November 9, 2013 at 9:44 am #82334
Revealing item in yesterday's London Evening Standard:Quote:ED MILIBAND'S Commons aide has dramatically admitted that Labour is losing the argument on benefits reform, the Evening Standard can reveal.
Senior MP Karen Buck warned a trade union-organised conference that Left-wingers "have to accept" the truth that Labour has failed to convince the public so far.
Her comments follow months of bitter friction over whether Mr Miliband is right to oppose Tory-led benefits cutbacks, at the risk of Labour being perceived as a party for claimants.
Only weeks ago, the Standard revealed that Mr Miliband's private pollster James Morris had given a presentation showing that "politically salient target groups" were overwhelmingly likely to support rather than oppose controversial Government benefit changes.(….)
Mr Miliband last month demoted Liam Byrne, who as welfare spokesman argued that Labour should be focusing on reform rather than just opposing cuts.
One party source said the polling evidence on welfare had "vindicated" Mr Byrne's position. (…)
Polling expert Mr Morris told a trade union meeting that voters on average backed David Cameron's reforms by about two to one – but that among Labour-Conservative swing voters the divide was a huge 64 per cent to nine per cent.
At one time Labour would have been proud to be described as "the party of Welfare". Not any more, now that it's a vote-loser. These people are will stop at nothing to get back into office and their bums on ministerial seats. They're disgusting.
The fig-leaf left they have retained is that they say they will repeal the bedroom tax. Maybe, but this was a particularly vindicative piece of legislation introduced for vote-winning reasons. Its pretext (empty rooms which could be used by those on waiting lists) is shown not to be the real reason as the group most likely to have one, the retired, have been excluded — because they are more likely to vote — leaving the brunt of the measure to be borne by the disabled. It is true that the Tories may have been too nasty for their own good on this one.November 15, 2013 at 11:38 pm #98111DaveParticipant
When it comes to looking after capitalists interests especially in crisis then the Labour Party has historically done it's duty in defending capitalism. The problem is that workers have viewed the Labour Party as somehow representing their views. Even after been proved wrong so many times workers will still vote and support Labour. Nasty or not.November 16, 2013 at 8:57 am #98112
It's not all workers of course, but it is true that a section (those in unions and on council and social housing estates) of the wider working class do continue to see Labour as their party, despite everything. Mind you, when you see the alternatives on offer (Tories and Liberals) you can understand this a bit. That's maybe why, when they feel betrayed by Labour, some turn elsewhere, to the BNP and even, incredibly, UKIP. (Incidentally, when we contest elections we do relatively better in safe Labour constituencies and wards than elsewhere, presumably because we speak the same sort of language of capitalism, socialism, working class as the Labour Party used to in the olden days).Besides being a sociological fact, I think this might also reflect the lesser evil position. These workers know that whichever government is in power is not going to make much difference, but if they are offered a choice they take it without much enthusiasm (even "without illusions") and vote for what they see as the lesser evil. One Party wit used to turn this argument wrong and say that elections offered, rather, a choice between the evil of two lessers.November 16, 2013 at 12:29 pm #98113
Deborah Orr has a interesting column in the Guardian http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/15/labour-apologising-not-economic-migration "Better at being Tory than the Tories" was not a vote-winning slogan. Yet it was true. Labour wanted Britain to attract economic migrants. Partly, this was because the larger a working population is, the greater the economic activity, and the more revenue there is to look after those not working – of whom there was a burgeoning number in the UK at that time. But the policy was attractive to Labour for other reasons, too, some of which no Labour government could admit to.Most glaring was Labour's fear of a resurgence of union power. They didn't want people banding together to insist on higher pay and better conditions. A steady supply of people for whom just working in Britain offered higher pay and better conditions than they would otherwise expect served to reduce cohesion in the workforce, making common purpose harder to achieve. It's easy to see why this was not a perceived benefit of immigration that Labour was keen to advertise, or even explicitly acknowledge within the party……….By bowing to the logic of the free market without explaining that economic migration is simply part of that, Labour has allowed rightwing political rhetoric to continue preaching the lie that global free markets and economic migration are separate issues. Due to Labour's own lies-by-omission, organisations such as the English Defence League and Ukip have been able to flourish. But more urgently, those lies-by-omission have allowed the Conservatives to maintain their own delusions about the efficiency and moral goodness of free markets…."November 16, 2013 at 12:33 pm #98114
