#GE2015: This is not a Labour crisis. This is one for the Left.

So, the soothsayers, fear-mongers, and Labour commentariat were correct.

We will have “Another 5 years of the Tories”.

The SNP cleaned up in Scotland – more so than anyone could have expected. The Greens increased their vote share by nearly 3%. TUSC polled as the 6th UK-wide party.

But Labour’s defeat had nothing to do with any of the above. The majority of gains Labour made were from the Liberal Democrats, and where they have lost out, it’s been due to a swing to the Conservatives & UKIP.

This result, aside from being tumultuous for Labour, is also a crisis for the left as whole. The overwhelming message that needs to be taken from this is that the UK has responded to the unfettered barrage of right-wing, Establishment-nurtured rhetoric that has infected both the media, and Labour itself, for the past five years.

However, this crisis also presents us with the most delicious of challenges – and that’s how it undoubtedly needs to be viewed.

Labour’s experiment with leaning to the left has failed, as a result of a poorly constructed mantra based on a right-wing ideology (Inclusive Capitalism) – which they attempted in vain to gloss over with Axelrod’s socialist sheen. To think they will now regroup, and continue down the path of “socialism” (or whatever the Fabian’s interpretation of that is) is very hopeful, at best. They will revert back to open triangulation, because that has now been proved to be the fail-safe option – and in my opinion, said triangulation will be the “Blue Labour” ideology, championed by Jon Cruddas.

The “change from within” philosophy is finished. It may have held a semblance of gravitas if Miliband’s Labour had managed to secure a coalition; it would have been tenuous if the Conservatives had – but the latter having an overall majority? The upper echelons of the Labour hierarchy will be even less responsive, now, to the cries of the grassroots.

So, where does that leave the rest of us?

The first priority has to be not to immediately protest the new Conservative government. To be seen as to align ourselves with Labour’s sour-grapes would be disastrous, tarnishing us with a most unwelcome, bitter brush in the eyes of the public, and media. Quiet reflection, Comrades, is the order of the day.

The Trade union movement, as individuals and as a whole, must find the nearest mirror, and stare into it until their eyes bleed. You have leaders who are, for the most part, careerists, more interested in personal gain, than the welfare of those they are appointed to represent (Director at the Bank of England? Need I say more?). The days of being servile to someone else’s agenda, whilst quietly resenting every moment of it, are over. Change needs to be interceded directly from members; the Labour party needs to be abandoned, and the art of direct action reclaimed – look to the STUC for the lead.

Somewhere on your “Pasok’ing Checklist”, needs to be electoral reform. This should be the easiest of the challenges, as you will have the (now) might of the SNP on your side, along with the Greens and Plaid Cymru. But it has to happen – otherwise in 5 years, we will all truly feel like Bill Murrays; Groundhog Day in perpetuity.

The enemy needs to be reassessed. With a full majority, the Conservatives are going to be parading their ideological erections without shame, or fear of ridicule or arrest. Boris Johnson summed it up in his victory speech, in the small hours of Friday: “The country has rejected the politics of the 1970’s”. This will be their line of attack – 3 day working weeks, blackouts, rubbish piling the streets. We cannot afford to be seen as archaic. Some serious theoretical “spunk” is needed, to counter those right-wing ideological erections – and it cannot be a rehash of old ideas.

False prophets need to be exorcised, before they feast on any more of the sheep. These ravening wolves cannot be allowed to peddle anymore of their simpering, Establishment-friendly fodder, without serious, articulate and well-defined counter-argument. The “Commentariats” – the Joneses, Pennys, O’ Hagans, Bloodworths – need to either come on board, or wave us off from the shoreline.

Our movement as a whole now needs to get savvy. Cheering “£10 NOW!” “NO MORE AUSTERITY!” “BUILD COUNCIL HOMES!” and “FULL PUBLIC OWNERSHIP!” was all well and good, as an alternative, profile-raising chorus; the first and second verses now need to be composed, before the coda can ever be performed. People from within our movement, and willing and able outsiders, need to be found, who have the skills and abilities to stand as lead vocalists for lines in our song – and the most arduous verse, in my opinion, will be that of economics – credibility in this area is going to be hard-won.

We all need to kiss and make up (umm, as a minimum). Common ground now has to be found, between ALL “fringe” parties and groups – and we need to be looking beyond our conventional train of thought as well. If “Pasok’ing” is going to succeed, differences need to be ironed out, new comrades discovered, old wounds healed, and unity finally realised; and unlike our predecessors, we need to be all-encompassing – no more “Working Families” narrative – we are for everyone, no matter who you are. This may well be a truly once in a lifetime opportunity, and to simply let it slip through our hands, due to differences of opinion on what are, in truth, mere irrelevancies, would be nigh-on criminal.

