The ugly face of New Labour rears up again: Chris Leslie and Nita Clarke

There’s a long critique of Chris Leslie’s comments about Milliband continuing the Coalition’s austerity programme by Kittysjones in the comments section to this post. She points out that it isn’t quite the continuation of Tory policies by Labour that the Huffpost article makes this seem. Her comments are well worth reading. However, New Labour – the Blairite section of the Labour party – has a history of taking Tory policies and simply copying them, while trying to make out that they can implement them better. There is footage on some of the Anarchist website of Milliband being booed at a Mayday March for praising the anti-Austerity marcher, while stating that he will not undo the government’s spending cuts. Other members of Labour’s front bench have also stated that they will be even harsher on benefit claimants than the Tories. With this in mind, it’s not unreasonable to be sceptical about what Labour actually intends to do for ordinary people, even if Milliband has not said what Chris Leslie has claimed he said.

The background to Leslie’s comments is yet another factional struggle for power within the Labour party. Two weeks ago the ‘I’ newspaper reported that the Blairite faction, Progress, was dropping the ‘New’ tag from its ‘New Labour’ label, in order to present itself as the established mainstream ideological current in the Labour party. The newspaper quoted them as saying that, after three decades, it was time they were seen as the true core of the Labour party. The fact is, Progress is desperately trying to maintain its position within Labour against opposition. The ‘I’ also reported that there have been moves to throw it out, because of the way it acts like a party within a party, in very much the same way its counterpart on the extreme Left, the Militant Tendency did in the 1980s. They were thrown out too because of their factionalism. Progress has about 2,000 or so members, according to the ‘I’ article. Regardless of the numbers, they represent a nasty, neoliberal strain in the Labour party, where it doesn’t belong, and are holding real change in the party and the country back.

Mike Sivier's blog

140601uglynewlabour

It seems the neoliberal Blairites of New Labour are coming out of the woodwork in an effort to ensure that nobody in their right mind supports the modern Labour Party next year.

According to the Huffington Post, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Chris Leslie reckons that a future Labour government will not undo the Coalition’s hugely unpopular cuts but will continue to impose the austerity that has kept our economy in crisis for the last four years.

In that case, why bother voting for Labour? We’ve already got one lot of Conservatives in power; there’s no need for any more.

Just to recap what we all know already, austerity is no way out of a recession. Economies grow when an increased money supply travels through the system, making profits for businesses and creating the fiscal multiplier effect. This means more tax comes to the government and it is able…

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One Response to “The ugly face of New Labour rears up again: Chris Leslie and Nita Clarke”

  1. Bring back immediately women's state pension at 60 / Against loss age related tax allowance at 65 Says:

    You tell me what part of Labour is not neoliberal believing in Austerity, welfare reform (aka abolition of the welfare state), benefit sanctions, Workfare and not in the least interested in the cruelty to the disabled / chronic sick of all ages?

    Labour passed a law in 1975 to guarantee pension payout, the Tories revoked that law in 1993 and in 13 years of rule Labour did not bring it back.

    Dame Anne Begg sent me an email saying that Labour had greater funding priorities that funding equal pension payout at 60. The ring fenced National Insurance Fund has been full for decades, not needing a top up from tax. The meaning of ring fenced is that the NI Fund is not a tax and therefore cannot be emptied to pay off the national debt.

    Even the Pensioners Convention believes the NI Fund has been emptied to pay off the national debt and that the retirement age was raised to do that. This is not lawful by government.

    Only TUSC (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) ever said the truth of the state pension:
    The state pension is not some generous gift from government, but deferred wages from our youth.

    At 12 per cent from our wages each year, plus our boss’s contribution.

    The raised retirement age was not needed in the UK and has not saved one penny in tax. The loss of state pension at 60 is loss of food money for a great many women, and loss of income to a couple in these dire times.

    It also showed Austerity never happened. Why burden employees and bosses with NI contributions to over half a decade in work (the state pension is payable if retire or stay in work) when companies were struggling over many years.

    How many young peoples’ jobs have been lost by women not having the pension payout and using the money to shop in town?

    Women aged 60 since 2013 (start of the loss of payout) are coming off the electoral roll, believing no party offers them anything.

    TUSC said it did, but it was not given enough trade union donations to inform the public of their existence. Without a daily presence, it is too late only a few days before the election.

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