British Labour’s Daily Retreat
As Adam Bienkov from Byline Times has noted: “it turns out that everything that’s gone wrong in the last 13 years is the fault of a future government that doesn’t yet exist” …
In reverse proportion to the hysteria about Starmer’s supposedly incoming government is the actual reality of Starmer’s incoming government which is characterised by a daily drip drip of announcements about what they won’t do, can’t do and absolutely refuse to do.
Last week saw the announcement of the abandonment of the green jobs investment plan (we covered here Empire State of Mind), this week saw the abandonment of their commitment to childcare. The process is rapid. Only in October 2022 Bridget Phillipson ( the shadow education secretary,) said “I don’t think you can talk about growing your economy unless you’ve got a real plan about how you provide parents with the support they need around childcare,” Today: Labour ruled out universal childcare for young children in a ‘fiscal credibility drive’.
Last night Labour ordered its peers not to vote for a motion opposing the Tories latest attack on our right to protest.
An unforgivable act. Labour tonight supported the Government in its unprecedented abuse of power to restrict the publics right to protest. With Lord Coaker stating: “Labour will abstain on the fatal motion…. we will not block the bill…”
— Dr. Jennifer Cassidy (@OxfordDiplomat) June 14, 2023
Today Labour abstained from an SNP attempt to create a Cost of Living Committee at Westminster.
These aren’t just retreats shaped by the right-wing media culture, the threat of backers or the fear of being intimidated by the Murdoch press. These are hostages to fortune, deeply ideological positions and conscious decisions made at a time when the Conservatives are in complete disarray. These are often highly popular policies (like investment in green jobs and childcare) which also make perfect sense – even in the limited language of British politics about ‘strengthening the economy’. Yet they’re abandoned, daily.
There is two major phenomenon in British politics at the moment working hand in hand (see Daily Mail above, but its everywhere). One is the farce of the Tory media portraying Starmer’s Labour party agenda as some kind of radical threat, and the other is UK Labour denouncing things they themselves said months, weeks, sometimes even days ago as completely reckless and impossibly unaffordable. This self-flagellation is completely pointless. As you can see first hand there is absolutely no point in the ideological asst-stripping the Labour has gone under. There is no point in which the British establishment will be satisfied. Instead what we are seeing is the true ideological position of the right-wing on the Labour party being laid bare.
The truth about British politics is it’s a dark mirror. A two-party system distorted by internal warring factions. The parameters for acceptable government are along a very narrow ideological range, we could call The Blair-Cameron Corridor, and any historical exceptions to this are deviations. The consequences of this is that when we eventually get a ‘Labour Govt’ there will be much rejoicing having ‘got rid of the Tories at last’. History on spin tells us that this is an empty victory and a pointless exercise. Time to detach ourselves from the froth of British politics and (re) build a movement for change.