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...