July 19, 2023 at 11:33 am #245314
Only two days later Starmer has doubled down on being a fiscal conservative. Labour used to seek working class support on the basis that they would spend money on social reforms that benefited workers.
Not any more. This is what he is reported as saying yesterday:
“It was ‘a big mistake’ for the left to equate spending money with radicalism as he insisted that fiscal discipline was fundamental to winning power” (today’s Times)
I suppose it could be said that Labour has learnt that you can’t reform capitalism in the interest of the workers and so is no longer promising to do so; admitting that reformism has failed and embracing capitalism as it is.
Socialists draw a different conclusion. Yes, Reformism has failed (as we knew it would), so the only alternative is to get rid of capitalism and replace it by socialism, common instead of class ownership of productive resources and production for use not profit.July 20, 2023 at 11:39 am #245320
The Labour Party is doubling down on its fiscal conservatism anti-reform position. Under the headline “Labour leadership preparing to adopt more welfare cuts” today’s Times reports:
“Labour will have to adopt more Conservative welfare cuts to demonstrate fiscal responsibility, senior party figures have said.”
This includes the notorious “bedroom tax”.
Rachel Reeves, Labour Shadow Chancellor, told the Today programme on bbc radio 4:
“I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been through the division lobbies and voted against what the government have done. Does that mean we are going to be able to reverse all those things? The sad truth is that we are not going to be able to do that, because of the dire economic inheritance that an incoming Labour government will face.”
We’ve heard this before — we can’t do what we would like to do because the previous government left the economy in a mess. But this won’t do. The state of the capitalist economy is not the result of government incompetence (though it could be if it hasn’t been respecting the logic and priorities of capitalism) but of the normal workings of capitalism which no government can control. The present economic situation has not been caused by “Tory incompetence” but by capitalism.
So what Reeves is in effect saying is that capitalism does not allow a future Labour government to restore previous social reforms. A Labour government would be (and would have been) in the same position as the Tory government of having to deal with what the vagaries of capitalism throw at them. They will be forced to be “fiscally responsible” throughout their whole period in office.
As we keep on saying, the problem is not the Tories of Labour, it’s capitalism.July 21, 2023 at 5:38 am #245328
Breaking News Selby and Ainsty by-election: fiscal conservative gain from fiscal Conservative. Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-election: fiscal Conservative beat off fiscal conservative challenge. Somerton and Frome by-election: fiscal conservative vote collapses from 12.9% to 2.6%. Overall result: No Change.July 21, 2023 at 11:29 am #245332
Capitalist parties are like Penguin chocolate bars. They come in different wrappers, but they’re all the same on the inside.July 21, 2023 at 5:06 pm #245339
I can’t see how Labour can be content with the results of the 3 by-elections.
They won in that rural seat in Yorkshire but can expect to lose it at the general election when Tory abstainers return to the fold. They should have won Uxbridge in west London but didn’t. They are pleading that there was a local issue there that sunk them (extension to the area of a charge for using old cars and vans) but, besides being a bread and butter issue, this concerns all the outer London boroughs.
It is clear too that, in seeking to please the international speculators who lend governments money, they are alienating the more radical-minded of their voters sone of whom are deserting to the Greens. In fact, they lost by much less votes in Uxbridge than the Greens got. Starmer may be regretting his outburst about hating tree-huggers.
They weren’t trying in the West Country but what happened to their vote there is also relevant. An “independent socialist” picked up 635 votes compared to their candidate’s 1009. They lost winning the London by-election by less than 635. In other words, Left-of-Labour candidates in other constituencies in a general election could prevent them winning some marginal seats and might even result in a hung Parliament with the LibDems and the Scots Nats holding the balance of power.
Serve them right, some might be inclined to think. That’ll teach them to behave like a government in waiting whereas they might just be a minority government in waiting. On the other hand, that would provide them with the same alibi they used to try to get out of the failure of the 1924 and 1929 Labour governments that “we were in office, not in power”.
Actually, of course, all governments are just in office as no government has the power to overcome the economics laws of capitalism and make the system serve the interest of the majority.July 22, 2023 at 10:39 am #245347
The Electoral Calculus is still predicting a Labour super majority for the next general election (73 percent!). SOURCE: https://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/prediction_main.html
By-elections aren’t good predictors of what will happen at a general election because voter turnout for the former is a lot lower than for the latter.
‘Actually, of course, all governments are just in office as no government has the power to overcome the economics laws of capitalism and make the system serve the interest of the majority.’
