Tuesday, 21 July 2015

WHAT IS LABOUR FOR?



So, what is Labour for?

I've certainly criticised them and other opposition parties in the past, for opposing for the sake of opposing. The Willie Bain philosophy of politics was never going to make it into the pages of tomes on great political thinking. 

But, by the same token, never opposing anything because, well, that's what people voted for, is plain stupid. Specially when the government majority is so slender and was elected on a 37% vote. David Cameron must be rubbing his privileged hands together with glee at the capitulation of Labour.

It's almost like they said... "Well, we lost. We should just let them get on with running the country. We'll just head for the bars".

The leadership rivals seem to be with Harman in accepting that even with a majority of 12, the Tories should be allowed a free run at destroying the welfare state.

Burnham sent out mixed messages saying that he opposed the cuts, but then abstained, because Harriet Harman told him to. Yvette Cooper likewise abstained, but wasn't available for comment. This is amazing in a leadership contender, but presumably she thinks "least said...soonest forgotten about".

Liz Kendall also abstained, but she's such an outsider that no one much cares. She so right wing, I'm surprised that she didn't vote WITH the government.

Alone, Jeremy Corbyn voted against the cuts. He was joined by 46 Labour MPs. Needless to say the real opposition parties voted against. The SNP, Plaid, Green, UUP, DUP and Liberal Democrats went into the no lobby.

Jeremy seems to me to be the only hope they have of not being subsumed into the Tory party.

How proud the founding fathers must be of this shambles. Heaven only knows what the answer in the Scottish branch is, but it's not Ken or Kezia.

List of MPs who voted against the Welfare Bill.



23 comments:

  1. tris

    They say the Labour party could split I say they should split those
    that support the Tory agenda would be happiest within the Tory party.
    And off they should jolly well go.

    Personally i dont care if Labour are out of power for the next ten years
    if the party who arise ut of the ashes is one we can recognise as a
    genuine socialist party.

    Bryan Gould has a good analysis

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jul/21/labour-capitulation-welfare-vacuum-leadership

    and is amazed, disappointed as the rest of us rightminded people

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    1. Yes. It's a good article.

      Labour persuaded itself back in the middle 90s that it had to ditch all this socialist stuff. (You remember for a time the "S" word was banned.) The aim, to win the massive vote in the South and east of England. About a third of the UK population lives there. The aspirational middle classes.

      Maybe they were right. After all, they won 3 elections as New Labour with little trace of socialism.

      Maybe it was a coincidence that the Tories were worn out and fractious after 18 years in government; maybe it was just a side show that they elected a series of jokes as leader. Wee Willie Hague with the baseball cap, determined to be seen as "normal" bragging about drinking 10 pints before breakfast. Followed by the weird quiet man we now know as a heartless incompetent lying cheating monster. And finally, as if in some death-wish scenario, they decided that Dracula was the best person to lead them, in the form of Michael Howard. No, I still can't believe they thought he was a winner.

      It helped of course that Labour had a charismatic young sharp-witted leader themselves. Or so we thought till he got older, showed himself to be enslaved to DubYa and lost all charisma, especially when you thought about what he had done to Iraq.

      They delude themselves that they can out-Tory the Tories. They are amateurs at being Tories, although they try hard. Truth is that if that is the best they can do, they will spend 20 years out of every 25 in opposition. They get to play when the Tories run out of steam.

      If I were them I'd elect Mr Corbyn, be true to themselves and let those who want to leave and join the Tories do so. Unless they do that they will die out.

      Who knows what the future will bring, but there is more likely to be a space in whatever it is for a left of centre party then there is for a cheap copycat version of the Conservatives.

      The trouble with not caring about Labour being out of power is that the Tories will be IN power.

      And in ten years we will be living in Dystopia, if any of us are still alive!.

      Delete
  2. Labour don't know what they're for, power for powers sake.
    I'm not with Niko, sod waiting a decade; for them to rediscover their sole.

    Jimnarlene

    I'm on holiday, Fort William tonight, Skye tomorrow, as I have said before it's our 25th anniversary on the 27th; so we ate doing a wee tour.

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    1. As I said above... a decade of the Tories...

      I reckon though, that we'll be gone before that is over.

      Have a great holiday. I hope you get some decent weather for your tour.

      Hope you've learned the language for Skye... and that you have a good supply of midge repellent. That said, I don't know where I've seen such beauty.

      Bonnes vacances!

