Sunday, May 28, 2006

Head in the sand New Labour

Labour MP Ann Clwyd has attacked fellow party members who "continually snipe" at its leadership.

She states :

"A small number of individuals are giving the idea there is a big rift in the Labour party," she told BBC News. ......."I talk to more people than most in my own party - and they are very angry. "Very loyal supporters of the Labour Party say, 'What on earth is happening?
"'We elected this prime minister. We elected this government. Why don't they get on with it. And why don't these other people just go away.'"

Im sure there are some who feel like that in the Party. There are many others , some not even that left wing, who feel disgusted by the behaviour of the Party. Many members feel they cannot actively campaign for a Party that has moved so far from even the soft left reformist agenda that Labour once represented. They feel disgusted by the way Blair cossies up to Bush , by the taint of sleaze that hangs over the Party as it moves further from any principles and its roots to one of big business. It has become a Party and leadership that seems unable to accept any responsibility for its unpopularity and electoral losses in the local elections.

Ann quotes the members she is talking to. I wonder if she has had chats with the 300 odd councillors who lost their seats in the last set of local elections ? Has she wondered where the 200,000 members who have left since 97 have gone ?

I never had any illusions that the Party would implement a radical left wing agenda once in power, but after so many years under the Tories I just wanted to get rid of them. Labour had to be better ? Ok I'm sure many on the left would call that naive . My position was that the Tories had created such misery and devastation, often to those most vulnerable, that soft left reformism would at least alleviate the suffering.

Nine years later I don't think there is any substantial difference in New Labour and New Tories. That's why we are 'sniping' Ann. With much justification.

She quotes members as saying "And why don't these other people just go away.'" Well Ann, as I have pointed out many have. I'm glad you feel that the Party is strong enough at the grass roots level that it can afford to haemorrhage further activists. Not sure if the big business donors fancy a bit of leafletting and all the dull work that needs to go on locally. As they start to desert , and the money dries up,will there still be the activists who fund raised and donated money for many years.

As someone who worked hard for the Party when it was not in power and was very unpopular, who was called a traitor for canvassing in a solid naval town during the Falklands war and faced hostility, I can no longer argue with people to vote labour. Not sure if I can convince myself anymore.

And one more rant ! The reference to 'loyal' Party members. I personally think Blair is disloyal to the Party. He has no time or respect for the ordinary Party members , the unions or any Party democracy and accountability. He has even talked of his admiration for Thatcher ! If he could persuade Cameron to defect I expect he would back him as successor. And don't get me started on the special relationship with Bush !
So I don't need a lecture on loyalty .

"And why don't these other people just go away.'"
I'm pretty close to saying to the Party I have been a member of for 26 years , Fuck you, I'll go then.