Friday, 16 May 2008

The Death of New Labour

Another week goes by and it seems that we’re another week closer to Druggy Dave Cameron taking over as the Supreme Leader. Hang on a minute though. I can’t quite believe that I’ve just said that, let alone let the thought enter my embittered mind.

It’s a painful and sad fact to accept, but I can’t hide from the truth any longer. New Labour is finally dead, and we’ve two years to wait until the machine is switched off for good. Two long years until the most disadvantaged in society are put of their collective misery.

From various blogs and commentators this week I’ve read news about the Brown and Labour fight back. This has manifested itself in a serious of measures and proposals designed to woo back those who were furious about the 10p tax rate balls up. All well and good, and whilst it is only right that a Labour government should help those of us who are less well off, or on low wages – the majority of help following the new proposal will go to the middle income families.

Once again, a short term plan designed for short term gain – a cynical ploy prior to the Crewe and Nantwich by-election next week; and one which will not fool the voters.

The parties standing in the country is now so low, that I find it hard to see what, if anything could bring around a reversal in fortunes for the government, short of an economic miracle.

Brown will soon find himself in an impossible position; such is the disdain that large sections of the public have for him – an actual achievements are ignored because it’s very east to blame Brown for everything that goes wrong. A general malaise has set in due to the continued turmoil and ineptitude.

There are those who feel that the part has moved too far to the right, (myself included), in an attempt to capture the hearts and minds of middle England. I’m proud to be a socialist, and to see ones party become almost unrecognisable does not sit easy with me, or with the core support of the party throughout the country. This is the real problem that Brown faces – how on Earth can he win back this support, and convince those who rightly feel betrayed that he is still the man to run this country?

Would a change of leadership help at this point? No, this would be suicide, and would turn a probable election defeat in 2010 into a massacre. The process of removing Brown and electing a new leader is a longwinded and cumbersome process. Of course, the main point here is the question of who would actually put themselves forward? So, with this in mind it seems unlikely that the coup de grace will happen anytime soon. However, it is almost certain that Brown will be bloodied further by both the Crewe result and vote on 42 day detention, (although it seems, as reported in today’s Guardian, a climb down of some sorts now seems to be on the cards).

The Crewe and Nantwich result will really show just how decimated support for the government has become in what should be a safe Labour seat. The party’s behaviour during the campaign has been nothing short of shameful – and to see Charles Clarke defending their tactics on Newsnight only makes matters worse.

I’ve come to the regrettable conclusion that the best thing for the party would now be a spell in opposition – too many Labour MPs and ministers who entered parliament with the rise of Blair have no idea how to act during the hard times. The early success of New Labour has left us with a group of MPs who are so out of touch with the public that it’s completely pathetic.

A spell in opposition would give the party time to regroup and rediscover its heart and core values. As I mentioned – New Labour is dead, and we need to move forward and learn from the mistakes of the past eleven years. However, one should not assume that a Tory victory in 2010 will lead to years in the wilderness. The Tories can not, and should not be trusted. The party may like to come across as family friendly and promoting opportunity for all, however the truth might prove to be very different. In Cameron, they have a slick leader, who, to be frank has more front than Woolworths – talks the talk, but can he back it up with firm policies?

I doubt it. This is the party that opposed the introduction of the minimum wage, yet still claims to be on the side of the low paid.

As for myself, at the recent local elections, I voted Lib Dem. This is the second time in recent years that I have taken that decision. How I would vote in a general election remains to be seen. The recent behaviour of the government goes against the very core of my political beliefs. It has always seemed unthinkable to me that I could ever transfer my support to another party, however, this is the decision that many traditional Labour supporters now face.

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