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Archive for the tag “New Labour”

The Big Oppressive Society

Yesterday in Parliament, David Cameron suggested that even more legal restrictions may be introduced to control our Trade Unions. He favoured the idea that no strike may be called unless at least 50% of the union members cast a vote.

We already have probably the most draconian anti trade union laws in Europe, a fact which ‘New’ Labour , to their shame, did little to balance. The right to withdraw labour in persuit of a just settlement in a dispute is a right that if abolished leads along the path back to serfdom. The benefits, comforts and rights that we enjoy to day in our standard of living have been hard won by thousands of our forebears and we owe it to them and indeed to ourselves and to our children, to stand up to those who seek our domination.

Yes, in the event of strike action we the public may suffer some inconvenience but that is a price worth paying for freedom. The early trade unionists suffered far worse for future generations; abuse, violence, imprisonment and deportation. Are we now so softened by the life improvements that they gave us that we no longer have the guts to stand up to injustice?

Cameron believes that over 50% should exercise their vote in a strike ballot; well, how about applying the same rule to electing MPs. The voter turn-out can be 30% or less in some constituencies and very, very, few are elected with more than 50% of the votes cast. Now there would be a problem!


Poverty… Why?

A report out recently shows that the gap between the richest in Britain and the poorest has widened. I can’t say that it surprised me. In the usual and expected politician double speak Gordon Brown said “The report illustrates starkly that despite a levelling-off of inequality in the last decade we still have much further to go.” No Gordon, it didn’t say a ‘levelling off’ it said ‘widened’. We have indeed got further to go, in fact we actually need to make a start.

Those that know me often say that I lay the blame for almost all of the ills in this country at the feet of Margaret Thatcher, including this severe winter. Well, she did waste the windfall of North Sea oil and closed down 300 years supply of coal but that’s another story. What Thatcher did, very cleverly, was to break the strength of the Trade Unions and at the same time make the working population believe that this was a good thing. She then set about selling off most of our publicly owned assets such as our gas (remember ‘Tell Sid?), electricity, water and railways. She knew perfectly well that shares would largely end up with the financial institutions but fooled many into believing that they were ‘part of a share holding democracy’. Above all she put the notion of individualism, get what you can for yourself and the devil take the hindmost into the national psyche.  In 1997 the nation with a collective sigh of relief elected New Labour with most not realising that Tony Blair was but a toned down Thatcher with a smiling face. The result being that the inequality gap has widened still further.

The Labour Party was originally brought into being by the Trade Unions to fight for the rights of it’s members and to bring about a more equal and fair society and forced through enormous benefits, the National Health Service being just one example. The (New) Labour Party of today has morphed into just another wing of the capitalist system that lies at the root of all our ills. The budget of yesterday, despite the crying need to balance the books, made it easier to buy a house and saddle the working population with a life long mortgage around their necks and thus restricting their ability to dissent.  In addition this reliance on house prices ever increasing, played a large part in the recent economic crash and yet the Chancellor encourages more of the same.

So is it ‘Time for Change’ and bring back the Tories? Definitely not, New Labour is still the lessor of the evils but an evil non-the-less and although it’s perhaps worth voting for Lib Dems where they have a chance, real change will only come about when the people accept the hardest thing of all and realise that they have been duped for several generations and rise up with one voice and demand a new way.

What Now for New Labour?

It’s anyone’s guess at the moment whether Gordon Brown will be able to survive the current political crisis although I suspect that he may hang on until the bitter end next year and the end will indeed be bitter.

When New Labour with Tony Blair were elected in 1997 the electorate would have given power to anyone rather than the Tory’s and at that point a golden opportunity was lost. With a huge majority Blair, with Brown as Chancellor, could have transformed the UK into a far better nation. Together they wasted the first two years by sticking with the economic plans put in place by the previous administration and then proceeded to expand the ‘free market economy’ and embraced and encouraged the money grubbing, me first culture of  profit before people. They increased the gap between the rich and the poor by deviously cutting the taxes of the wealthy and increasing the taxes on the less well off. They believed their own spin that the City of London could go on creating money from thin air and that house prices would increase exponentially for ever. They took us into an illegal war costing billions of Pounds and tens of thousands of lives and into another futile and expensive escapade in Afghanistan from which we have yet to be extradited. They have progressively introduced draconian state control of our citizens by way of surveillance, police powers and data linkage. Yes, they have done some good things and improvements to the NHS and Education spring to mind but even they are tarnished by the Public/Private Finance Initiative which will result in a huge outpouring of money into the private sector over many, many, years.

