George Monbiot said it - the third Heathrow runway is New Labour's final betrayal. But it is one of many betrayals of party members, those on the left and progressives everywhere. Although I anticipated this betrayal early on in New Labour's reign - remember King Tony? - it has taken many years for many of us to fully understand the scale and depth of the betrayal. In 1997 we elected a Thatcherite party to replace an er... Thatcherite party. But most of us didn't know it at the time. If we had would New Labour have won so convincingly?
So what can we include in the long list of New Labour betrayals and failures? - Well they failed to re-nationalise the railways; they failed to stop the private finance initiative; they introduced a raft of legislation criminalising everyone from peaceful protesters to smokers; ID cards; surveillance of all emails and telephone calls; privatisation of education; the destruction of the Royal Mail; mass post office closures; blocking European social legislation; failure to have a referendum on the European Union constitution; giving the Police police state powers; pandering to religious extremists; shameful treatment of asylum seekers; failure to provide social housing; privatisation of the health service; refusal to repeal Tory anti-trade union laws; student tuition fees; standing by shamefully while Israel bombed Lebanon and Gaza; the Iraq war; doing nothing about climate change and fuelling the debt bubble which helped to wreck our economy.
And what have New Labour done for us? Devolution and the minimum wage and that's it - two good things in nearly twelve years. No wonder we can safely regard New Labour as the new nasty party. They have got to go at the next election - but have no illusions about the Tories - nothing much has changed there. Nor can the Liberal Democrats escape the neoliberal tag - they wouldn't have done things much differently had they been in power. If you want to reverse New Labour's nastiness and vote for a genuinely progressive party of the left - we’re here - come and join the Green Party.