Another related comment in this articlehttp://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/15/far-right-threat-europe-integration More worrying than the growth of the far right are the temporising gestures to the racists and anti-immigrants now coming from mainstream Conservative and even Liberal Democrat politicians and from some of the new "Blue Labour" ideologues. The warning from the likes of David Blunkett that hostility to Roma immigrants might lead to a popular "explosion" is reminiscent of Enoch Powell's rhetoric…."December 3, 2013 at 3:19 pm #98115
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/10477858/Object-to-mass-immigration-from-the-EU-Join-the-Romaphobe-club.htmlWe had Jack Straw "apologising" for letting in too many Poles. We had Blunkett criticising the Roma in Sheffield and now to the delight of the Telegraph, that not well read newspaper in Glasgow that Tom Harris a Labour MP decided to add his tuppence-worth in about the Roma with all the usual stereotypes,,,aggressive begging…even though laws exist presently to stop that and plenty of other laws exist to stop other anti-social behaviour from happening…and of course as a Labour MP he never asks why there is begging, he seems to think its a comfortable desirable occupation to walk cold windy wet Scottish streets looking for hand-outs…It is because Romanians and Bulgarians are stopped from working and refused benefits that many beg as an alternative to starving."my constituents become angrier and more resentful, because the lives they have worked so hard to build for themselves and their families are being impinged upon by people whose culture, way of life and attitude to authority and those around them are utterly alien" [my emphasis] Then he goes on to associate accepting different cultures with female genital mutilation. He then implies that Labour also should consider cutting benefits fro migrant workers as policy too because "[Cameron] is speaking to a lot more people than just his own party’s Right wing." So let us not challenge attitudes and try to change them, ratrher let us make sure we agree with the racists because it is not nice to call them prejudiced…especially if they are voters!!Harris tries a mealy mouthed get out but he forgets it was not too long ago that the Church of Scotland was calling for the deportation of the Irish because they were an alien culture too!! A more reasonable depiction of Roma life in the UK can be found herehttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-25101956 ""The visual stereotypes associated with photography of Roma all come from somewhere of course – these stories exist. But I believe the regurgitation of the same tired old images reflects and reinforces the prejudices many people still hold about Gypsies: that they are different and somehow "other". What people don't understand they tend to fear. If the only images we are shown are of caravans, beggars, poverty and gaudy mansions, we'll fail to see the nuance and normality that are the experience of huge swathes of Romani society who are happily integrating – not to mention the common threads that bind us all."December 4, 2013 at 12:07 pm #98116
These remarks by current Labour MPs on begging has prompted me to dig out a press cutting from 1994 which I'd filed under "lying promises":Quote:Labour to end beggingBegging will be consigned to the history books under the next Labour government, Labour's London spokesman, Nick Raynsford, told a meeting of the Hampstead and Highgate Labour Party in Swiss Cottage.Mr Raynsford, MP for Greenwich, said that begging was the most disgraceful indictment of the present government's policies. "Our task has got to be to eliminate begging in London and create a memory of how bad life was in the late 80s and early 90s."He proposed a scheme to build more houses, using finance from both the private and public sectors.(Camden New Journal, 7 July 1994)
They didn't do it of course. In fact it got worse and still is a "disgraceful indictment" of capitalism and of parties that claim to be able to tame capitalism. It was also a lying promise.December 13, 2013 at 11:11 am #98117
