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Politics

Say it Loud and Say it Proud: “We are Socialists!”

LRCImageGlobalisation punishes hard any country that tries to run its economy by ignoring the realities of the market or prudent public finances. In this strictly narrow sense, and in the urgent need to remove rigidities and incorporate flexibility in capital, product and labour markets,we are all “Thatcherite” now”.

Peter Mandleson’s philosophy is best summed up by this quote and when you add it to his disgraceful comment about “being intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich”, than you have a pretty putrid mix of ideologies from one of the leading lights in the last Labour Government. How can someone with such an arcane view of Society possibly understand the daily grind and struggles of working class people across this land? More pointedly he and his ilk do not want to foster such empathy in the first place and that’s why a Labour Party that gives succour to such viewpoints can never present a credible alternative to the Tories, or even begin to start building the sort of Society that is so desperation needed.

Speaking purely as a, “fat, middle aged, white, male, finger jabbing trade unionist” (copyright Alan Johnson) I feel that that the New Labour faction of the Party represented by the entryist , secretive Cabal that is “Progress” (sic) is so far divorced from even the middle ground of Labour that their position within the Party is untenable. David Sainsbury bank rolls the Progress faction to the tune of £2.9 million. They run weekend courses in opulent conference centres for their acolytes where young, impressionable minds are brainwashed in New Labour Speak, and there are even training sessions on how to manage your dinosaur CLP Chair (can’t imagine that!) and say what they want to hear in order to win selection processes. 

Following on from Alan Johnson’s vitriolic January attack on the Unions (bizarre, given his background. I know Alan reasonably well and confess to being totally gutted by his outburst) we now have Peter Mandleson stirring the anti Union pot with a thinly veiled attack using the smokescreen of selection policy to urge a distancing from the workplace part of the Labour Movement.

It is obvious what is afoot here. The Unions have been galvanised out their torpor by bottom up pressure from their members and associates in the grass roots of the Labour Party by the unprecedented attacks by this rancid Tory Government, and are now taking affirmative action to fight back. The Labour Establishment see this as very dangerous as it challenges the New Labour orthodoxy that markets rule, and privateering in the Public Sector is to be encouraged. Many ex Labour Ministers such as Milburn and Blunkett have unashamedly cashed in by taking directorships based on their inside knowledge. Otherwise known as corruption and jobs for the boys.

Milburn, Secretary of State for Health from 1998 to 2003, is a director of Covidien, which describes itself as “a $10bn global healthcare products leader”. He is also a member of Lloydspharmacy’s Healthcare Advisory Panel. Milburn is an advisor to the European advisory panel of leading private equity firm Bridgepoint, which specialises in healthcare investments.

Blunkett, who held a variety of Cabinet posts from 1997-2005 is now an advisor on business development to A4e Ltd, for which he is paid at least £25,000 a year. A4e describes itself as a “market leader in global public service reform”.

Sally Morgan, however takes the award for total lack of shame. Morgan was Blair’s number one advisor and then was elevated to the Lords by Gordon Brown who made her a Minister. She is now a director of the largest care home operator in the UK, Southern Cross, which has expanded substantially as a result of government reforms to the structure and funding of social care. She is a member of the advisory panel of Lloyds Pharmacy, which is expected to bid for contracts under the Department of Health’s £1.25bn Alternative Provider Medical Services programme which was the most bitterly contested part of the Coalition’s detested Health and Social Care Bill.

Whilst we have such lamentable people in positions of influence within the Labour Party, we will be stymied and totally neutered in our ability to turn things around if the election in 2015 is won.

The presence of Progress and it’s corrosive poisoning of the Labour Party sets the context for the wholly unacceptable statement by a Labour Councillor that the butchery inflicted on the City of Hull by Eric Pickles manic slashing of the budget meant that instead of resistance there would be “compassionate cuts”.

But there is hope. It’s called Socialism and can be found the length and breadth of our nation.

It’s Socialism that got 17,000 people at virtually a weeks notice to protest the Bedroom Tax in 50 venues across the UK. It’s Socialism that drives resistance in Councils with no support from the Labour Party. It’s Socialism that galvanises support to defend our NHS, again with virtually no help (with notable exceptions) from the established Labour Party and it’s front bench.

There is a massive panic in the main Parties regarding UKIP and it’s swelling vote. They should be panicking. They have nothing to offer except more of the same austerity and the prospect of a burgeoning low wage/ high profit economy which suits the status quo. What are the Labour Party saying about the fact that since 2009 wages have plummeted by 8.5% whilst fat cattism blossoms and ostentatious flaunting of wealth is de rigeur in the red tops? No, me neither. Which is why this is such a great time for the re make of “The Great Gatsby” as we are living through the 1920’s crises all over again.

So, time to say it loud and say it proud: We are Socialists and we will fight with every sinew to drive this Government from power and replace it with a Labour Government elected on a proper, concrete Socialist programme which places the wealth and power of this great country in the hands of the majority of us, the working class.  

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About dermotrathbone

Writer and co author "Through Red Lenses". Activist Unite the Union, Save Our NHS Hull. Fan of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Hull FC, Munster and Ireland Rugby. Views are mine alone and may not reflect the organisations concerned.

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