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.
As was the case only yesterday regarding Labour’s plans to pay for Police officers, which so embarrassed Diane Abbott the Shadow Home Secretary, the Labour need to be clear about where this money will come from. Tony Blair has consigned the Labour Party to awkward financial constraints by ditching a commitment to Clause IV of it’s constitution and indeed Tony Blair/Gordon Brown’s Governments can now be viewed as failures simply because they could not raise sufficient capital to implement plans to improve the social infrastructure because they were unable to raise the necessary capital without resorting to taxation rises. So now where does Corbyn plan to get his money from?
He needs to be clear on this if he is to mount a plausible challenge to Theresa May. People need to be re-assured that Labour can manage the economy and better than the Tories. Diane Abbott did very little to cultivate this notion amongst Voters with her poor planning.
My own thoughts would be that Public Ownership of the Railways would be the first step to finding this Capital which is desperately needed to improve public services and the social infrastructure of Great Britain. This would be a step in right direction again for Corbyn’s Labour Party and a step away from the legacy of Tony Blair’s influence upon the Labour Movement.
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.
We will be looking at recent speeches in the Commons by Jeremy Corbyn and how his speeches seem to conflict with his plans to let Theresa May and her Tories have a free hand, unchallenged in processing their Brexit plans through Parliament. Is the Labour Party now colluding with the Tories to get a swift Brexit. Should not the Labour Party be opposing Theresa May and her government in their attempts to speed through what is essentially the product of a right wing and extreme right movement. Brexit is loosing momentum and support on a daily basis as it becomes clearer of what the consequences to the British Economy will be with the value of the Pound steadily dropping and the prospect of a hard Brexit looming. The Labour Party would be best served preaching good sense and be thinking what is best for Britain and the British Economy rather than attempting to gain electoral advantage by courting support from right wing voters.
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.
It’s been a week now since the Labour Party Conference 2016 and I am still unclear about what Socialism for the 21st Century actually means. Socialism for the 21st Century is more than just this Sound Bite and Socialism is not just about being nice to everybody Mr Corbyn: it’s a system of Economics. Socialism does have the end result of being nicer and a whole lot fairer than Capitalism but that is only as a result of having real socialist policies to back it up. I just get the feeling that JeremyCorbyn’s interpretation of Socialism is just the end result without implementing the system to actually make it happen. Up to now and perhaps for sometime to come I will continue to support Mr Corbyn as the most viable left wing candidate but my support is not blind and there are limits. For me the limit is when I think and believe that Mr Corbyn cannot deliver a proper version of Socialism for the Labour Party backed up by an economic strategy to match the ideology. That time is getting close with this new development and lack of understanding shown by Mr Corbyn and his team who seem to have resorted to dropping in Sound Bites instead of real policy.
Is Mr Corbyn’s idea of Socialism just another Blair Style interpretation?
Jeremy Corbyn needs to understand that he cannot have the ideology and ambitions of Socialism without having some resemblance to an economic and fiscal policy that resembles in some way the ideas of Sidney Webb who introduced the concept of socialism to the Labour Party with an introduction of Clause IV as a part of its Constitution. It was only at this point that the Labour Movement actually became a Socialist Movement. Recent Labour Party administrations have attempted to retain the ideology of socialism and abandon the commitment to Clause IV and it’s economic and fiscal systems which it implies. Most notably Tony Blair but what you got in return was a watered down version of Socialism with an unstable fiscal policy and economic approach. This smoke and mirrors approach to Socialism is no longer viable because more often than not it ends up with a government which has lofty ambitions and ideals without any means to fund it’s ambitions. This, as we saw in the case of Blair / Brown, led to out of control public borrowing which eventually leads to a form of bankruptcy.
Even from beyond the grave ‘the Iron Lady’ still retains her grip on British politics. Nothing much has changed: well nothing radical in politics since the days of Margaret Thatcher and Britain seems either unwilling or unable to move on from the grip of Thatcher’s snatch and grab politics. Nothing much has changed even despite the interim Labour Government that ended her reign. Despite this her legacy lives on which was the end of socialism in Britain. This position was aided and abetted somewhat by the weak, poor excuse for a Labour Government of Blair/ Brown whose government actually changed very little because it had sold out on the Labour’s Party’s principles well before it actually got elected.
So why has the face of British Politics changed so little since the reign of Margaret Thatcher and in whose interests is this? Why do I get the feeling that she is still in control even from her grave? To my mind Margaret Thatcher and Adolf Hitler have got a lot in common. They have been the most divisive and right wing politicians in Europe of the last century but there the similarities end because The German Nation was quick to understand that after defeat in the War and the demise of Adolf Hitler it realised that it needed a new set of guiding values, principles and legislation. The old Germany of Hitler did not persist under new subsequent regimes. Germany had to re-invent itself and put right the wrong doing of those times and move forward. Conversely so for the U.K where the policies of a much despised premier have persisted outside her time in office through; a change in Tory Prime Minister, throughout a so called Opposition Government in office and well into the David Cameron years. In fact with Theresa May we can virtually guarantee that we basically get more of the same Thatcherite Policies. So what is it about our nation that makes us such suckers for this kind of grotesque punishment. Why can’t we learn harsh lessons from the past and move on in the same way the German’s did revoking the legislation that was immoral, covetous, harmful and divisive.
Yes you have read it correctly it is not a spelling mistake. The Labour Party really needs to expel the effluent and flatulence of the Blair legacy. It needs to purge itself of this effluent and flatulence that it developed when it sat to the right, gorging itself, at the same privileged table that was also occupied by the Tories. The bloating that the Party received under Tony Blair’s leadership is still constraining and constipating the Party. It is now misshapen and bloated and un-recognizable as a Labour Party. It needs to expel as waste the Tony Blair and Gordon Brown years. Indeed Labour would have done better not to have held office under Blair and the conditions he set out for the Party, instead it would have done better to hang onto it’s principles and wait for the right moment in time when it could have assumed power unconditionally without the need to sell out on all it’s principles. What we have now is a Labour Party without a proper set of values and principles. This is a distorted Labour Party that does not even recognise itself in the mirror anymore and it is unsure to whom it appeals or who it represents. Traditional values are gone and it lacks any socialist soul anymore. Labour now needs desperately to find a set of values with a re-instatement of Clause IV as a part of its current constitution. It needs to regain it’s socialist soul and purge itself of the influence and history of Tony Blair.