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.
I am responding here to statements made by Alan Johnson in an article to Politics Home where he suggests that the Labour Party is dead and finished and where he lays the blame squarely at the feet of Jeremy Corbyn. This is really just sour grapes from a defeated right wing moderate as he struggles to adapt to the much needed change happening within the Labour Party and is probably more about his own line of personal questioning and doubts about whether there is actually a place for him in the Labour Party of the future.
Firstly who does Alan Johnson think he is pontificating on such matters. Johnson, himself now a discredited politician, is a part of the unfortunate legacy of the now dying Labour Party. He is right to say that the Labour Party is dead which it most probably is but guess what: far from being Mr Corbyn’s fault the death of the Labour Party is actually because of people like Alan Johnson and Tony Blair who have killed the Labour Party. The autopsy is now on-going but it will surely be found to be the case that the death of the Labour Party was already a sealed fait accompli as soon as traitors like you and Tony Blair were able to meddle with its Constitution. Mr Corbyn now only presides over the dying corpse of the Labour Party perhaps in a vain attempt to bring back life to the already departed.
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.
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.