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Labour Party

Book Review: 'The House the Left Built'

Disorderly house

'The House the Left Built: Inside Labour Policy Making 1970-1975', by Michael Hatfield, (Victor Gollancz, £8.50)

After its defeat in the 1970 General Election, the Labour Party set about formulating a set of policies to ensure its speedy return to power. It eventually produced what Hatfield calls “its most left wing programme in thirty years”, and his book aims to trace the process whereby these policies came to be adopted. As a study of the day-to-day exigencies of capitalist politics, The House the Left Built is mostly unilluminating. It does reveal the unprincipledness of Labour politics and the lack of democracy in the Labour Party, but it is hardly worth paying £8.50 to be reminded of this.

Short Story: 'Decisions'

The race is on for the Labour nomination at Northloft, a safe seat where the present MP, Fred Parcel, stands down at the next election. Northloft lies athwart a main line railway which in the nineteenth century changed it into a blackened industrial suburb. Some famous Victorian capitalists set down factories there, with terraced streets with workers' homes in red brick and grey slate. Between the wars council estates were laid out and then came wedges of speculatively-built, cherry-blossomed semis whence clerks set out each day to ride on the railway to the office.

Lack of Momentum

The Labour leadership election between Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith is a battle for the heart and soul of the Party; we examine what is really at stake.

A few years ago the idea that Jeremy Corbyn might be leader of the Labour Party would have been as likely as Lord Lucan appearing in Kensington High Street riding Shergar. But such is the disillusionment with much of what the Blair and Brown governments stood for – including the Iraq War – that the Labour Party seems to be a rather different place these days.

Editorial: The Curse of Work, The Right to Live

The Labour Party will soon need to cry “Save us from our friends”! The other “Leaders” who failed to secure election are turning upon them.

Mr. Russell Smart, in the columns of the Labour Leader, asserts that, since the General Election, they have lost ground because of the “tame and unheroic policy the Labour Party has followed in the House of Commons; in the eyes of the electorate it has scarcely justified its existence.”

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