Labour’s living dead….

“The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living” – so said Karl Marx in The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon. As it happens Marx wasn’t writing about the continued influence of the Blarites and Blairism in the Labour Party but he could have been. This rag-tag band consists of freelancers like Dan Hodges and John Rentoul at The Independent and it’s organised presence in those grouped around Progress magazine.

Blarisim should have died in the killing fields of Iraq. Certainly, that is where the voters left it, their trust betrayed and irrecoverable – a pathetic 36% of them kept the faith in 2005. If it didn’t die then it certainly should have done as the markets slid into the red and banks sunk under the weight of their own unfettered greed. Yet still, despite its electoral collapse in 2005 (and the subsequent knock-on effect in 2010) it seems some people just can’t face up to the changed political realities we face. Something that is bitterly ironic given it is the right that always accuses the left of being stuck in the past.

Progress claims it is a ‘independent pressure group’ – independent of who precisely? Certainly not of Lord Sainsbury who along with a cartel of business interests bankroll Progress. No doubt they will be ploughing a heavy amount of money into the joint NEC slate that it recently announced with Labour First. I think it is legitimate to question whether they are doing so through altruistic concern for the welfare of the Labour Party or are merely trying to feather their own nest. This is especially true as Sainsbury has stopped his donations to the actual Party as soon as it did something he didn’t like – elect Ed Miliband as leader.

Progress don’t seem that awfully keen on democracy within their own organisation either. It’s own members were totally excluded from the process as detailed here:

I am a Progress member – have been for some years. At no point do I recall being invited to apply for their slate or having a vote on who should go onto it. This lack of democracy, quite frankly, stinks.  

They clearly cannot be trusted to run their own organisation democratically so why should we trust them to fight the corner of greater democracy within Labour? Ideologically, they are conservatives and cannot even stomach the relatively timid proposals that the leadership has put forward in opposition to the government. Britain does not need a Labour Party looking backwards and unable to fight for the radical changes necessary following on from the crash – it need’s a bold and radical Labour Party willing to speak truth unto power and undertake the major surgery that is necessary both for our political and economic system.

The NEC elections next year could be a significant watershed moment in the development of our Party. Obviously, Labour First/Progress are making a serious bid to reassert influence lost when David Miliband lost the leadership contest. The left will have to stop them because although the problems with this leadership are manifest and continue to be a serious issue which needs addressing it is equally clear that the Blairites are determined to drag us back in time, a move that would make Labour unelectable for decades.

History doesn’t proceed in a straight-line but in a circle. So it is that it was Labour’s left which made it unelectable in the 80s but in the here and now it is Labour’s right-wing that poses the clearest danger to our electability. When we decide on our new NEC we need to bear that in mind.


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About darrellgoodliffe


7 responses to “Labour’s living dead….”

  1. John reid says :

    Yo think labour are going to lose the next election beracuse of Lord Glasman, Rod Liddle ,Progress,Andy Burnham, Charles clarke, Or new up and coming bloggers liek Luke Akehurst, Sunder Katwala, Peter Watt ,Hopi sen, Swantatnra Sualrkwander,Luke Bozer, alex smith, rod merchant or those at Labour uncut, or the Purple book,
    the SHadow cabinet is now more left wing than in 25 years, I can’t imagine Neil Kinnock having diane Abbott on the front bech or Him endorsing Livingstone for Mayor choice.


  2. Mike Homfray says :

    The thnig we do need to remember is that the right wing made the NEC largely unimportant and no doubt they are now regretting that

    John: surely you are not suggesting Liddle has any connection to Labour? And I certainly hope that we ignore the voices of people like Sen and Bozier. Their views are so close to the coalition it makes me question why they wish to remain Labour at all, other than for career purposes


  3. John reid says :

    Od liddle is a lbour party memeber who backed Andy burnham for leader, Yes lets ignore the right of the Party like we ignored shirley willams who said that militant had infultrated the party in the late 70’s and the NEC didn’t even read her report as when those like her left the labour party in 1981, didn’t result us Only getting 8.3 million votes at the next election ,Oh no wait a minute…..


  4. John reid says :

    If you question why Bozier stays in labour, I’m sure they question why you don’t leave for the socialsit workers party


  5. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Your right they have curtailed the NEC’s power and tried to restrict its representative nature – therefore it’s our job to try and undo that


  6. Luke Akehurst says :

    Hi Darrell, you have misunderstood the broad nature of the team I’m part of for the NEC. It consists of Brownites as well as Blairites, if you want to use the language of yesteryear, and in terms of the 2010 leadership election, me and Ellie Reeves backed Ed Miliband and Peter Wheeler backed Andy Burnham.

    As anyone who reads my blog will know I am a vociferous supporter of Ed’s leadership, just as I was of Blair’s and Brown’s.

    Please don’t smear me by bracketing me with Dan Hodges when everyone who follows me on Twitter can see me arguing against him.

    If anyone is putting money into our NEC campaign I haven’t heard about it yet. Last time round I spent a grand total of nil, as emails, twitter and blogs are free.



    • darrellgoodliffe says :


      Heya and thanks for the reply. I don’t think the people participating changes the fundamental political nature of a project. Political formations by their very nature show a degree – greater or lesser – of hetrogenity.

      You may differ with Dan Hodges on say your stance towards the leadership – I did say the word ‘freelance’ but the political agenda him and Progress promotes is broadly similar.

      As to funding, what does Progress spend its money on then?


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