May 18th, 2015by Phil Burton-Cartledge
I certainly don’t agree with all of what is said here. For instance, it assumes much of the English and Welsh political landscape is similar to Scotland. The piece below, however, contains some very uncomfortable truths for all Labour people. It behoves us all to pause and reflect on some of the disastrous decisions made over the last five years. This originally appeared on Labour Hame as a comment by someone who signs herself as “Annette“, and came to me by way of the excellent Mutterings from the Leftblog.
I am so tired of the word “nationalism” being branded about by Labour. And, ooh, they inserted the word “patriotic” in their constitution, how quaint. Personally, I don’t give a toss about patriotism and nationalism. I am an EU citizen living in Scotland and I voted YES because it is my firm belief that every country has a right to political self-determination and should not be ruled by another country. Continue reading →
May 18th, 2015by Ann Pettifor
While Labour and LibDem activists mourn, and political opportunists seize the moment, is the loss of the election such a bad thing? Might this be a good time to lose an election?
I think so. The reasons can be found in both domestic and global financial imbalances, in the advance of de-globalisation trends that are manifest in shrinking capital flows and growing nationalist movements; and in rising geopolitical tensions.
As I write, out in the big wide world there are upheavals in Eurozone and other sovereign bond markets. Whether this violent volatility will lead to a global bond market crash is an open question, but in just two weeks markets have already marked up almost €1tn of losses. Shares in booming stock markets have begun to slide, while currency movements are increasingly erratic. Continue reading →
May 17th, 2015by Michael Meacher
It really is distinctly premature to hold the first leadership hustings, with the usual banalities of a beauty competition, just 8 days after the heavy defeat when there has been next to no analysis of what went wrong, how it should be put right, what direction the country should now be taken, and why. Since fundamentally Labour did not have a credible economic policy of their own, but rather a highly meretricious one gleefully wished on them by the Tories, each of the contestants should be asked their views on austerity and the Tories’ deepening programme of cuts:
- Do they agree the Tories’ yarn about ‘Labour’s Great Recession’ as though the banks and the international downturn had nothing to do with it?
- Do they think the Tories’ austerity policies are working?
- Do they think Labour’s commitment to cut the deficit every year and impose a budget responsibility lock is (a) credible, (b) merely a pale imitation of Tory policy, (c) likely to cut the deficit currently standing at £92bn by any significant amount within 5 years, and (d) sellable to a large majority of Labour’s supporters?
- If not, what alternative do they offer?
Continue reading →
May 17th, 2015by Jon Lansman
After the catastrophic defeat by the SNP in Scotland and the extremely disappointing results in England and Wales, Labour needed a period of debate and reflection about what went wrong and what to do about it. What we have instead is a leadership (and deputy leadership) election. Do not expect an election to provide the debate we need! Continue reading →
May 17th, 2015by Nick Davies
The election result was terrible for Wales. If five years of self-defeating, poverty creating state-shrinking austerity from the coalition was bad enough, five more years of the Tories governing alone will be worse. The assault on the public sector threatens thousands of Welsh jobs, the £12 billion in ‘welfare’ cuts will make life even more difficult for the poor and the vulnerable; for many disabled people life will literally not be worth living. The cuts to the Welsh budget will result in cuts to the revenue support and grants to local authorities, making it increasingly difficult for them to deliver basic services and producing what is for the Tories, an added bonus of Labour local authorities blaming a Labour government for Tory cuts. Continue reading →
May 17th, 2015by Guest
The following statement was published yesterday on Revitalise Scottish Labour, the website associated with the trade union left in Scotland and Scottish Labour activists involved in the Campaign for Socialism
Today’s Scottish Executive (SEC) was, to put it mildly, something out of the ordinary.
The meeting was presented with a report on the general election that focused on the organisational aspects of the campaign. However, it swiftly moved on to concerns about the political message and of course the leadership, when a motion of no confidence in Jim Murphy as Scottish Labour Leader was proposed and seconded by representatives from the trade union and constituency party sections. Continue reading →
May 16th, 2015by Phil Burton-Cartledge
Was going to blog about the doings at Stoke Council but the unfolding train wreck around UKIP’s leadership has coloured me interested. For once I was looking forward to Nigel Farage’s appearance on Question Time. Looking back the one prediction I got right about political developments this year was this:
There will be a little bit of drop off [in UKIP support] come the election but we’re talking figures of 12-13% here, certainly not a collapse the likes of Dan Hodges is predicting (hoping) for. A big slap on the back for them then. But my reading of the runes flags up a problem for them. They’re only going to win one seat, and that will be Douglas Carswell’s. Mark Reckless will depart from the Commons and Nigel Farage won’t even make it in. Then comes the infighting, if Farage makes good his promise and resigns as UKIP leader. And when that happens I’ll cheerfully pass round the popcorn.
Continue reading →
May 15th, 2015by Michael Meacher
Some of the reasons put forward in the papers for supporting leadership contenders are just plain daft: ‘he can look the part’ or ‘he’s up to the job’ – not even ranking style over substance can justify such silly comments. But it’s all part of the digital age that presentation in a 1-minute television clip rates more with the viewers than what you say. It chimes too with the collapse of political education and the loss of public meetings as a forum for detailed and participative debate on political issues. It debases politics into a popularity fanfare which has the enormous advantage for the power brokers who really rule Britain that it distracts attention away from the democratic abuses they perpetrate day in day out which hobble the ambitions and prospects of so many millions below them. Continue reading →
May 15th, 2015by Neil Findlay
So it wasn’t a tsunami, earthquake, tidal wave or landslide – it was all of them and as many other cataclysmic metaphors as you want to throw in. Scottish Labour was obliterated at the polls with majorities in the 10’s and 20’s of thousands wiped out at a stroke with only Ian Murray left clinging on.
So are we now entering a new period where politics is not based on a comparing policy positions or manifestos but on a national mood, where like New Labour in 1997 it just becomes ‘the thing to do’? In workplaces, amongst the creative community, the voluntary sector, in polite circles and pubs and bars it has become cool to support the SNP. A bit like Chelsea FC – hardly anyone supported them when they were rubbish but now they are winning everyone’s a fan. Continue reading →
May 15th, 2015by Guest
Ten newly-elected first-time Labour MPs this morning issued a call for the party to take on a bold anti-austerity agenda:
Having arrived in Westminster as newly-elected Labour MPs after speaking to tens of thousands of voters during our election campaigns, we know how important it is for the future of our Party to move forward with an agenda that best serves the everyday needs of people, families and communities and that is prepared to challenge the notion of austerity and invest in public services. Continue reading →