Skip to Content

Labour Party

The Left: Once More Boring From Within

"Left" is pidgin-political for reformers babbling of green fields, syndicalists, and advocates of state capitalism. Socialists reject it as a label because we want none of those things, and there is one other conspicuous difference. No Socialist would touch the Labour Party with a barge-pole; the "left" fall over one another getting into it.

Book Review: 'The Left'

The "Labour Movement"

'The Left', edited by Gerald Kaufman (Anthony Blond, 18s.)

This book is a collection of essays by supporters of the Labour Party, mainly journalists, on what is called "the labour movement": constituency Labour parties, trade unions, the co-ops, the left-wing press, the "fringe left" and so on. The essays are of varying quality and interest.

Greasy Pole: What It Was All About

Greasy Pole

Sprawled out across the lawn it was warm and relaxing until Janet, who was into her third glass of Tesco Finest Chardonnay, blurted: 'So what's all this about Jeremy Corbyn then? I'm going to his meeting at the Town Hall on Wednesday. If I can get in, that is; he's had thousands at his other meetings with overflows so I might have to stand outside'. Jeremy Corbyn. A couple of months before none of them had heard of him but now it was different. Janet told about a friend of a friend who is one of his constituents; they admire his rebelliousness in parliament, where he has voted against the whips' instructions over 500 times (they called it 'challenges') and he was very helpful to her when she took a particular problem to him. At all events he couldn't be much worse than Ed Miliband and that lot who lost the last election. And who were those Labour MPs against him? That Liz Kendall saying she loved Labour but talking more like a proper Tory.

Labour MPs in Confusion

The Labour Party has always attracted a wide range of politically bewildered do-gooders and reformists. These believe that in spite of their many differences, they can all band together and run capitalism more acceptably than the Tories. In the past some, like David Owen, have decided that their ambitions would be better served by getting out and abandoning the principles they once claimed to hold. Others like Tony Benn have remained despite their out-of-step ideas, to become eccentric and embarrassing curiosities in the eyes of their more ambitious colleagues.

In his leadership acceptance speech of October 1983, Neil Kinnock attempted to forge a new unity by referring to "socialism" in the vague and misleading way that the Labour Party has often had recourse to when convenient:

Syndicate content