper obligation to follow the principles of Sidney Webb and adopt a proper Webb style interpretation of Clause IV of the Labour Party Constitution as it was intentioned. Until it does this it will be no more that another Party cluttering up the ground on the political right. I was hoping that Jeremy Corbyn might be the man to change all this. However this remains to be seen whether or not he has a strong commitment to do this.