So what now for Gordon Brown and New Labour? The next election is lost so with nothing to lose why not make some real change in the time that is left. The MP’s expenses must of course be sorted out and pushing through some form of PR in time for the General Election would be mostly popular and have the advantage of limiting Labour’s losses. Abandon the ridiculous and unpopular ID Card Scheme along with Trident replacement and huge aircraft carriers, thus saving tens of billions of pounds. Recognise that killing Afghan tribesmen and devastating villages is an unwinnable war and in any case will do nothing to protect us from terrorist attacks here and in fact will make such attacks more likely. Some of the cash saved could be used to increase pensions towards the poverty line (£165) per week as pensioners are more likely to spend it and so help in the recovery of  industry and employment.

All of this could be done prior to the General Election and may go some way to ensuring a wiser Labour re-election in maybe five years rather than our nation suffering once again under a Tory government for ten or fifteen or more years.


A Man With A Plan

David Cameron gave his speech to the party faithful yesterday and although it was a pretty downbeat message it also sent a shiver down my spine. Aligning himself with Margaret Thatcher he sees himself in her shoes (tight fit?) over social change as she was over economic change.

Rembering as I do, the horrors and destruction that Thatcher wrought among our nation, it strikes almost terror in my heart even thinking what she, in the guise of Cameron, could do to the social fabric of our society. He said that he was ‘a man with a plan, but what plan? Precious little detail emerged apart from the obvious Tory tax cuts for corporations and inheritance tax along with a two year freeze, in some instances, on council taxes, which can only lead to more cuts in services. Stung by Gordon Brown as a ‘novice’ it was indeed as a novice he appeared.

Although I am disillusioned somewhat by Gordon Brown and New Labour, yesterdays speech served to make me realise what the alternative would be and in that light G.B. & N.L. don’t seem so bad.


Lock ‘Em Up

Here we go again, the old and familiar Tory cry of ‘lock them up.’ This time it’s David Cameron saying that anyone over the age of 16 caught carrying a knife should be given a prison sentence. Under ‘New’ Labour too the prison population has steadily increased, so no new thinking anywhere.

We already imprison a higher percentage of our population than any other country apart from the USA. It’s about time someone in power thought to themselves this isn’t working. It’s no good the political parties vying with each other over how many people they can lock up and say that while they are inside they can’t commit a crime. It is indeed true of course but eventually they are released and emerge back into society having had an intensive course in criminality from experts.

We don’t need more prisons, we need to get out of prison those have mental health problems and those who are in there for generally pathetic cases such as non payment of fines out of disgustingly low incomes. There must be greatly increased resources in the prisons to educate and reform the inmates before release. Huge numbers of prisoners are there for usually multiple but petty offences related to drug addiction and imprisonment will not make any difference to the vast majority. I shall write more on this subject another time.

The media also has a part to play and resist going along with a public perception, fuelled by politicians that more and more of our citizens should be ‘locked up.’ Imprisonment is not a deterrent and the punishment part of a sentence is actually the first three months, after which inmates merely become used to the routine and institutionalised. Unless the remaining time includes education, training and rehabilitation it is a complete waste of the money spent on incarceration.


Thank You Nye

Happy 60th Birthday to the NHS. Without this man, Aneurin Bevan, a ‘real’ Labour Party MP and Minister, our National Health Service would not have come into being. He fought the powers of privilege and self interest to bring health care, free at the point of delivery to every man, woman and child in our country. Happily for us all he was the right man, in the right place, at the right time with courage in abundance.

The powers of privilege and self interest are not defeated they are simply more devious and some are within ‘New’ Labour as well as of course the Tory Party. Nye Bevan fought for us to bring us the NHS and it now falls to all of us to fight for it’s continuing survival. We must ensure that no further privatisation takes place and to reverse those that have. Nye had a Socialist vision and showed that it can work. Thank you Nye.


A Principled MP?

I never would even have dreamed that one day I would leap to my feet and applaud a Conservative MP, let alone David Davis, the Shadow Home Secretary, for defending Rights and Freedom. I do so now!

His resignation of his seat only to fight in the resultant Bi-Election on the single issue of the 42 days detention without charge, does seem to me a little bizzare but the reasoning may become more clear over time. New Labour has clearly lost it’s way by being the architect of a controlled and surveillance society with diminishing rights. These hard won rights and freedom are what have characterised what it is to be British. The terrorists are now winning without bombs, without guns or even threats, our unique nationhood and way of life is being changed for ever. We MUST support anyone who stands against those who would destroy our unique way of life, be they terrorists or even our own Government.


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