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Labour Party

Shall We Join The Labour Party?

There are some people whose sole contribution to working class organisation is to moan perpetually about the multiplicity of parties, and to bleat day and night for unity. They are the mentally indolent who never trouble to understand the principles of the parties they criticise, and knowing nothing of the underlying causes of political antagonisms their criticisms have no value whatever. In the main, they are probably sufferers from the peculiar sensitiveness of confused and untrained minds, to which the very idea of conflict is intensely painful. They can be happy only in trying to reconcile opposites, and to weld all the mutually destructive elements around them into one apparent whole. Thrust into a world in which class war reigns supreme, they must veil the hideous reality, or suffer the mental torture of having to search for a solution and struggle to apply it.

What Comes After The Labour Government?

Mr. Shinwell, Minister of Fuel, has resurrected an old legend. Speaking at Margate on May 7th he said: “There was a lot of talk of what kind of a Government would come in after this one, but there was only one possible kind which could come in and that was a Government even more to the left.” (News-Chronicle, May 8th, 1947.) Ever since the first Labour Government in any country took over the hopeless task of making the bitter fruits of capitalism palatable to the exploited class there have been a series of defences put out by Labour leaders. This is one of the series. The first, which does not long survive their taking office, is that Labour Government is very successful. The next is that it isn't successful but just remember the difficulties it faces. The third is that all would have been well if the workers had not embarrassed it by demanding higher wages.

If Labour Wins . . .

When the Labour Party won the general election of June 1992 Neil Kinnock, who had something of a name as a crooner, might have burst out with the Frank Sinatra song High Hopes. A couple of years later, when he was locked in secret, desperate negotiations over an alliance with the Liberal Democrats, he might have tried Stanley Holloway’s Get Me To The Church On Time. And when the Labour Party, exasperated by Kinnock’s compulsive alliterations and wisecracks in face of yet another disastrous experience of power, got rid of him a fitting accompaniment might have been There Go My Dreams.

Book Reviews: 'The Silk Roads', 'Corbyn. The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics', & 'Hayek vs Keynes'

The Road Much Taken

'The Silk Roads: a New History of the World'. By Peter Frankopan. (Bloomsbury £10.99)

The name of the Silk Road dates only from the late nineteenth century, but a connection between the Mediterranean and parts of south and east Asia began over two millennia ago. In this substantial volume, Peter Frankopan traces the history of this vast region and its influence on the wider world, emphasising its role in global movements of people, goods, ideas and armies. We cannot summarise the book here, just pick out some of its main themes.

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