Friday, 2 October 2009

The Party's over

The reasons for the decline of New Labour are obvious. There is no room for two main parties of the right in British politics. The Tories are the party of the right and that leaves New Labour er.. nowhere. The Blairite clones are so addicted to neo-liberalism that they will continue to push the party in a rightward direction. They have no support amongst the electorate but still hold the reigns of power in New Labour. The Labour Party conference did them little good with Brown predictably trying to recover some core support with 'half promises' about scrapping ID cards and electoral reform - too little, too late.

The only logical thing to do is split the party a get rid of the Blairite rump - they can join the Tories if they want to. Only the trade unions can make this happen but they haven't the guts to do so. It is going to take a wipe out at the general election to make that seismic shift remotely possible - otherwise the unholy alliance will continue and leave NL at the margins.

Although New Labour did the right thing by 'big government' intervention to prop up the banks a year ago they are still paralysed by their worship of the market and are unable ideologically to do anything other than return banks that were bust to the private sector thus dumping the costs on taxpayers. They still labour under the illusion that what they are doing is progressive or even social democratic.

Nice to see that Clegg and Cable effed up the Lib Dems conference even more than Brown did New Labour's. Clegg's talk about savage cuts was a spectacular own goal. If Clegg and Cable had any real nouse they would have shifted the Lib Dems decisively to the left in an attempt to wipe out NL as the opposition. But they are just as ideologically trapped in neo-liberalism as New Labour.

If the Labour Party were able to throw off its New Labour shackles and move to the left it would still have a chance of beating the Tories - whose plans for cuts will shift the country even further into the economic mire - but its too late for that. Its a bleak prospect but we can only hope that in a wipe out the Blairites will go down with the sinking New Labour ship.

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