      Delete
  3. I just had to put this link on Google+...
    I don't do Faceache or Twatter!😁.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks for that... the more the merrier Dennis.

      :)

      Delete
  4. Tris

    Labour brought Scottish independence so much closer than any of us think now. The 10 to 20 years estimate may prove to be way off the mark. What a bunch of losers, I watched some of it and you have 75% of labour MPs who would not look out of place in the Conservative Party and the rest seriously needing to think about doing something, form a new party or something.

    I really do think that independence is on the way now and soon, the Conservatives don't care, they will put themselves ahead of the Union as they know that Scotland is gone now and there is little chance of any change happening that strengthens the union. I expect Willie Rennie to take the Liberal Democrats to a new low next year and I would not be surprised if the Tories actually finish ahead of Labour. I was really stunned watching it yesterday , Labour were committing suicide live on the parliament channel. I think when Owen Jones turns then it's over, for me Owen Jones has been the sane Hothersall in many ways but even Jones has given up now.

    I don't even think that Federalism is a goer really, London and the south don't want to have to lose any of the power they have now, and are so used to the rest of the UK paying for their capital investment that they will force Scotland's hand and there will be another referendum soon. I know that the SNP won't commit to one until they are sure they can win but I really believe that is closer than they think. I know the polls put it something like 47% yes 53% no but after 5 years of Tory war on the poor and on Scotland I think people will have had enough. Labour are finished, I really believe that they are.

    I also think that after a kicking next year the Liberal Democrats can start a slow build back with new leadership in Scotland, if there are any MSPs left that is. But Labour, oh my God they have got to be the most stupid political party ever. I have been following twitter and the amount of members they are losing should be scaring the shit out of them.

    I won't shed a tear for Labour or the Tories, bastards all. I will try and help the Lib Dems re-build if I see that the party is really becoming a Liberal Party in Scotland, but it is a long way off from that just now. I know we have agreed before that we live in interesting times in Scotland but they just got a whole more interesting last night. I bet that the unionists are glad it's the recess but I think the recess won't help them now, with Banks eager to put up interest rates, the Scottish elections, the EU referendum, Cameron will live to regret the morning after the referendum when he needed to show humility and try to mend some bridges he decided to gloat and be the prick that we all know he is.

    Bruce

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    1. I think the most likely thing is that Labour will fall apart.

      Corbyn is well in the lead, but the powers in Labour have said that they will overturn him if he wins. So much for democracy. Apparently they need 43 MPs to sign a motion and a new leadership campaign will be started.

      Add to that the chaos of the Scottish branch and you have a party fragmenting.

      As I said, only under certain circumstances can they hope ot out-Tory the Tories, and even if they can, it means the eventual loss of their traditional vote...see what happened in Scotland.

      If England had a credibly left of centre party they would lose the North too.

      The Libnerals are desperately short of leadership. Rennie is a joke, and Farron isn't shaping up well, with his support form Carmichael and his damning of gays. Lordie, you'd have thought that gay people could have counted on Liberals for support. Now Scotland apparently is a dictatorship....WHAT?

      The latest polls actually show the Liberals making a gain of a couple of seats in the General Election with the greens taking 10 seats and the SNP 70.

      Labour and the Tories both lose.

      But that was before they decided to become the party of sitting on hands.

      Have you thought about getting involved in the Liberals and standing for election?

      Delete
    2. Tris

      I have started attending the meetings and some close friends have suggested that I should think about standing in 2017, I had some offers a few years ago to stand as an independent with support from friends self employed in media in the city. I decided not to try really because of work and family life and that is still the case, also not sure if I would get through the Liberal selection process to be honest. I am very much a social liberal, I am a YES voter, and that is not going to change although as I have said I could accept federalism if that is what the majority wanted.

      I do think we need different voices in the City, I think that is absolutely vital if Dundee is to grow and work towards easing some of the problems the city faces. I would like to see a more transparent Council. I think the council does a good job overall but I think they need to be more honest in how they communicate how decisions are made and they have to make consultation meaningful. Decisions like the location of the Olympia, M/Hill High etc needs more transparency and hiding behind foi is not good enough.

      There is a lot apathy around in Dundee and I do suspect that some of that is down to the fact that people when the get involved don't feel they are listened to and I have a lot of sympathy for that. Who knows though, I'll see how my membership of the party goes and take things from there, to be honest I can't see the SNP really being challenged in Dundee any time soon and with the electoral system Labour will get councillors through as the alternative vote.

