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Labour Party

Editorial: Doctor Smith Operates

As Leaders go John Smith is something of a novelty. He did not campaign for the leadership as the darling of the left and then outrage his supporters by revealing himself as a man of the right.

His appeal was of a different kind. He studiously avoided any ideological commitment apart from vague phrases about a juster and more caring society. His promise was to be a shrewd and prudent managing director for British Capitalism plc. The implication was clear. This is a man you can trust. He will look after you like your family doctor. After the hysterical abrasive raving of Neil Kinnock some Labour supporters might have found relief in John Smith's more comforting message.

'Confessions of a Dorking Housewife'

I was born and brought up in the South of England, in an area where the wealth and privilege of the minority of people are fairly easy to see. Like the majority in the area, however, my background was working-class. Unusually, my father was an avid Labour Party supporter and, as a child, I heard many of the arguments against the capitalist system. I was led to believe that the only answer to the basic injuries of capitalism lay in the hands of a Labour government.

The Socialist Party and the Labour Movement


"I've read your article in the Socialist Standard."

"I am honoured."

"And I don't think much of it."

"I am flattered."

"Don't try to be smart. That is one of the besetting sins of your party."

"What? being smart, or trying to be?"

"There you are, twisting again. You know what I mean."

"Now, don't get angry, friend. Angry people cannot reason."

"You ought to talk of reason, you did: always savagely attacking the Labour Party. Why don't you devote your energies to attacking the common enemy, instead of other sections of the 'movement'?"

'The movement? What is this you call the 'movement'?"

"There you go again! Twist and wriggle, wriggle and twist. You know my meaning as well as myself. I mean the Socialist movement, the Labour movement."

Editorial: Break the Link With Labour

Should Labour cut its links with the unions? The Labour Party can do what it likes, but if the question is put the other way round -  should the unions cut their links with the Labour Party -  the answer is yes, they should have done this years ago. In fact they should never have set up and financed the Labour Party in the first place.

Unions and the Labour Party have different aims which in the end are incompatible and antagonistic. The unions seek to get the best deal they can for the sale of their members' labour power to employers. But wages, working conditions and terms of employment can only be improved at the expense of profits.

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