Sunday, 14 August 2016

Say no to Blunkett's centre-left alliance

Lord Blunkett and Baroness Brenda Dean, ex-GS of SOGAT, are attempting to build a centre-left alliance to challenge Momemtum, the group set up to defend Jeremy Corbyn and support his progressive policies. Two more establishment figures attempt to save the Blairite/Progress project within the Labour Party. 

"They hope to help re-build the centre left grassroots in what appears to be a counterbalance to some of the campaigning work of Momentum, the fringe group set up to protect Corbyn, which earlier this month claimed to be receiving donations of £11,000 a day."

New Labour under Blair operated from the centre-left. While it achieved general election victories it did so by abandoning the core values of the Labour Party. It adopted neoliberalism policies that increasingly drew it further to the right of political thinking.

Eventually New Labour became barely indistinguishable from the Conservatives. Their failure to re-privatise our railways; their intensive programme of PFI in the NHS and schools; and the introduction of privatisation into the NHS, are some examples of this morphing.

While we expect Tory governments to look after their own in the business world. While we know their policies will always favour the wealthy at the expense of the poor. We did not expect a Labour government to follow suit. But that's exactly what happened from 1997-2010 as the poverty gap grew wider.

So, centre-left politics gave us a massive headache for the future with PFI contracts continuing to suck money from depleted health and education budgets for decades to come. Centre-left politics under New Labour began the salami slicing process of privatisation in the NHS. And Blunkett's idea of a mainstream Labour government introduced the hated Work Capability Assessment which has contributed to the premature deaths of god knows how many sick and disabled people.

My inclination would be to avoid any proposals of Blunkett's given his record. Instead we should reject any talk of reverting to New Labour and support Jeremy Corbyn's progressive policies and ways of doing politics.

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