Like it or not, beating the cuts means working together…

One of the things brought into sharp focus by the debate over how Labour councils/councillors should respond to the central governments frankly barmy (even by capitalist standards) austerity drive is the ever-present tension between the Labour Party and the wider left.

While I can understand the passion for the cause of those critical of the council responses and feel they are instinctively correct and on the right side of this debate, I can’t escape the feeling that some comrades on the outside left are secretly quite pleased to be having a pop at a Party they regard as no better than the ConDem Frankenstein government. Like crazed kamikaze pilots these comrades  don’t need much of an excuse to make a attack-run against the good ship Labour. Of course, the problem with this is it runs the risk of alienating people who would otherwise politically agree and it doesn’t really constitute much of a strategy.  It risks cohering especially those on the soft-Labour left and in the centre around a group identity that is currently the property of the Labour right.

Some within Labour, and its impossible to gauge how many exactly, feel genuinely trapped by their circumstances into doing things they don’t want too and they feel they are doing the best they can.  Objectively, the anti-cuts movement is in no position to go anywhere very fast by excluding these forces within the Labour Party and, just as vitally and by extension, within the wider labour movement. My gut feeling is that public opposition to the cuts outside of a tiny layer of highly charged activists is actually broadly in line with the current Labour position of ‘softer, gentler’ cuts. Intersecting with that mood and being able to lead it through persuasion is something the anti-cuts movement will have to do if it wants to achieve long-term success. This is not the same thing as shouting at it until it ‘sees the light’ and requires a degree of subtly and artful thinking that often isn’t evident in the propaganda of the far-left.

Meanwhile, Labour comrades are no better when they launch sallies like this one from Paul Richards on LabourList against horrifically ‘sectarian’ and no doubt swivel-eyed ‘Trots’. Despite political difference, ‘the Trots’ are, in the main, committed and talented comrades whose presence within the movement is a vital source of strength. Also, when they allow themselves to think and speak outside the cultish commitment of their groups to Marxism-as-a-fossil, they have germane and politically useful things to say. Sometimes these things might be uncomfortable for people within Labour to hear but that makes it nonetheless necessary that they say them. Exceptions to every rule exist but that is no need to engage in excluding everybody of this political persuasion from a movement that needs them as much as it needs us.

The clear and present danger right now is of this movement being divided and damaged to the point where defeat will move from a passing possibility to become a grinding inevitability.  Only by working together will we win. So, can we all just try to play nice and get along? The people we are fighting for need that now more than ever.

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About darrellgoodliffe


13 responses to “Like it or not, beating the cuts means working together…”

  1. Gillig says :

    The enthusiastic, active demonstrators should be admired and encouraged.
    The whole country is shocked that when a certifiable maniac is finally forced to retire in disgrace; they have voted in a bunch of worse idiots.
    Which trough are you in today? Centre, top, left, fossil, right. Anything but the smelly majority; far too common! Eh! Bugger democracy.
    The labour supporters of Barnsley will vote labour when their MP is jailed for stealing their money. I doubt their opinion matters to you. How many of them will read your blog?
    Why doesn’t Labour use its obvious advantage: being able to accurately assess the wishes of the party by balloting union members? They provide the bulk of your finance.
    At least Labour had the decency to pretend they weren’t screwing us. Condem are blatantly taking the piss.
    I intend to demonstrate, probably on May 5th, First time in my life, and I could be a pensioner, if they didn’t keep moving the bloody goalposts.
    I expect you will attend. Stay out of the kettles and write an Err.. thoughtful article. When are you going to finish the “Is Saudi Arabia Next” article?


  2. darrellgoodliffe says :


    I’m going to ignore your personal and very un-political remarks about Gordon Brown.

    Don’t know how many people in Barnsley read the blog per se but of course there opinion matters. Doesn’t mean im automatically therefore forced to agree now though does it?

    Nice to welcome you to the movement though. As to your final question, later this week I think.


  3. Gillig says :

    I meant the other certifiable maniac, not the Lisbon Treaty referendum liar.
    What movement?


  4. darrellgoodliffe says :


    When you address people by the insults you apply to them its hard to tell who they are.

    The anti-cuts movement, I am right in saying you are joining us?


  5. Gillig says :

    It must be a problem with a whole party to choose from.
    I am joining the Anti bit.
    The cuts are your fault.I voted UKIP.


  6. darrellgoodliffe says :


    What is UKIP’s position on the cuts? Pro or anti?


  7. Gillig says :

    I can’t comment for UKIP, but I will take the opportunity to state that Labour have left the country bankrupt, as they have done repeatedly during my life, every time they are allowed to govern. The cuts are labours fault and fast or slow, they must be made. Labours economic policy does not work.
    They could try being honest.


  8. darrellgoodliffe says :


    It has precious little to do with Labour and an awful lot to do with capitalism as a social system. Indeed, many of the things that caused the current crisis were caused by Conservative policies, not Labour ones.


  9. Gillig says :

    Labour borrowed the money.
    Labour spent the money.
    The only thing you are economical with is the truth.


  10. Gillig says :

    In reply to UKIP’s position on cuts.


  11. Gillig says :

    @ darrellgoodliffe;
    Hi. To add another perspective to “the cut’s”.
    I recently attended a Borough Committee meeting with a County Council.
    The committee are mainly Residents Association, with a couple of Tories.
    They start from a position of wanting the deficit reduced and so are pro cuts.
    These people are already”big society,” working long hours for £4000 odd P.A. towards costs, and some travel exes. They are retired accountants and professionals who can do sums. They have worked out how to meet government savings without significant cuts in services. However they are told by County, for political reasons what to cut, then asked how they are going to do it. This is political madness! There is no confidence in the coalition here. If Cameron continues to dictate cuts to these people, they will vote him out.
    So I suppose I have joined!


  12. darrellgoodliffe says :


    It seems you have!


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