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.