The Labour leadership row highlights a party riven with division.
2005. That was the last time Labour won a General Election - 16 years ago. At the time, animosity against Labour was growing because of the Iraq War and Tony Blair came back with a reduced majority. That was because Blair was a showman, a pioneer of the Third Way and a visionary with a clear and articulate vision for the party that it has struggled to recapture since.
This weekend is the Labour Party Conference. It’s just been reported that Keir Starmer has been forced to drop changes to the way in which Labour elects its leaders after they were rejected by the Left of the party including the unions, Momentum and former Hard Left leader Jeremy Corbyn.
This U-turn on Starmer’s part highlights the weaknesses of his leadership. He’s not the worst Labour leader, but certainly the most ineffective; struggling to control the whining, whinging, withering cronies of the Hard Left that are bringing the party to a new low.
Labour is riddled by division. Starmer is a soft left centrist, but the party is still very much indebted to the Corbyn era. There are Labour MPs like Nadia Whittome who cause commotion cos students are being unacceptably repressed. There’s Clive James who recently posted an image of a Ku Ku Klan member to demonstrate how modern Britain treats white people. Coventry MP Zarah Sultana pushed for prisoners to be vaccinated before pensioners. And the party has been wrecked by its worst anti-semtism row in living memory.
To top it all off, Starmer has no vision for his party. I can 100% guarantee he won’t have a vision when he steps up to give a speech at Brighton today. The speech will be all about Covid and challenging the government on what it’s doing to tackle the crisis, but does he offer any solutions? No. He just rants and rants and rants like many lefties do. They make a lot of noise, but empty vessels make the most noise.
Corbyn certainly had a vision for the party. It was a retrograde and rejected vision, but it was a vision nonetheless. He wanted to nationalise services and raise taxes on big corporations. Moves that would’ve bankrupted Britain, but I admire him for sticking to his principles. But what he was proposing would’ve dragged Britain back to the Winter of Discontent of 1979 where the unions held the country hostage and services were disrupted widespread.
If Corbyn had it his own way, there would be no democracy. He claims to be a Democratic Socialist, but wants state ownership of all services and placing taxes on the corporations that bring the billions into our economy. It’s political suicide. This idea that the state should have control of every aspect of our waking life. We’ve seen it in Stalinist Russia, in Communist China and in Cambodia and it has failed badly. Big government leads to totalitarianism and Corbyn is a crypto-communist.
The only two leaders with any realistic visions for Labour were Clement Attlee and Tony Blair. Attlee founded the NHS and the welfare state which was revolutionary at the time. It’s unfortunate that both those have now become walking disasters. The NHS mental health care is an utter nightmare and Labour created a Benefits system that allowed generations to sponge off the state.
But Blair had a vision. He had the Third Way which was basically a mix of Social Democracy and neoliberalism. They pumped millions into social services, healthcare and welfare, but largely continued the free market economic policy invented by Thatcher. Ironically the changes they made to that model - the national system of financial regulation - failed to precipitate the 2008 Financial Crisis.
Blair was not a politician, but a performer. He was telegenic and got the crowds on his side through his unshakeable charisma. His successor Gordon Brown was far from that. He was a glum-looking, grouchy, miser with a volcanic temper and serious social aloofness. And he was desperate to become Prime Minister, having spent a decade claiming he had “abolished boom and bust” as the most powerful Chancellor ever.
Brown’s Machiavellian, jealous, power-hungry desire to steal the keys to No.10 killed New Labour stone dead. He should’ve realised quiet, grumpy men don’t make good Prime Ministers. He flunked at calling an early election which he should’ve done considering he was coronated PM rather than elected (a scandalous case of a succession pact 13 years in the making). And, when he did call one, it was too late. We now have over a decade of Tory government as a result and, in my opinion, for the better.
Now we have Keir Starmer. I won’t say Keir is the worst Labour leader ever. He’s not a walking Wallace and Gromit incarnate like Ed Miliband, a wispy-haired idiot like Michael Foot or a f**king commie like Jeremy Corbyn. But he is charismaless and clueless about Labour’s future as a party which Tony Blair, the man responsible for three Labour election victories (two of them landslides), has claimed faces “extinction”.
Labour really does face extinction if it doesn’t get its act together. Sir Keir needs to go - he’s a disaster and a right smug, morally superior, Champagne Socialist moron. The party needs to stop making so much noise and all the secondary school bickering and squabbling between the Hardies and the Softies of the party. Only then will they ever be considered a credible party of opposition let alone government. In short, DON’T VOTE LABOUR...