Both parties agree to make life tougher for migrants Labour's shadow welfare minister Chris Bryant said: "For generations, people have come to this country and worked hard to contribute to Britain, but the principle of contribution is an important one, and the controls on immigration must be fair to those who live here."That is why Labour called for stronger restrictions on benefits for new arrivals from the EU, including proposals eight months ago to strengthen the habitual residence test to make it clear that people should not be able to claim benefits when they first arrive."http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-25360167December 13, 2013 at 11:24 am #98118
Still, tougher if you are Irish. There the unemployed are not being told to get on their bikes to get jobs but take airplanes and boats and find work abroad.An unemployed electrician, was encouraged to move to Coventry, while another jobseeker was offered work as a bus driver in Malta. …6,000 unemployed people suggesting they should take jobs in other European countries in an effort to reduce unemployment benefits, the Financial Times has reported. One in four Irish under 25 are still unemployed.How long before the UK jobless are told to become emigrants?http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/unemployed-told-to-leave-ireland-in-desperate-move-to-slash-welfare-costs-9002720.htmlDecember 15, 2013 at 3:37 pm #98119
An anonymous sympathiser has sent us a cutting from the London Evening Standard of 10 December about David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham (Bernie Grant's successor).Quote:David Lammy said it was time to stop demonising bankers as "fat cats" and that the interests of financiers and other Londoners were not "at odds" (…) He said today: "I have not been one to bash the banks and big business. We must challenge the divide that exists between the financial sector and the rest of London. I want a London where kids from Tottenham can become bankers, not simply serve their sandwiches and clean their offices."
Yes bankers should not be demonised as if they caused the present crisis because they didn't. The capitalist system did. To blame them is to deflect criticism from capitalism as a whole. But there is a difference between not demonising them and praising them as Lammy is doing.Also his statement exposes why there's nothing socialist about "identity politics" as some claim. Women generals and black bankers, that'll make a difference.Apparently he wants to be the Labour candidate for the next elections for the mayor of London, but most people out there must realise by now that there's no practical difference between Labour and the Tories. A Labour MP and former Minister praising bankers, what's new?December 16, 2013 at 10:39 am #98120jondwhiteParticipant
David Lammy is no John McDonnell. David Lammy always struck me as not someone to let people or principles get in the way of power and personal ambition.December 20, 2013 at 12:25 am #98121
The chairman of the home affairs committee, Keith Vaz, said he would be at Luton airport at 7.40am on New Year's Day, along with a Conservative member of his committee, Mark Reckless, to see the first flight from Romania land. "We will be there for the first flight to see what arrangements have been put in place and how many people turn up." http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/dec/19/tory-mps-warn-immigration-bulgaria-rumania It is not a welcoming party but to ensure that Immigration put the new arrivals from Romania and Bulgaria through the wringer.December 29, 2013 at 11:02 pm #98122
Even UKIP has its nice side !! Mr Farage, who has led opposition to allowing open immigration from Romania and Bulgaria in the new year, said refugees were "a very different thing".The UK government has no plans to accept Syrian refugees, saying it is better to offer financial help.Continue reading the main story“Start QuoteThere is a responsibility on all of us in the free West to try and help some of those people fleeing Syria, literally in fear of their lives”Nigel FarageMr Farage said: "I think refugees are a very different thing to economic migration and I think this country should honour the 1951 declaration on refugee status that was agreed.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-25539843December 29, 2013 at 11:36 pm #98123steve colbornParticipant
Very nice Mr Farage, except, as I have heard your missives for the last few years, I think you are a disingenuous, two faced asshole. No more nor less than your pro-Capitalist buddies from Labour, Tory, Lib-Dem, SWP et al. Looking to garner some Brownie points you shit? Always looking for the "main chance"! Stevie C.December 30, 2013 at 9:33 am #98124
Maybe the information that he is a descendant of Hugenot refugees from Catholic France where they were persecuted in the 17th and 18th centuries, and the use that has been made of this against him, has made him be more cautious on this issue. Not that this has stopped Miliband being anti (other) immigrants either.
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