OMG!!! Imagine if the PLP had actually supported Corbyn!? Imagine if we actually had an ‘impartial’ BBC!? imagine if Brexit hadn’t split the Labour vote in the North?
One thing is clear. The neoliberal era is over. I wasn’t ever sure I would live to see it. I left University in June ’79 a month after Thatcher won for the first time. I’m now 60. Its taken a long, long time for the awful lived reality of neoliberalism to counteract the overwhelming and dominating pro-capital media propoganda. But at least for today the neoliberal Emperor’s lack of clothing has become visible to at least half the country. Continue reading
Imagine this scenario… Once upon a time in a land not too far away a leader of a political party was elected by the biggest majority in the parties history and their election to the leadership attracted over 350,000 people to join that political party making it the biggest political in Europe. The reason this new leader was so incredibly popular was because he believed in policies that helped the many not the few. Continue reading
I’m reading Hannah Arendt’s, Eichmann in Jerusalem, for the first time. This is her study of the trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann the chief bureaucrat behind the Holocaust. When the book was first published Arendt was vilified as being a ‘self-hating Jew’ because she used the phrase ‘the banality of evil’ to describe the unexceptional, bureaucratic, corporate, ‘yes man’, that was Eichmann. Continue reading
I suggest that the ‘Lansman Constitutional Coup’ of Momentum, isn’t really about Lansman at all – its about Corbyn and McDonnell.
A grassroots movement was useful to them at the beginning but now in order to put up a credible fight in the next election they are going to have to come to an accommodation with the centre of the Labour Party. Not the Blairite, ultra-right of the party, they will never support Corbyn. But the soft-left, Guardian-reading, pragmatic, party loyalists who would like to see more left-wing policies if they could be convinced the voters do too (Owen Jones et al).
So in order to appease the soft-left of the party, Corbyn/McDonnell will have to compromise on some of the policy shibboleths of the left. Could be Trident or Palestine/Israel or a pullback on the rhetoric around Blair as a war criminal, or whatever. In order to pursue this strategy of ‘appeasement’ Corbyn/McDonnell could not countenance a grassroots Momentum that was further to the left than they are and unwilling to compromise on these policy shibboleths. Continue reading
The suits rule the world!
They probably always did but briefly from the mid sixties to the early eighties the ‘suits’ were derided as boring bureaucrats. To be an accountant was just about the most laughable career choice anyone could make and banking was for dull old men.
During this period the rulers of the universe were rock stars and actors, film makers and playwrights. It was teachers, lecturers, doctors and lawyers who were the stars of their professions. And in politics it was iconic individualists like Tony Benn and Norman Tebbit who captured the public imagination.
But after 1979 the ‘suits’ mounted a counter-revolution and took back control of every aspect of our lives. But these weren’t Thatcher’s risk-taking ‘entrepreneurs’; these new ‘suits’ were the boring A-grade students who at school got all the prizes but completely lacked charisma or imagination and were about as risk-averse as you can get.
This has led to the sociopathic dead-hand of corporate managerialism taking over all our lives. The dreaded MBA has spread the myth that all organisations are the same and that ‘managing’ a bank, a supermarket or a button factory is the same as managing a hospital, a school or a theatre.
And worst of all this world-view has infected politics , and even the politics of the left. The labour party, the trade unions and the labour movement have been overtaken by a technocratic managerial proceduralism, electorialism and legalism that has rendered them almost apolitical.
There is huge anger on social media and from the ‘liberal’ media about Corbyn imposing a three line whip on LP MP’s to vote to trigger Article 50.
Many middle class ‘liberal’ LP supporters are outraged that ‘their’ party is choosing not to reflect their core values. Well, hi folks, welcome to the world many of us have been living in for 30 years!
Lets face it by 1997 the Gang Of Four who split from the LP in the early eighties to form the SDLP, must have been sick to their stomachs because Blair’s New Labour was everything they have could have ever hoped for! And during New Labour the LP became an overwhelmingly middle-class party. Labour MP’s had always tended to be from the professional middle classes but in the Blair years the activists and bureaucrats all became middle-class. As a result the values and priorities of the party became increasingly middle-class. New Labour was the Libdems but having stolen the history, structures and electoral success of the LP.