Very true. Thank God Corbyn didn’t become prime minister, because the current cost of living crisis would have been blamed on his so-called socialist policies.July 22, 2023 at 3:20 pm #245353chelmsfordParticipant
The Labour Party just can’t bring itself to admit that capitalism is a cancer infecting humanity and socialism is the, uh…what cures cancer?July 26, 2023 at 12:49 pm #245401
From Monday’s Guardian on the current purge in the Labour Party:
“About a month ago, Neal Lawson, a member of Labour since the late 70s, got a letter from the party’s governance and legal unit, inviting him to defend himself over a two-year-old tweet. His apparent offence? He had praised an example of cooperation between the Lib Dems and the Green party, saying: “This is what grown-up politics looks like.” If this was deemed to be an incitement to vote for a party other than Labour, he was warned, he would be in breach of party rules and expelled.”
Mind you, all parties do that.July 26, 2023 at 1:27 pm #245402
The state-corporate media accused Corbyn of being a neo-Stalinist by purging anyone from the Labour Party who disagreed with him (when in fact he accommodated the right of his party). Starmer has been purging the LP of all who disagree with him for over 3 years, and the silence from the state-corporate media is deafening.August 18, 2023 at 2:50 pm #245923
“Labour partially rows back on workers’ rights pledges
Party amends plan to bolster protections for gig economy as it boasts of ‘pro-business’ credentials”
Par for the course.August 28, 2023 at 7:25 am #246340
Labour rules out a tax on wealth or any more taxes in businesses as it emphasises its pro-capitalist-business position:
Can there anybody who thinks that a Labour government would mean any more than a change of personnel in charge of ministries?
These days they are not even claiming to be a reformist party, redistributing wealth, increasing benefits, etc.
In the 1950s they used to talk of Butskellism to bring out that there was no difference between the policies of the Tory Butler and the Laborite Gaitskell. What shall we call it today Sunarmerism or Starmnakism? Or maybe just stick to Labour Tory, Same Old Story.October 5, 2023 at 9:13 pm #247394Socialist Party Head OfficeParticipant
A sympathiser has sent in this contribution to this discussion:
I am Keir Starmer
a politician I may be
but I’m more a smarmy charmer
of that its plain to see
I’ll say whatever sounds good
to get myself on top
But 3 years of my team
and the country will go pop
I’ve got no new ideas
plans or strategies
I’m helping these right wing tories
bring the workers to their knees
A vote for me is a vote for business
of that you can be assured
The clue you see is in my name
I’m actually a Lord
So dont expect no changes or improvements
to your life
It’ll be much more of the same thing
lots of trouble and
lots of strife
Damian McCarthyOctober 27, 2023 at 4:01 pm #247962
So Labour’s shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rachel Reeves, has been exposed as a common plagiarist. That’s for a book she wrote, but that seems to be her stock-in-trade.
She has also plagiarised previous Chancellors’ economic policy of fiscal conservatism. If she ever gets the job expect her to copy passages from their speeches about fiscal restraints, tighten your belts, jam tomorrow, we can’t afford that, don’t ask for higher wages, etc, etc.
And some people still seem to think that a Labour government would be — could be — any different from a Tory one or, for that matter, from all previous Labour ones.October 27, 2023 at 4:53 pm #247966robbo203Participant
And some people still seem to think that a Labour government would be — could be — any different from a Tory one or, for that matter, from all previous Labour ones.
Are there still any leftists around who take the view that workers should “vote Labour without illusions”? That was the SWP line if I recall correctly. Personally, I couldn’t tell you which of the two main contending capitalist parties I find more sickeningly obnoxious – the so-called Labour Party (when are they going to change their name BTW?) or the Tories. Even if there was some slight difference that would not be a good enough reason for voting for one or the other. Not by a long way.
What happened to that American Trot on this forum who was arguing that workers should vote for Biden against Trump on the grounds that the former was supposedly the lesser evil? I bet he has retired from politics out of complete disillusionment
October 27, 2023 at 5:14 pm #247971
- This reply was modified 1 month ago by robbo203.
‘So don’t expect no changes or improvements
to your life
It’ll be much more of the same thing
lots of trouble and
lots of strife’
Good poem. The Anti-West-Left love to tell us that this cost of living crisis wouldn’t have happened if Corbyn had been prime minister. However, they (and us) should be grateful he didn’t become PM, because the crisis would still be happening, but the MSM would blame it on the left of Labour’s so-called socialist policies, thereby dragging the word ‘socialism’ through the mud even more.
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