Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Zero out of ten for neo-Blairism

I'm pleased to be one of three letter writers to the Guardian to take issue with the hardly even half-baked approach to public finance advocated by some of the Parliamentary Labour Party's leading Blairites (http://m.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/aug/21/zero-rating-labour-young-turk?cat=politics&type=article).

Stella Creasy wants "zero-based budgets" for the public sector, and to encourage volunteers and drive out waste (http://m.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/aug/14/labour-focus-value-for-money?cat=politics&type=article). This is all "progressive" because the poor pay more tax than the rich.

This sort of arrogant laziness and inattention to detail (and evidence) on the part of career Labour politicians did great harm to the country (and - more importantly - to working class people) whilst we were in Government. Now it can only do damage to our electoral prospects. And it will.

When each week (if not day) brings with it some new Tory outrage (the attack on social housing is still stuck in my throat) then the very last thing we need is youthful acolytes relearning their master's strategy of "triangulation".

It wasn't needed in the mid-90s when (as I remember Rodney Bickerstaffe saying more than once in our Union) John Smith would have won in 97 had he lived and without jettisoning our politics and values. It certainly isn't needed now.

The challenge to the trade union movement is how we take on and defeat these Tory fifth columnists in our ranks.

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

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