A spectre is haunting New Labour, the spectre of communism! Well, it is at least for one man. Step forward Luke Akehurst: arms companies consultant, Labour chief whip on Hackney council, and self-styled bruiser for all right-thinking (and Right-thinking) party members. Normally Luke's blog contains little of interest to politicos who take their commitment to democracy and socialism seriously (though I will concede him his weekly council by-election updates). But this post stands out. A quite neutral posting by Sunder Katwala on the Fabian Society blog about Militant and the hard Labour right has worked "brother" Luke into a witch-hunting frenzy. Quoting Marx's "those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it" at Sunder, our hammer of the Trots writes:
The Bennite left and its Trotskyist allies have not gone away. I see the evidence of that every time I go to my local Labour GC meeting ... Insurgency from the left has afflicted Labour during every major period in opposition - the 1930s, the 1950s and the 1980s. In every case it has been necessary to wage a long and bitter internal struggle to smash the left and purge entryists who are not democratic socialists in order to make the party electable again. This is not a pleasant task but it is one that has to be done.Who'd have thought that nice Mr Osler, Luke's fellow CLP'er from Hackney, could be so threatening?
He is no minority of one, unfortunately. Luke's McCarthyite bloodlust has voided a few shits from New Labour's bowels. The repost on Labour List has Julie Davies hallucinating an armada of Trots bearing down on New Labour's emaciated ward and constituency parties. Godfrey Richards adds his voice to the fray, believing his party is in danger of adopting "class war" politics at any moment!
Neither Akehurst or his Dunwoody/Kilfoyle wannabes display the slightest inkling of what they have done to their party. Under the neoliberal Blair-Brown hegemony over 200,000 activists and members have upped sticks. The internal regime owes more to the GDR than the "democratic socialism" Akehurst professes. Entryists - careerist entryists that is - have colonised all levels of the party apparatus and government, and New Labour has successfully triangulated electoral meltdown from all quarters. What has the remnants of the Labour left got on this?
Far be it for me to advise the terminally thick Labour right on the way forward, but may I suggest Akehurst and his ilk address themselves to more pressing matters than a few harmless duffers in Socialist Appeal.