Labour’s descent into centre-right obscurity gets the once-over from Beastrabban’s Blog here. The good Dr provides the context in which we should view the latest developments in the Party of Working People’s attempts to distance itself from, well, working people. The sad fact is that, once begun, members realise what’s going on and – rather than fight for the organisation – desert in droves. Then, with increasingly fewer people to resist the rightward plunge, the process accelerates. What do you end up with? A weak clone of the Conservative Party.
Ed Miliband take note: This is not the way to win elections. It is a cowardly subversion of a once-great movement.
Yesterday Ed Milliband announced that he was ending the automatic contribution to the Labour party from the subscriptions of individual members of the trade unions. It marks a continuation of the New Labour policy of distancing the party from its origins in the unions. Way back in the 1990s, Tony Blair threatened to end the party’s ties to the unions altogether if they did not toe his line. It’s also part of the New Labour campaign of presenting itself as more middle class party. This process began under Neil Kinnock. The satirical British magazine, Private Eye, satirised Kinnock’s new middle class direction for the party by showing him shouting ‘Ich bin ein shareholder!’ Other spoof photographs on the same theme showed Kinnock shouting declaring, ‘I am an estate agent, and the son of estate agents’. Later Tony Blair was shown next to John Prescott saying, ‘We’re all middle class…
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