Can anyone recall when the Labour Party became afraid (or ashamed) of its own past; when its leading members balked at letting the ugly red-haired kid play outside in the street; when espousing basic socialist principles became anathema … except in the syrupy obituaries of Labour’s lost souls?
Did the party’s Manifesto Group – and the 1981 SDP schism it led to – so shatter its confidence in ever gaining power that it vowed to become the ‘not-quite-a-Tory’ party?
If so, why have they not learnt a similar bitter lesson from the vacuous void of the Blair years? A lost-chance era when pretty words in sound bite chunks, served with lashings of charm, mattered more than principles and policies ever could. After all that was what put the party in power. Yet to what end? Ultimately they squandered those years in schmoozing their way to a second pay day, sorry term, delivering nothing.
And the last election result? No lessons there either? It seems not, as one-by-one the ‘not-quite-a-Tory’ mouthpieces stand-up to decry the electability of a Labour party led by a left-wing leader – or a voter-repellant beard. Gordon Brown is the latest Muppet to utter that thought.
However, perhaps they recall the prophetic words of an anonymous but senior MP who’s comment on the leftward-leaning Ed Milliband’s leadership victory in 2010 was: “(it was bleak day) ..I think this will trigger a constitutional crisis in the party. It is complete madness that we can be seen to have a leader who was put there by the unions“.
If they do then maybe Labour needs a once and for all split; let Labour be labour, with all the constitutionally elected Trade Union influence it can muster; let if fight social injustice. Let it strut its left-wing philosophy and policies. We need a strident, real alternative political voice. As for the weak-willed centrist new Labour patsies, well they can call themselves the ‘not-quite-a-Tory‘ party, or the new-SDP, and maybe go rescue the Liberal Democrats from their own oblivion.
Look, I’m not necessarily a Labour-voter, frankly their wishy-washy policies turn me off; at least I can admire and support the Green Party’s principles. But … this nation is clinging to the very thinnest veneer of democracy, a threadbare veil of lies and misdirection that barely hides the truth of Britain as an elective dictatorship; a country led by a hotch-potch of shadowy lobbyists and the hidden machinations that drive the civil service machinery. A people who get to choose the figure-head to front that dystopian dictatorship every fifth year; a frustrating Hobson’s Choice between increasingly similar personalities.
In my rare Truman Show moments, I’m sure, from somewhere behind the veil, I hear laughter and the sweeping sound of a broom brushing reality under the rug of bureaucracy.
Anyone who cares about Britain, about its future, its generations to come, must surely rail against this governance. Yet holding a dictatorship accountable is no easy thing.
Having even one real alternative, with a tangible philosophical difference, is at least a start. But we’ll not get that without a fight, without engaging in active democracy. To shirk that responsibility is to lose our hard won democratic freedom altogether.
Almost all available indicators suggest that representative democracy is in longterm, terminal decline, but no viable alternative model of democracy currently exists. All measures of popular engagement with, and attitudes towards, representative democracy show a clear decline since the 1970s.
Source – 2012 Audit of (UK) Democracy.
In this blog, as it develops, I intend to explore not only the issues that piss-me-off, but also the resources, strategies and tactics of active democracy (actually, I might borrow an old new-Labour marketing ploy and call it activeDemocracy ™ – bloody thing might just catch on).
In the meantime, anyone in the Labour Party who thinks that socialism is a poison, please can you FUCK OFF and start your own ‘not-quite-a-Tory’party?]]>