Sunday, September 13, 2015

This is What It Looks Like When Progressives Retake their Party

The Labour Party faithful acquiesced in the Blairification of their party but their tolerance for its drift to the centre-right has come to an abrupt end.  Left-winger Jeremy Corbyn's first ballot 59.5% win over his three rivals left no doubt about just where the hearts and minds of Labour Party members reside.

Corbyn has been relentlessly attacked, denounced as a radical. His position on the Conservative government's brutal austerity is succinct. "Britain can't cut its way to prosperity." That sounds pretty ominous - except to those Nobel laureate guys, Krugman and Stiglitz, who've been sending that very same message for years.

As for our now thoroughly Blairified NDP I only hope they find their own Jeremy Corbyn and soon.


Anonymous said...

Anyong said: I listened to BBC last night. Isn't that something. We need the exact same event taking place here as well.

Steve said...

England is a sewer to me. Especially after Tony Blair. Godspeed BAMF.

Anonymous said...

For the last 30 years or more the MSM has relabled socialism so that the name is considered by the masses as something impure, radical or corrupt.
We now live in a world where the likes of Tony Blair and Barak Obama are considered to be left wing socialists.
As someone that lived under a true socialist government of Harold Wilson, I can assure that those promoting the latter are out of their friggen minds.
Right or wrong, regardless upon your politics, society has been fooled into a narrow political midset.

The Mound of Sound said...

It is happening, Anyong, in the former great democracies of the Western world. People are fed up with this neoliberal nonsense. They know they've been had and they know there's nothing for them or their nations in this tissue of lies.

There's a frustration and a hunger for better in people that is sending them flocking to the Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyns.

I think the greatest mistake the NDP committed was to shift to centre/centre-right just when Canada needed them to double down on their efforts on the Left. Look what they wound up with - a Thatcher worshipping, Harper courting, free market fundamentalist neoliberal, Likudnik, ex-Liberal to head their party. Hmm, here's a question. What's Tommy Angry Beard's position on the TPP? Odd that he's gone coyly mute on that one. It's impossible to tell just how many false flags that guy's flying on any given day.

Glenn Ashton said...

Bad move for Labour; it will condemn them to permanent opposition. The nationalists in Scotland have wiped out a huge chunk of Labour seats there. In the rump of Britain, the Conservatives have a lock on far more seats than Labour has. This means as long as the nationalists hold Scotland, the Conservatives will gain majority governments in Westminister. That means the Labour Party will not gain power, so as to implement its policies. And moving to the far left, as it's new leader wants it to, lessens its chances of every gaining power. The Blair New Labour actually broke the Labour trend of being a protest group; he gained 3 governments in a row and would left a stronger Labour Party if he had not bought into the confabulations of the younger Bush regarding Iraq. In any case, it is doubtful that the new leader of the Labour Party will survice in his post; he has not carried to old caucus with him, and polls will soon show that Labour is badly split and losing support. So a palace coup to remove him and put in place a more centrist leader is possible. I give him two years at the most.

The Mound of Sound said...

I'm not sure you're reading that right, Glenn. There's something happening today that few of us have any real understanding. I'm struggling to get a sense of the shape of this thing but it's very real, it's growing and conventional neoliberalism of the sort practiced in every Western democracy since the Thatcher/Reagan/Mulroney era reveals itself incapable of responding to it.

The 80s are over, Glenn, and they're not coming back even if that hasn't yet sunk in with Harper, Mulcair or Trudeau. The nation state is in decline and its modes of organization: 18th century economics, 19th century industrialism and 20th century geopolitics have largely lost their utility.

The enormity of the change that has overtaken us is almost beyond comprehension and fuels a broadbased denialism as our last remaining coping mechanism. When I was born the global population was at an all-time record of just over 2.5-billion. Today, within that one lifespan (and I hope I've still got a decade left) that record at my birth has tripled. How did that happen? We've used so many technological and scientific conjuring tricks that we've been able to extract resources at 1.6 times the Earth's carrying capacity and yet we're still slavishly tied to perpetual, exponential growth in GDP. It's not that we're using resources at rates far beyond their natural replenishment volumes, it's that we're utterly dependent on accessing resources beyond their conceivable availability. That, Glenn, does not end well because it can't.

As for Labour does it really matter if they return to power? Our own New Democrats once played an invaluable role as the 'conscience of parliament' that they could only have fulfilled by not being in power, by not having to compromise, by being above the constant Tory-Grit fray. Today's New Dems have a weak grasp of the role their party once played in our parliament and the vacuum they've left in their shift to centrism.

It's now more important than at any time in the post-war era that somebody keep the ideas alive, that some group begins to agitate for a rebalancing of the constant struggle between labour and capital, especially as we progress further into an era of automation.

Glenn Ashton said...

MoS, I take great comfort from the great strides that have been taken by social democrats in EU states.

The EU experiment is a remarkable push back against the Anglo-Saxon model (OK and USA) of virtually unfettered capitalism.

Germany, for example, recognizes far more stakeholders as having rights to be heard when it comes to corporate governance; German law requires for larger companies a chair at the board table for unions and workers. Can you imagine that in the USA? Yet it makes absolute business, and moral, sense.

The inequality gap of reward for top managers of corporations versus workers will be closed in the EU much sooner than in the USA or UK.

Sanders, bless him, is a raging voice of conscience in the US presidential race; and with Elizabeth Warren in the wings (and soon, I believe, in the ring as Presidential or VP candidate) of the Democratic Party, things are looking up a bit in the USA.

The obscenity of campaign financing in the USA is a great cause of that country's relative backwardness when it comes to social policy development. And surprisingly enough, if Donald Trump becomes president (as I believe he will), this cesspool might be drained.

As for simply being satisfied with being the conscience rather than the governing force in Canadian politics, I think you folks set your sights too low. The revolutionary change in Canada will come about on October 20, when Canada wakes up to Harper losing power, resigning (because his party has a few seats less than either the NDP or LPC), and a new man takes over with a minority government. The key to major steps forward in social policy in Canada depends on just how soon the new government introduces legislation in the House to change the FPTP system to a modified proportional representation one.

Once whe have an MPR system in place, future elections will result in parties having to cooperate with each other to get things done. This is not a recipe for disaster, as so many EU states with MPR systems have shown. What it does is force parties to consider the greater good of a larger number of voters than the old FPTP system required them to. And it is in just such an environment that I expect quantum jumps in progressive responses to our society's problems.

So, for me, one of the keys is to gain power, and a fairer system of electoral choices makes this easier. My focus is on changing our FPTP system. Then we can start working cooperatively on so many problems that Harper and Martin and others simply did not wish to address, or did not really know existed.