Thursday, 16 May 2013

If you get a Labour government in 2015 you will probably be sorely disappointed

Remember Neoliberal Labour? The bad old New Labour of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown? Well, if you are planning to vote Labour in 2015, and you are hoping for a Labour government, you are likely to be very disappointed, because Ed Milliband's  Labour is unlikely to reverse any of the Tory cuts, which is exactly what most Labour supporters want. Just imagine celebrating a Labour win and then having to face up to the reality that very little is going to change.

How do I know? I've been reading John Harris in the Guardian, and its clear that Harris has been talking to John Cruddas, the alleged lefty whose been leading Labour's policy review, and it makes pretty depressing reading. The upshot is that Labour appears to have accepted that the cuts can't be reversed and the priority is the eliminate the deficit;
"The essentials go something like this. Though there will be no reversal of existing cuts, in the context of George Osborne's howling failure that loud debate about whether to stick to his post-2015 spending plans is completely misplaced. But at the same time, if Labour is to win the next election, it will have to commit to a set of iron, independently enforced fiscal commitments, perhaps to be met over a 10-year cycle, focused not just on the elimination of the deficit, but the ratio of public debt to national income – many of the consequences of which, to quote one Labour insider, could be "brutal."

Ed Milliband: little hope for the future

The problem with this is that it is utter nonsense from beginning to end, and it shows that Labour have learnt nothing in the past three years. One is tempted to scream "Its the austerity stupid!", but even this is unlikely to penetrate the density of Labour's neoliberal skull. The reality is that it has never been easier or cheaper to borrow, never been easier to have our own national(ised) investment bank, and never been easier to invest in the jobs and houses that the UK so desperately needs. What we do not need is more of the same. Austerity must end.

I'll let you into a secret. Well its not really a secret but for all the attention it got in the 2010 election it might as well have been. The Green Party had an economic plan in its manifesto to halve the structural deficit in the lifetime of a parliament, and at the same time invest £44 billion in creating one million green jobs. And guess what? No austerity either. No cuts - just let me repeat that - no cuts, except in Trident and one or two other places where cuts were needed. No tuition fees either. Just think how strong our economy would be now if that had happened. But make no mistake, it can still happen, but only if people vote for real change. If they don't we will end up with more of the same, more misery and little hope for the future.

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