This is a report from today’s Independent (6/9/2008). Evidently the only way New Labour could get extra support is to get Blair back. Since he’s not a M.P he can’t. The Almighty works in mysterious ways.
Put Miliband in and apart from starting World Ward III you’d get no improvement on what you’ve already got. Ditto Straw. With Johnson, Harman or Balls it would be worse. What I’m not clear about is what New Labour think they’re trying to achieve. Charles Clarke has renewed his blustering muttering darkly about the need for a “change of direction”. What I don’t see is any intention for the New Labour architects to allow anyone in. Any moves towards a socialist agenda is met with cries of “no return to the past” – well not any further than the Blair years anyway. Since it these that’s caused the crisis in the first place all you’re doing is to keep digging the hole ever deeper.
More pertinently New Labour has backed the same horses as the rest. So if you’re going to back Tories why not have the real thing. Strangely enough they’re trying to put a more human face on capitalism. The news is that it won’t work because the inner logic puts the market to the fore. We are in the jungle at the mercy of the fiercest beasts. So calling for Monsanto to create more GM crops is first and foremost to prop up the system which has been most responsible for the crisis.
Calls for a “windfall tax” on the energy come from all quarters, even more so now they have been found out to be delivering higher dividends rather than putting the ill-gotten gains into improving fuel efficiency. The government has been put into a quandary since it too has benefited from arrangements for promoting green energy. Strangely, but unsurprisingly, the goodies have not been ear-marked for any specific purpose. Presumably the billions spoken of can go to prolong the existing wars and maybe promote new ones.
So where are we? The U.S. has a choice between right and far right – clear now the Republicans have chosen this awful woman from Alaska they keep describing as a new Margaret Thatcher. In the U.K. we have a choice between various shades of blue with Thatcherite market ideologies everywhere. There is no significant choice, no socialist alternative. If Labour ever was that the New Labour project hijacked the party to make sure it never will be. Whatever the outcome of the of the battle around Brown alternatives within this narrow scenario are infinitely worse.