‘Progressive’ hocus-pocus….

Rather worryingly our leader seems quite taken with the idea of renaming our party as ‘Progressive Labour’. This confirms my worst fears that this leadership is addicted to spin in exactly the same way Tony Blair was. In 1997 this was fine because the mood music was melodious and the country happily sung along. By 2001 this was becoming more like ‘never mind the fact that we fulfilled less than half of our manifesto pledges in areas like constitutional reform, just look at the whiteness of Tony’s teeth’ and we still got away with it.

Fast-forward to 2005 and through the proof that spin can cost lives like it did in Iraq and the sheen had definitely worn off. By 2010 the voters were more than ready to send the old banger to the scrap yard and would have totally pulped the party but for want of a better opposition. Yet still Miliband persists in thinking you can move mountains peoples minds merely by changing the parties name. This more than anything else shows what complete rubbish his claim to have learnt from the past is. And incidentally, it tells us that he secretly thinks YOU, yes YOU, the voter is a complete and utter idiot.

Another good reason exists not to support this change. I am a member of the Labour Party but in being so I am also part of something much bigger; the labour movement. Maybe its true that this movement is historically weakness but since when did weakness become an excuse not to support something? Miliband’s dreams of making us ‘Progressive Labour’ reveal the strong conscious desire to break this party from the movement. The movement which gave birth to it and which occasionally Labour pays lip service too when its electorally convenient.

Once again we are reminded of how depressingly hollow Miliband’s commitment to Labour values actually is. In this though Miliband, as is becoming quite frequent, on the wrong side of the historical argument. This country needs a strong labour movement, right from our failing democracy to our shattered economy we need a strong and numerous labour movement that is self-confident and assertive. Fate is not without a strong sense of irony. Ironically, now what would be best for capitalism is a healthy dose of socialism.   We need a Labour Party committed to the radical transformation of society in deeds; not one that plays word and mind games with the people of the country and thinks this is the route to societies salvation.


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5 responses to “‘Progressive’ hocus-pocus….”

  1. Robert says :

    Long live labour, or whats left of it.

    Labour died many years ago, when Kinnock thought he had won the election over Thatcher, he lost but his plan to bring in a New labour regime was born, not forgetting he was my MP for a long time.

    His idea on New labour had been around for about ten years, he was talking more and more about how great Thatcher was, how Labour had to change, how the world would not accept people sitting in bed dying of an illness, the ideal of the welfare state had made us all lazy, hard working families had to be the bed rock of the new labour regime.

    I left when I saw Blair winning, and when we saw Brown getting to the top we knew it was over, of course I was not the only one, 3/4 of my my local party packed it up when Labour big red Parachute brought us a new MP.

    But of course lets be honest if your a Liberal now and looking to leave the Liberal Party, I would suggest you join the Tories at least you know what they are like.


  2. Ryan Thomas says :

    Completely agree. I voted for Ed Miliband and generally I am happy with his leadership so far, but vacuous nonsense like this makes me quite angry.

    I would oppose any change to the Party’s name, but to change it to “Progressive Labour” beggars belief! Not only is it ultra-clunky and sounds like it was devised by a bunch of PR gurus over lattes in Islington, the very term “progressive” is a term with absolutely no meaning anymore, having been used and abused over the past few years (Clegg’s lot are the big culprits for this, but we need to take our share of the blame too). When George Osbourne is claiming a rise in VAT is “progressive” it is a pretty good indication that the term is to be left well alone. I despair when I read guff like this, and while I am broadly supportive of Ed Miliband’s aims I highly resent this puerile garbage. I hope it isn’t true.

    On a similar note, there was an article in The Guardian today that suggested that Ed Miliband wants to involve non-members in policymaking. Uh, okay. How about we start involving members in policymaking first? Let’s not run before we can crawl, eh? I particularly resent the idea of non-members having a say in leadership elections. The media say it dilutes the influence of the unions, which it does, but it also dilutes the power and importance of party members, who are completely ignored unless it is election time and some door-knockers are needed. What is the point of me paying my dues (which are way too pricey for a purportedly working class party, by the way) if the one tangible benefit I see from it – a chance to play a tiny role in selecting our leader – is also given to Joe Public?

    All of this is garbage done in the name of that other sacred cow, pluralism, and it must be resisted by any party member of conscience, whatever particular “tribe” within the party we belong to.


  3. John Reid says :

    Although Kinnock lost alot of credibility going from Backing hte 83′ manifest to denuncing most of it for the ’92 manifesto,
    But Labour had to rebrand itslef as image i everything Foot done it when he convieniantly forgot he was a unilatralist beofr ethe second world war thn printed the Guilt men,
    Even with he NHS reforms the Poll tax, the water privatisation, the recession and 3million unemployed Kinnock still vuldn’t win in 92 as people still felt they could’nt control the Economy ,the unions werent sure if they were strong on defence, Now Labour has got to win the argument agian on the economy and ironically o defence butor different reason,s so reniaming itself might not be that bad.


  4. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Well, you know I share many of your frustrations but I still think the fight is best fought within.


    Thanks, I did too and suspect I am a bit less happy than yourself overall. Nonetheless I agree your right to damn this as being vacuous.

    Indeed, I hope it isnt too. It will make me think a little better of Ed if it isnt.

    Again, I totally agree. I actually think that certain measures to ‘open’ up the Party this way are undemocratic because they undermine the rights of people who pay their dues and make a commitment to the Party. Rights that are earned by entering into that commitment. I couldn’t agree more.

    I agree.


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