Apparently the Labour party have launched an initiative called "Labour together" which aims to unify the party and work towards becoming electable again.
The problem is, in order to become electable, the Labour Party need to understand how it came to power the last time, back in 1997.
Essentially it was elected on a carefully crafted lie, a deception: New Labour.
New Labour was a rebranding of Old Labour.... the Labour of Harold Wilson, Jim Callaghan and Michael Foot. With it's new clothes, Labour could pass itself off as the alternative Tory Party. Without that deception, it would never have won in 1997. New Labour promised not to change a thing, it promised to continue Tory Policies at least for its first term in office.
Essentially the electorate in 1997 were voting Tory. That is the hard truth that today's Labour party have to accept. And a hard truth that they have to undertsand is that no-one will vote for the "Old" Labour party. It's anachronistic, it harks back to a bygone age, with old policies that refuse to look ahead and deal with new commercial, economic and social truths.
Once Tony Blair had gone and Gordon Brown had assumed the office of Prime Minister, it didn't take long for the makeup to slip, for the deception to fail and for old labour to show through the cracks. Hence why Gordon Brown lost almost immediately. Spunking Billions Bailing out Banks in a misguided effort to look like a friend of the Rich and er, Rich, just alienated him from those very people that didn't mind the Old Labour Party showing through the ever-thinning veneer of New Labour. A party profligate with taxpayer's money, with a staggering lack of prudence, the very word that Gordon Brown built his Chancellorship on.
Gordon Brown, the man who thought that ordinary voters concerned about mass immigration of unskilled labour were bigots. Which is a train of thought that lasts with Labour to this day: Labour MPs and Councillors who rely on the working class vote despise the very people that vote for them. I've seen it first hand myself. Whether voters are concerned about unfettered immigration, drive a white van or have the Cross of Saint George outside their house, Labour despise them. But then tell the lie that they are for the working man whilst at the same time taxing working class pensions, bailing out banks and courting the Big City Investment Gamblers.
And it stands true today that once the facade failed and Old Labour showed itself, the party once again became unelectable with the majority of the population. Gordon Brown the phone-thrower faded away to be replaced by Ed Milliband, the pawn of the Unions. The only person I've though has actually had a successful charisma bypass. Nope, nothing there that would convince the electorate to vote.
In fact with Ed's election campaign Labour missed a trick. They should have apologised for Gordo's largesse with our money. They should have apologised for the bank bailout and recognised it for the poor choice it really was. But instead they promoted yet another lie: that there was no other option and that even after throwing all that money away into the pockets of the rich, that we didn't need to turn off the taps and suffer a period of austerity. They lied and said that everything was fine and that austerity wasn't necessary, that we could go on spending. On the other hand the Tories said that the debt we were racking up would have to be paid back for generations to come and that message resonated with the electorate.
The Messge was Old Labour: same spendthrifts they were way back when.
Now they have Jeremy Corbyn, a died in the wool Trotskyite that on the back benches decried everything New Labour did and stood for, despite it getting his party elected to power. A man that during the leadership process came across as sane and reasoned. Yet another lie, as on the back benches he'd had the freedom to make some pretty poor choices and got away without the sort of forensic scrutiny of the front benchers.
Even now he promotes a lie in promoting the campaign to stay in Europe, when he has been recorded saying he doesn't agree with it. Very strange for a man supposedly promoted as one who will stick to his principles.
So, back to "Labour Together".... how can it work?
Well, there first needs to be some acceptance of past mistakes and poor policy decisions. You can't move forward until you understand the mistakes of the past.
Part of that process is Labour needs to stop promoting the lies and deceptions they arrange to cover the truth. They need to acknowledge the deception of New Labour that got them into power in 1997 and why the population voted for them.
They need to understand that they need to modernise and move forward. Their backers, the unions, need to do the same and start to work in the modern world. The first target must be zero hours contracts, that benefit no-one but the boss. A concerted, united campaign to get them abolished must be a priority for them. Employers need to commit to employment, they should not be allowed to get the best of both worlds. There should be no get-out for using agency workers either.
They must set out their stall and promote policies that help those in work and must stop the emphasis on benefits. Even thought staunch Labour voters may be recipients of benefits, making everyone reliant on low wages topped up by benefits does not increase their share of the vote. Many recipients of family credits despise the system that locks them into benefits and allows their employer to pay lower wages.
Labour must also clean house of hypocrites. Those Labour council leaders that pay themselves excessive wages must be brought to book, MPs that claim excessive expenses must also be cleansed. Labour cannot claim to be the party of the working man if it's members set themselves apart and above the workers.
It's a long road, but it needs to be done. Jeremy Corbyn is not the man to do it, despite the zealots that support him. The Ultra-leftists scare the electorate and those that control the media.
There needs to be moderation in movement towards modernisation, but the goal and the message has to be clear and promoted loudly. Labour needs to reclaim the centre ground, with a goal that promotes a fair crack for those that work and help themselves, to send the message to the one percenters that those that make their money want to keep more of it for doing the work. It's not redistribution of wealth from the Trotskyite message book, it's a fair wage for a days work.
Labour need to promote social mobility, in the old days young socialist apprentices that became middle-class engineers and managers and still voted Labour. The same can apply in future. Help people to help themselves climb the social ladder rather than mire them in low pay and benefits. Do not hold them back.
Scrap University tuition fees as well. A University education is not a universal right. Academics and Apprentices can end up in the same place eventually. But opening up University education to all devalues it and tuition fees just make it worth even less. Paying thousands for a worthless degree is just wrong.
But... Labour's track record shows they will plough forward with "Labour Together" with the aplomb of a part-time amateur bomb disposal technician. Just wait for the implosion: God forbid Labour should ever look outwards and forwards...
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