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Neil Kinnock

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.

Editorial: End of a Dream

When Neil Kinnock and Roy Hattersley were elected leader and deputy leader of the Labour Party in 1983, they were hailed as a "dream ticket" - as a pair who between them were likely to pander to just about every prejudice and delusion and so were expected to bring in the maximum votes for their party. At the time Labour had suffered so crushing a defeat that there was serious speculation about their ability to survive as an electoral force. How should they recover? Make an alliance with the SDP and Liberals? Fight the next election on the kind of programme which Derek Hatton might consider too extreme? Or ditch practically everything they ever called their principles and campaign as an open and unashamed party of capitalism, market forces and all?

Proper Gander: Peering At The Peers

Proper Gander

The House of Lords isn’t just a holding bay for octogenarian Caucasian aristocrats before they pop their clogs. As BBC2’s documentary series Meet The Lords shows us, it’s a weirder and more interesting institution than its fuddy-duddy reputation suggests. Despite the House of Lords’ important role in the state, and therefore capitalism, we don’t usually see all that much of it on the telly. There’s an occasional glimpse on the news, when we get someone like Paddy Ashdown (now The Right Honourable The Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon) or Melvyn Bragg (aka Baron Bragg of Wigton in the County of Cumbria) standing next to those tightly upholstered red benches talking cobblers and looking older than we remember. The producers of Meet The Lords have been allowed to film the wider goings-on in the House, including the debates, corridor chats, rituals and mealtimes.

Capitalism for the Workers – Pull the Other One

In her first speech as Prime Minister, outside Number 10, Theresa May assured those from 'an ordinary working class family' that she understood their problems and that 'the government I lead will be driven not by the interests of the privileged few but by yours'.

That would be a turn up for the books for a Tory government. The Tory Party's role has always been, precisely, to govern more or less consciously in the interest of the rich. But, to get into office to do this, they need the votes of 'ordinary' members of the majority class of wage and salary earners and their dependants who make up the great bulk of the electorate. Hence such empty promises and pie-crust pledges.

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