      Bruce

      Delete
    3. You've got a lot to offer, Bruce.

      But there is the size of the commitment time and energy wise. If you have family it can be a real strain.

      You have some time to think about it though.

      Delete
  5. http://scotgoespop.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/either-yougov-is-completely-wrong-again.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+ScotGoesPop+(SCOT+goes+POP!)

    Corbyn in the lead according to Yougov... see the article on ScotGoesPop!

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  6. Labour's actions yesterday were a bloody shambles. What Harman should have done was to direct the MPs to vote against the reforms in their present state, THEN propose amendments, working with the other opposition parties. There seems to be this fear of losing votes. FFS the next election is over 4 years away, and they must start working now.

    The quicker Harman is sidelined the better. Corbyn has just raised his leadership credentials a fair few notches. Burnham talks well, but let's not forget his time in Government.

    If Corbyn wins, then I think Labour will change. It has to.

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    1. Well, as I've said, i think that opposition parties should be prepared to agree with what is right and oppose what is wrong. No government gets everything wrong and there were parts of this bill that had merit.

      Of course no one seriously thinks that the other opposition parties from the Liberal-Dems to Plaid the Irish parties to the SNP want to stop apprenticeships. That's stupid of course they don't. But that's the way they are playing it.

      I totally agree with you that they shoudl have voted down the bill in its present form and then propose a bill that would have had more fairness in it.

      I'm sure that the other opposition parties would have gone with that.

      I can;t understand Harman. She's an experienced politician. She's acting like a mad woman.

      Burnham's too weak to be leader in my opinion.

      I think though, that if Corbyn wins, which I hope he does, that the Labour party will split up.

      Delete
  7. I can;t understand Harman. She's an experienced politician. She's acting like a mad woman.

    Absolutely. It is as if she want's to shed Labour of anyone who thought they were a core Labour voter. That way lies madness.

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    1. You'd think that having seen what happened in Scotland, she would have realised that.

      Is no one saying. We had 41 seats; we lost 40 of them....why?

      Delete
  8. A poster on Wee Ginger Dug wrote this and said (to someone else admittedly!) she didn't mind it being circulated

    "To the tune of ‘what a friend we have in Jesus’…

    What’s the point in voting Labour
    They will only just abstain
    Except when claiming their expenses
    That they do time and time again
    They were only flipping houses
    They were only starting wars
    Not a Socialist amongst them
    Sold out to the House of Lords
    What’s the point in voting Labour
    They will only just abstain
    Red and Blue they stand together
    Red and Blue they are the same
    Not a single spine amongst them
    Not a moral compass too
    Not a hint of shame between them
    Red and Blue Tories through and through
    What’s the point in voting Labour
    They will only just abstain
    Except when voting for their pay rise
    Then these fuckers have no shame
    They blame the poor and the disabled
    They blame the migrants at the docks
    But most of all when all else fails them
    They blame it on the bloody Jocks
    What’s the point in voting Labour
    They will only just abstain
    Except when claiming their expenses
    That they do time and time again
    They were only flipping houses
    They were only starting wars
    Not a Socialist amongst them
    Sold out to the House of Lords"

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    Replies
    1. I too saw this and loved it, even sang along.

      Delete
  9. Morning Tris, read most of your comments this morning shortly after listening to someone from Labour speaking on R4 as I prepared my employers food. You will understand that as I was keeping a weather eye out for him I was only half listening yet again. The way it was going was that they had to keep to the middle ground, aye that is some middle, because if they swung to the left with Jeremy Corby they would never get those voters who tend to vote for the Tories to ever vote for them again. No mention of those they have dispossessed in England and those who have resolutely tuned their backs on every voting for them again. Still this stupid idea that Tony the Tory gave them that they have to be Tories to get elected, well hell mind them

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    1. That seems to be their problem, Helena.

      They are so afraid of not getting the votes of the "aspirational voters" as they call them (most of us are aspirational, they might not have noticed; some only aspire to be able to heat their home and put food on the table) that they completely take for granted the votes of the working classes. Even what happened in Scotland hasn't made them see sense.

      Listen carefully Labour; this is for your own good. In Scotland where there was an alternative, hundreds of thousands of people chose that alternative. In England, clearly the alternative was to stay home. If you try to out Tory the Tories, you'll only drive them farther to the right.

      Oh why bother?

      Delete
  10. Sorry should read Jeremy Corbyn, mistyped.

    ReplyDelete