Finally, to our Labour comrades:

We take no perverse gratification from the horror of what has happened. Life would have been infinitely less bloody complicated, had Labour been able to garner a coalition – and a majority? Walk in the park.

It didn’t happen, and yes, it fucking stinks.

But this is unfortunately a bitter pill, and one that will need to be swallowed whole, without water, and whilst you have an extremely sore throat. The time has come for you to ask yourselves whether you now wish to hold your noses, and stay with, what undoubtedly will be, an at-best shell of a social democratic party – or whether it’s a fetid stink that can no longer be stomached.

If the latter is true, then join us, and help regroup, realign, and ultimately rekindle the lost spirit of the “Real Left” in the UK. The touch-paper is there, and is now at its most incendiary.

This can be done. It will be done. External forces, as yet to come into play, will assist us with this – but only if we hold our nerve. The outcome of the election has made our task an even more arduous one – as stated at the beginning, this is a crisis for the left, as well as Labour, as we are in a far tighter position than ever anticipated.

But it is delicious, we should relish it with every sense available to us, and if we stick to the recipe, measure accurately, and only use the finest ingredients – we will be feasting for years to come.

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4 comments

  1. A6er · May 8, 2015

    Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

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  2. Mark Catlin · May 9, 2015

    Reblogged this on markcatlin3695's Blog.

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  3. Chris · May 9, 2015

    If Labour is PASOK the joke now is that PASOK is a party of just its leader and no other members.

    PASOK fractured then SYRIZA rose.

    Labour is not left, did not go left and did Tory lite. Labour was still New Labour which has now lsot two general elections.

    Balls losing to a Tory proved that. Miliband unable to counter that Labour’s public spending did not cause the recession also proved that.

    TUSC did not get anywhere, because it was ignored by the national press and TV news.

    Despite being the 6th biggest party. TUSC was too communist.

    Gandhi observed that people’s politics are their daily bread.

    The Greens had 3 policies that would have given them a landslide victory, but instead they ran away from the poor that everyone despises.

    But the poor are the 70 per cent of all ages, from the bottom of the average wage down to zero.

    The Greens had:

    – Citizen Income that was up to the basic tax allowance then they reduced to the same as Jobseekers Allowance at £72 per week.

    – Citizen State Pension, irregardless of National Insurance record, double that of the Citizen Income.

    This is what CLASS WAR said simply on its posters – DOUBLE DOLE AND PENSION

    And The Greens agreed with the Living Wage.

    All this was kicked into the long grass and not put on The Greens’ election manifesto and so they just kept the 1 MP they had in Brighton, when Brighton has 3 voting areas, all of which had socialist candidates from TUSC and Socialist GB (same policies).

    CITIZEN INCOME

    Shuts most of DWP down, ends all Jobcentres, and no work programmes needed and would have saved billions and put that money into people’s hands and ENDED STARVATION.

    CITIZEN STATE PENSION

    I told The Greens many times that the flat rate state pension will leave huge numbers of men and women with NIL STATE PENSION FOR LIFE by pension changes and by SERPs merging with National Insurance record, so wiping out a lifetime of contributions.

    See why at end of my petition, in my Why is this important section, at:
    https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/state-pension-at-60-now

    People are getting only £38 per week forecasts for retiring next year after 45 years of work, as each year of SERPs opt out wipes out NI record, which it does not up til this year.

    The poorest workers have been unaware that even with getting working tax credits and other benefits, because their wage is below the LOWER EARNINGS LEVEL they are not in the welfare state nor in the state pension system, as the LEL means nil automatic NI credits.

    And many people just lose all eligibility to a state pension for life from the pension changes with the flat rate law.

    ONLY TUSC OFFERED TO REVERSE THE RISE IN RETIREMENT AGE
    AND PAY A DECENT PENSION

    What TUSC failed to say was DECENT STATE PENSION

    Or anything about the losses and wipe out of any state pension, coming with the flat rate state pension.

    People, in the main, are unaware that ANY pension reform has happened already, let alone the massive losses coming with the flat rate STATE pension. Seeing only flat rate pension, they cannot understand if that means private and/or works pensions.

    But SERPs opt out will reduce or even wipe out low waged’s private pensions or works pensions, even above the primary threshold to get NI credits. The right wing newspapers were only too happy to say that as far back as 1994.

