Sunday 21 April 2013

A Quick Note on Ed Miliband and George Galloway

According to the Daily Mail, George Galloway had a "secret meeting" with Ed, sparking "rumours that Mr Miliband is considering allowing Mr Galloway to rejoin the party". It must be a slow day in Mail land if this is the best they can do.

For the benefit of Labour supporters horrified at the prospect of the Gorgeous One's return, and those on the far left ready to sound the 'betrayal' alarm, folk need to chillax. Gallows isn't coming back.

The Leader's office regularly facilitates meetings between Ed and MPs from other parties. Whisper it, Ed has even had private meetings with Nick Clegg. 

It's good politics to explore areas where some form of cooperation can be reached across party lines, even when a MP is from an organisation many times smaller than your own. And, needless to say, it is an utterly mundane and common occurrence. The only surprising thing about Ed and George's meeting is that it hadn't happened before now.


Chris said...

Galloway devoted his life to Labour and the war mongering, murdering bastards threw him out for opposition to their war mongering and murdering.

As someone on the far left, this would at least show New Labour had slightly changed, but I don't think that is going to happen, not in our lifetime.

Fuck New Labour, Viva Galloway!

Phil said...

But New Labour doesn't exist any more, Chris. It died over the course of the financial crisis. If you think otherwise let's hear your argument.

Chris said...

The argument are the policies of New Labour, right here right now, where is the break from New Labour?

Where is the policy break?

In fact if New Labour didn't really exist anymore I think they would have invited Galloway back already.

Phil said...

If you define New Labour in terms of the embrace of neoliberalism (which I do) it follows that if you break with that set of policies and assumptions, you've broken with New Labour.

Has Labour under Ed Miliband done so? His pronouncements so far have indicated that he's for a fairer capitalism, and is looking to establish a new settlement along the lines of 1945 and 1979. Ed Balls is a noted Keynesian and the outlines of economic policy are broadly coming from that particular place. The other positions - an inconsistent but nevertheless real critique of the Tories on welfare from the left, promotion of the living wage, taking on payday loans and the murdoch media - these aren't exactly New Labour either.

Anonymous said...

A return to the trade union laws that pertained before 1979?

Or even just trade union laws that comply with ILO conventions?

I suspect neither will be the case.

Of course you could date Labour's embrace of neoliberalism to 1974/75when the Wilson Cabinet introduced 'cash limits' on key areas of public spending for the first time in the post-war period.

Enforcing those limts then involved the Cabinet and much of the PLP demonising the unions and the left as the 'real barriers' to British economic revival.

The internal divisions and demoralisation caused by this strategy helped to pave the way for Thatcher and Thatcherism.

In terms of Miliband I suspect you may be in danger of falling into the 'Compass trap'.

In the run up to Gordon Brown becoming PM Neal Lawson and his colleagues at Compass spent much time sifting through his speeches and policy announcements, seizing on any vaguely lefitsh statement as proof that Gordon really was an old style social democrat at heart.

You remember all those embarassing articles by Lawson in The Guardian calling on Gordon to 'be brave', to reveal his 'true instincts', to 'break free' of outmoded Blairism etc?

And Brown became PM and Lawson ended-up apologising for being so naive.

Don't put yourself in that position Phil.


Gary Elsby said...

You can't say that new Labour is dead without offering proof.
Wishful thinking for electoral expediency is not acceptable.

Btw Phil:
looking through my records:
On 19/02/2010 at Stoke Central AGM, the General Committee replaced the Treasurer (AL) with Abigail Brown (former Councillor).

This was declared nul and void by IR acting for the WM and supported by the NEC.

We had our reasons for the replacement and IR had his reasons to keep people in place and certainly in place in Stoke Central.

Speedy said...

Galloway supported Saddam Hussein who enjoyed feeding enemies alive through industrial mincing machines. Galloway then played the Islamist card to get elected for Respect, so it's hardly that he's even a champion for Arab secularism. The only party Gorgeous George believes in is himself.

Milliband's Labour however are floundering and Blair was right that they need to pull their finger out. I thought it ironic Labouristas were crowing over UKIP support at 17 per cent, seemingly oblivious to Tory at 35 and Labour at 39 - given that most UKIP are Tories, at a national election maybe 10 per cent of their vote will go blue, which would give them a 6 point lead.

Given the cretinous economic performance of the current government (did you notice that it is based on a dodgy spreadsheet? this adds up to a monumental failure on the part of Labour to make their case.

Ed M really is a modern day Michael Foot, which is highly unfair to Michael Foot.

Gary Elsby said...

Galloway doesn't recognise Israel but Labour is to recognise Galloway?

Suicide for Labour pre Election run in.

Mossad will tear Labour apart in all friendly papers (that means every single one, including Labour friendly one's and including Labour's own publications.)

Alex Dawson said...

On the "anti-trade union laws":

Would their reversal lead to a renaissance in trade union and working class fortunes?

Would effectively legalising secondary picketing really, honestly lead to a rebalancing of power back to the labour movement?

Much as I would like to think it would, the reality is that the union movement in the private sector is so weak that even if secondary action were legal it would do nothing but demonstrate the weakness of the movement as a whole if it were tried out.

Far better Labour and/or a socialist government remove the many barriers to organising and growth. They could lower the threshold tests for union recognition, bring in laws that all state contractors must recognise unions, regulate that companies allow trade unions easy onsite access to their employees for organising purposes, and outlaw anti-union employer campaigns against recognition.

Until the movement has grown back to some sort of strength, demanding the reintroduction of secondary picketing and removing strike ballot restrictions will achieve nothing if there are no members in unions to take part in such actions.