Thursday, 10 June 2010

Leadership extravaganza?

My friend and co-blogger of The Socialist Way, Brian Hopper (In the Box) is a man of great depth, intelligence, but above all else integrity, and whenever I feel that I need a second opinion about a post he is the man I call, all the way up in Scunthorpe.

Just before I left for a trip to Cardiff today, we had one such chat.

We discussed the developments within the Labour Party, the significance of John McDonnell pulling out of the farce that is the race for the leadership of Nu Labour, and I’m glad that I do this, for its easy to shoot off at the hip, and none of us hold all the answers, do we?

It did not come as a surprise then, discovering that my friend and comrade felt more or less the same as I do when it comes to the Labour Party; he has sent the following post of thoughts which are under this introduction along with comments sent by Chris H of Lansbury's Lido blog fame and in response to an earlier post, as Chris makes a simple, passionate and accurate assessment of the Nu Labour Party – Now we have all been members of the Labour Party at one time or the other, with different experiences, specking for myself I remember meeting a Labour Councillor, called Hamilton Spencer, a nice man, who use to say many times at my ward meetings that the Labour Party is a ‘Broad Church’. Well old Hamilton Spencer who reminded me in appearance of Manny Shinwell, and like him he died of old age over twenty years ago, and so did the Labour Party that's all so clear now!

We are heading into a storm, it’s not the leader of the Labour Party that matters, but arresting and casting aside the world system of capitalism that matters, we have our work cut out for us, but I believe that working people, come the day will rise to the task and overturn the system and establish sanity, we must all play our part now!  

Brian Hopper:

It is some time since, I sat down to put my thoughts to the key board. Well May 3rd to be precise three days before the General Election, and I sat up most of that night on May 6th watching the Election results come in eventually, then  I took myself of to bed very heartsick,  many of us  predicted a hung Parliament long before voting day, and so having looked at all the scenarios that might accrue, I should have been well prepared for what might be, but no I was not, not until it was staring me in the face, and oh boy did  it really hit me, just how broken Britain was, I have to admit  I just don't know what I felt?. Just completely lost seems to be the best explanation.

Watching things unfold over the next few days and weeks just have not helped in any way at all.
I followed The Socialist Way and other blogs every couple of days, and found most of the things that came to mind was being said already but better, it was the reading of the socialist blogs that has made me realise I am not alone in my feelings of despondency.  

Still, why do I feel so bad, as the saying goes, look for the best in man and you won't all ways see it, but look for the worst and it is sure to appear, maybe it is my eye sight I just don't see best at all.

It seems the banner of the working classes has fallen into the dust and everybody is just walking all over it, and there does not appear to be anybody that will pick it up, dust it off and hold it high with pride, and I feel I have to repeat my self when I say anybody there?

Just look at the candidates that are putting themselves forward for the New Labour Party leadership, all New Labour to the back teeth, and Diane Abbott you don’t count – for anything!

Chris H:

In terms of improving life in the 80s and beyond John's comment was likely to have been along the right lines in terms of practical results. Thatcher inflicted so much violence against the working class and their communities, the poor, the sick, the unemployed and the trade union movement.

My cousin, a miner, took his own life after a year on strike such was the pressure on him. And why did it get to that position? Because Thatcher is a spiteful, vindictive cow who cares nothing for people but only that the working class needed to be taught a lesson, regardless of cost or common sense. When she dies I will be cracking open a classy bottle of red, not in celebration but in rememberance of a society and millions of lives ruined by her.

And as for the Labour Party leadership extravaganza? The fact that the only left-wing nomination is struggling to reach the bar speaks volumes for the future. Kinnock et al restructured the Labour Party to be a top down organisation controlled by a clique of PLP members and their 'advisors'. The fact that most of the Labour MPs could fit quite happily in the coalition government and not look out of place leads me to believe that the Labour Party is dead in the water in terms of representing the working class. Why places like Socialist Unity keep gassing over the Labour Party leadership elections is beyond me. Waste of time.

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