    1993 the Tories revoked the Labour 1975 law that guaranteed pay out pensions.

    Labour never brought back that law.

    1995 the Tories brought in law to begin the rise in retirement age, that people did not know had happened til now, too late.

    THE TRADE UNIONS TOLD TUSC THEY WOULD SUPPORT TUSC
    IF LABOUR LOST THIS ELECTION

    People on TV are saying that the left cannot win in England.

    But they did win in Scotland with an SNP focused on anti austerity and helping the elderly and disabled and sick and unemployed.

    The SNP has saved and kept public Scotland’s NHS.

    People did not know that Plaid Cymru had saved the NHS in Wales, because they did not know that Wales had a devolved NHS.

    TUSC only exists during elections, and so never keeps up brand awareness.

    TUSC said it would nationalise the banks and so that did kill it somewhat.

    TUSC said it would nationalise all business and industry, so that was a communistic step too far.

    BEING HALF GREEK – THE INVENTORS OF POLITICS AND WESTERN DEMOCRACY – I COULD WRITE UP A WINNING MANIGESTO TOMORROW – BUT NEED YOUNG LEGS AND CAMPAIGNERS TO MAKE IT REAL

    I watched SYRIZA in one month in Athens go from 4 per cent of the vote to the second general election in a month, to 30 per cent and become the official opposition.

    This election they wiped PASOK out entirely.

    All over Europe, PASOK type parties are in decline because they have gone too much to the right.

    Pay me a decent state pension, instead of the wipe out millions like me will suffer, and pay me now at 60 for men and women, and watch how any such party goes into the stratosphere.

    The Citizen Income saves lives from babes in wombs to grannies (50-60 years of age).

    We are the sole nation in Europe without the EU funded 7 day a week free cafes offering a hot drink and a hot cooked meal, without vouchers and restrictions, to the working poor, poor pensioners and unemployed equally.

    Foodbanks are not enough.

    Doctors hve been telling government that there is a huge rise in malnutrition hospital admissions.

    GPs are talking between themselves of the increase in Rickets in kids, a hunger symptom that effects bone development and hunger can also cause heart problems.

    It takes about a month to starve to death, but can take less if you are fatter or have health complicaitons.

    Sanctions being many months long, shows a self evident endeavour in a threat to life.

    Especially when this is done to pregnant ladies and families with kids.

    Stripping out feudalism in the process to actually bring a western democracy for the first time to England.

    Because, Wales has Plaid Cymru and Scotland is now mostly a SNP zone, who are both anti austerity parties, saving their own NHS.

    CAN WE HELP EACH OTHER TO CREATE A SYRIZA HERE IN ENGLAND?

    The far left got nowhere in this election. Too much communism too soon.

    Labour is about as socialist as Cameron and Osbourne. They were lured into the cul de sac of the drk side that is the aristocratic mindset taught through public schools and Oxford and Cambridge universities that is poor feudalism, trapped in agroundhog day 1000 years into the past.

    I am old, knackered, sleepy elderly lady, with one foot in the grave.

    But the Greek Revolution against 400 years of occupation happened first in the part of Greece me old mum was from (now passed over and escaped all this nasty party now).

    I don’t get out much of course. Disabled. Chronic sick. No back, no knees.

    Me eyes are failing me even with computer reading glasses (giving me headache so I’ve taken them off and just have to read through blurred vision of old typist’s eyes).

    Would you like a SYRIZA for England?

    Can you see me email or is that hidden from you, below?

    Or you can contact me through the petition website
    https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/state-pension-at-60-now

    YOU HAVE 5 YEARS

    I may not. No central heating each winter as nil Winter Fuel Allowance by raised retirement age.

    It may not exist by the time my retirement age comes, and so what. Without state pension, it does not help much.

    People are dying around us in misery. Worse is yet to come.

    I am fine for now. But there is no future without my state pension.

    People’s politics are their daily bread.

    This is why Labour lost. No-one could tell them apart from the Tories.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. treborc · May 18, 2015

    I just had my certificate of pay, being disabled and yes I am, because ATOS said so, so I must be bad if they agreed. I get £7,426 a week, nope a year of course .

    So with Labour and the Tories agreeing to caps, and 1% increases well the Tories have said 2% it’s was just labour that said 1%, and I and my wife are nowhere near getting £26,000 or £22,000 for that matter, with my wife getting a pension of £7,540 we get £15,000 .

    So in the end who do we vote for labour Tory, Tory labour my own feeling is neither any more.

    Like

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