Friday, August 15, 2008

What Dreams Will Come

Schism and factionalism are tearing Labour apart. Dream tickets * ,from the bloke team of Johnson and Cruddas, to Milliband and “Partner”,bob to the surface with the solidity of rumours about the next Bond. Martin Bright in The New Statesman has the third way , but Luke Akenhurst has a post up called ,” The Fourth and Fifth Ways” !
In all this I detect an alchemist’s delusion. The heating mixing and calibrating of worthless ingredients, from which gold will never emerge .The irony is that the Party of historical inevitability is peculiarly blind to its own inevitable end
Collectivism is an anathema to the English, that is the natural state . This has been disguised by exceptional circumstances which, odd though it might sound to say so, prevailed throughout the 20th century. In the Khaki election the urban working class grasped representation and it was then that the Liberal Party became the rag bag of luxury issues it remains.
From there Mass warfare slewed Britain towards state action. The depressed aftermath, latterly of the Second World War ,continued the effect well into the 70s.This “extraordinary” impoverishment should be compared to the American experience, not the Victorian period and it sustained the Labour beyond its shelf life .
The misunderstood , Edwardian era was actually an explosion of economic progress stopped in its tracks but the Great War, not a long afternoon of croquet in the fin de siécle sunshine. In a ‘what if’ peaceful 20th century Labours time would have been short.
At last ,under Callaghan , the post war collectivist consensus became unsustainable in the face of national collapse . From that point natural prosperity has returned and Labour’s, raison d`etre, the working classes and the Union movement, withered . Today only 18 % are unionised and the majority are either leaving or aspiring to leave what was the working class.
Labour are currently enthralled by the mirage of Tony Blair, but in truth they have long been a paper tiger .Boundaries favour them in England to the extent that they had a huge majority of seats despite never equalling the Conservative vote . As the Union fragmented they have benefited from double counting the Celtic fringe .Paradoxically their inheritance of what was , relatively speaking, fabulous prosperity has fuelled a last hurrah. It cannot be repeated but they think a slight shift or presentation like adding “New” will save them..
History is against them and the depth of reinvention required will not be a matter of adding 'New' but of dropping “Labour “.
*I remember the Dream Ticket of Kinnock and Hattersley .. shudder...

10 comments:

Blue Eyes said...

I would like to see a Doctor Who episode where they visit the distant future and watch the New New New New New New New New New Labour conference :-)))

Labour was only ever successful because it managed to combine the generosity of the majority with the spitefulness of the tiny minority and look "nice", oh yes and people inevitably got bored after long runs of Tory administration in the 50s and 80s.

Like Mrs T I look forward to an era where the opposition is not socialist.

hatfield girl said...

The New Party.

That has a ring of horrid viability, N.

Newmania said...

BE - I think we will get that in due course , the split may look more like that in the US? Or , more likely soemthing quite different

Newmania said...

Love your plane HG thast a Hatfield 'ting innit

Bill Quango MP said...

This “extraordinary” impoverishment should be compared to the American experience, not the Victorian period and it sustained the Labour beyond its shelf life ...

What do you mean by this Mr N?
The USA consumer experience? the war production boom? the cold war superpower status? the lack of empire?

Labour... we should have learnt all we needed to know about them from the groundnut scheme alone.

Newmania said...

What I am suggesting is that the Labour Party was a reaction to the rise of an urban proletariat associated with a late Victorian and early 20th century stage of Capitalism.
In a peaceful world judging by the atonishing growth of the Edwardian era this coutry would have soon developed beyond that and run the US close for standards of living .
In reality two wars and the depresssion plus war debts crippling until the 70s meant that the have nots remained in situ a long time and a collectvist style of politics had time to ossify.
Now we have left the 20th century behind these conditions are also behind us and in this coutry, its hard to see what future there is a for a Labour Party at all recognisable.

I am futher suggesting that viewed properly the 20th century was an extrordinary time and Labour are an unnnatural outgrowth of that

Newmania said...

What I am suggesting is that the Labour Party was a reaction to the rise of an urban proletariat associated with a late Victorian and early 20th century stage of Capitalism.
In a peaceful world judging by the atonishing growth of the Edwardian era this coutry would have soon developed beyond that and run the US close for standards of living .
In reality two wars and the depresssion plus war debts crippling until the 70s meant that the have nots remained in situ a long time and a collectvist style of politics had time to ossify.
Now we have left the 20th century behind these conditions are also behind us and in this coutry, its hard to see what future there is a for a Labour Party at all recognisable.

I am futher suggesting that viewed properly the 20th century was an extrordinary time and Labour are an unnnatural outgrowth of that

John M Ward said...

Well, at least "New Earth" showed us how the NHS might eventually end up, with cats as nurses and all that "flesh -- just flesh" down below...

Auntie Flo' said...

The dream ticket I want is the following - couldn't you just kiss the British Library?

"Gordon Brown 'snubbed' over his Britishness exhibition at the British Library"

"When Gordon Brown called on the British Library to stage an exhibition about Britishness he perhaps envisaged a patriotic celebration of the national identity.
What he would not have expected is the resulting event, Taking Liberties, which encourages visitors to contemplate the perilous state of civil liberties in modern Britain under his Government.

The exhibition, which is the most ambitious in the British Library's history, is in direct response to a call from Mr Brown for the institution to hold a display of patriotism, and critics have described it as a "snub" to the Prime Minister.

Visitors will be asked their views on issues such as ID cards and detention of suspects for up to 42 days, both of which are key Government policies.

Exhibits will be displayed in space in the shape of a clenched fist. As visitors progress through the exhibition, the space gets smaller and smaller to give the impression of confinement. Each visitor to the exhibition will be given a personal ID number."

YES! Go, BL!

Newmania said...

Watching the Olympics Flo I deeply resent the way Brown has politicised and poisoned the concpet British which was a good thing for us all as the Scots I suspect will remember.
To see the very people that threw it away posing as supporters is unbearable

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