Thursday 28 April 2016

Entrenching Our Newfound Right

The achievements of the Blair and Brown Governments were fully supported by all members of the present Shadow Cabinet.

Some of them opposed other aspects of those Governments’ programmes. That opposition has been vindicated by events. For example, the Private Finance Initiative and Public-Private Partnership projects that are literally collapsing in Edinburgh. 

Jeremy Corbyn has brought world class economists into the British political debate for the first time in 35 years. He has ended the hegemony of neoconservative foreign policy.

He has forced the media to include the left-wing critique of the European Union, account of which will therefore have to be taken in the arrangements following either outcome to the forthcoming referendum. He has exposed this Prime Minister’s ties to Saudi Arabia, which is the centre of global terrorism. 

Corbyn has broken the silence around the “renewal” of Trident, which was not discussed in England at the 2015 General Election. In Scotland, it is deliberately mixed up with a Scottish independence question to which it is irrelevant.

That independence would not rid the world of even so much as a single nuclear weapon. The ones that are currently in Scotland would just be moved. In any case, by accepting NATO, the SNP has conceded the point. By very stark contrast, there is no evidence that Corbyn has conceded the slightest thing to, on or about NATO. That space will be very well worth watching.

Tom Watson’s Deputy Leadership makes Corbyn’s a balanced ticket. Corbyn’s Britain would be a significant counterweight to the America of Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton or, although he is the best of the bunch, Bernie Sanders.

Under any of last year’s other Leadership candidates, Labour would not have opposed the cuts that have caused Iain Duncan Smith to resign. It would have had nothing to say about the crisis in the steel industry, having accepted global neoliberalism and neoliberal globalisation.

Therefore, it could not have had any response to the Panama Papers, since, in the teeth of the strongest possible opposition from Corbyn and from John McDonnell, the Blair Premiership and the Brown Chancellorship had actively encouraged, assisted and celebrated the activities to which those Papers referred. 

With the SNP expected to win most of the constituency seats at Holyrood, all opponents of any one or more of George Osborne’s failed austerity programme, of neoconservative wars, of the Saudi regime, and of Trident, ought to give their list votes to Labour.

The Labour lead in Wales is welcome, and a riposte to Lynton Crosby’s propaganda, both against the Principality, and against the principle of Bevan’s NHS.

At the English local elections, now that the Liberal Democrats have collapsed, Labour is the only way to vote against cuts to jobs, services and amenities.

George Galloway’s mainstream social democratic programme deserves Londoners’ first preference votes. Anyone else who became Mayor must owe that to Galloway’s second preferences. With Labour likely to do very well for the London Assembly’s constituencies, list votes need to be cast for Respect.

A Labour list vote in Scotland, at least one Labour vote in Wales, a Labour vote in England, a first preference vote for Galloway, and a Labour constituency vote with a Respect list vote for the London Assembly.

These are the means of entrenching our newfound right to debate the balance between the public and private sectors, to debate the balance between economic openness and economic patriotism, to debate tax avoidance, to debate the EU in terms of workers’ right and public services, to debate Trident, to debate NATO, and to debate this country’s relationship with terrorist Saudi Arabia.

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