One Nation Labour - the Lesser Evil?
People will say to us, "We must keep out the Tories and UKIP. Therefore we must vote for the lesser evil - One Nation Labour!" Others will say, “If you stand, there is a danger of splitting the left vote".
These are the arguments of people with short term political memory loss! Have they forgotten what New Labour did?! Wasn't it New Labour who got us to where we are today?
This is what happened. New Labour was elected in a 1997 "landslide" - with fewer votes than John Major obtained in the previous election! Each subsequent election brought New Labour fewer and fewer votes until, in 2010, it lost the election, with 8.6 million votes - just 22% of the electorate and nearly the lowest vote since 1935. Is this the march of victory which One Nation Labour supporters anticipate? (The full results are at the bottom of this post).
As we reported in a recent post, at their completely powerless policy conference the party voted on a good motion which wanted to commit Labour to fighting against public expenditure cuts and for working class policies. It was rejected, overwhelmingly!
A vote for New Labour is NOT a vote for the left! They were war-mongers! They helped get us into the Iraq war on false pretences. They sold arms to the Indonesian government as it tried to suppress a local uprising. They supported Putin as he devastated Chechnya. In 2006 Labour offered unconditional support to Israel as it attacked Lebanon. (And what has Labour’s response been to the recent war on Gaza?)
It was New Labour who introduced “light touch” financial regulation. We know how that ended, in 2008!
Britain used to be the “workshop of the world”. Under Thatcher the share of manufacturing in the economy fell from 26% to 22%. Under New Labour it fell further, to around 12%!
At the beginning of the 1990s the richest 1% owned 17% of total UK wealth. Under New Labour that share increased to 21%.
Under New Labour, Tory privatisation zeal continued. It was New Labour, for example, that sold off the London Tube network!
It was under New Labour that Tory NHS commercialisation and privatisation picked up more speed. According to Treasury figures, by 2009 over 900 PFI (privatisation) projects had been signed, worth around £72 billion.
It was the 2000 NHS Act which set up an “internal market” within the NHS. By 2008 there were 13,000 fewer general and acute beds!
In 1998, Blunkett introduced tuition fees. New Labour introduced “faith schools” and "city academies”.
Do you remember the “cash for peerages” scandal of 2006-7? Thatcher created on average 18 peers a year. John Major created 25 a year. Under Blair - it was 37. In relation to this, Blair became the first Prime Minister to be questioned by police in a criminal investigation.
As the New Left Review magazine said (which journal is responsible for much of the information above), “There is no reason why voters should be any more sentimental about the Labour Party than it has been about them”.
The Labour Party is decrepit and bankrupt; it is finished as a force in the interests of working people. It is not the lesser evil.
People may ask, “So what is the TUSC?” It would not be wrong for us to reply, “WE are Labour! We are what the best of Labour used to be!”.
Our next post will look at Croydon’s Labour Manifesto.
[The election figures mentioned above (in millions of votes) are - 1992, Tories 14.1: 1997, Labour 13.5: 2001, Labour 10.7: 2005, Labour 9.6: 2010, Labour loses with 8.6 million]