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We exclude the Labour left from British politics at our peril | Andy Beckett | Opinion | The Guardian
Many people in the rest of the party, and wider British politics and the media, don’t consider the left to be a legitimate Labour tribe, let alone legitimate rulers of the party, let alone a legitimate potential government. This is rarely stated explicitly. Excluding a large and currently vibrant group from mainstream politics can be an awkward argument to make in a democracy – especially when the radical right of the Conservative party has never been othered in the same way. Instead, starting with Margaret Thatcher, it has often run the country. But once you appreciate the implacable hostility the Labour left arouses, it explains a lot of otherwise puzzling British political phenomena.
UK  politics  LabourParty  TheLeft  CorbynJeremy  Corbynism  WatsonTom  CampbellAlastair  FootMichael  BennTony  democracy  media  dctagged  dc:creator=BeckettAndy 
march 2019 by petej
An inevitable division: the politics and consequences of the Labour split | openDemocracy
As I’ve pointed out before most of the Blairite MPs became Labour MPs on the basis of a particular implicit understanding of what that role entailed. According to this understanding, the purpose of a Labour MP is to try to persuade the richest and most powerful individuals, groups and institutions to make minor concessions to the interests of the disadvantaged, while persuading the latter to accept that these minor concessions are the best that they can hope for. That job description might well entail some occasional grandstanding when corporate institutions are engaged in particularly egregious forms of behaviour (such as making loans to very poor people at clearly exorbitant rates), or when the political right is engaged in explicit displays of racism or misogyny. But it doesn’t entail any actual attempt to change the underlying distributions of power in British society; and in fact it does necessarily, and structurally, entail extreme hostility towards anybody who proposes to do that.
UK  politics  LabourParty  IndependentGroup  split  UmunnaChuka  Blairism  GapesMike  LabourFirst  Progress  class  capitalism  centrism  managerialism  anti-Semitism  Corbynism  Brexit  Labourism  coalition  Germany  FreeDemocraticParty  dctagged  dc:creator=GilbertJeremy 
february 2019 by petej
How Thatcherism produced Corbynism - UnHerd
In Britain, as elsewhere, the Thatcherite project was self-undermining. While the country Thatcher brought into being was very different from the one she inherited, it was nothing like the country she intended to fashion. Insofar as it ever existed, her Britain was a country of dutiful middle-class families prudently saving for the future. But rather than consolidating and expanding this middle class, she consigned it to the memory hole. More individualist, post-Thatcher Britain is also less bourgeois.

Aside from their homes, few middle-class people have assets of any importance. Beyond the public sector, pensions are dependent on the vagaries of the market. Without job security, much of the middle class lives only months from penury. Incomes have increased for many, but so has debt. While distancing Labour from its past and turning it into an overwhelmingly middle-class party, Tony Blair continued the hollowing out of middle-class life that Thatcher began.

A type of capitalism emerged in which the practices that shaped bourgeois life as it had been known in the past – saving for the future, pursuing a lifelong career, self-sacrifice for the sake of family stability – became redundant or dysfunctional. Adapting to ceaseless change came to be regarded as the primary virtue. Accelerating and accentuating processes that globalisation was driving anyway, Thatcher created a society she could not have imagined.
UK  politics  academia  tenure  Thatcher  Thatcherism  JosephKeith  Keynesianism  state  welfare  employment  individualism  neoliberalism  precarity  insecurity  post-industrialism  middleClass  Corbynism  TheLeft  globalisation  Brexit  referendum  PeoplesVote  farRight  dctagged  dc:creator=GrayJohn 
january 2019 by petej
Lorna Finlayson · Corbyn Now · LRB 27 September 2018
If the path Corbyn has started to follow is again closed off, there are two foreseeable consequences. The first is that anger and disaffection will find another outlet. While frequent reference to a racist and right-wing public opinion has been a convenient device for the protection of the status quo, there is no virtue in maintaining an opposite fiction of the British people as saints and socialists. The appetite for Corbyn’s vision of a more compassionate and co-operative society coexists with a counter-tendency that has been well nurtured in recent years: the tendency towards suspicion of strangers and neighbours, the scapegoating of the vulnerable, resentment and a desire to dominate others. This tendency was on full display during the Brexit referendum campaign, and was given a formidable boost by the result. (There is no need to choose between the interpretation of Brexit as a protest against a neoliberal political establishment or as expressive of an ill-informed, racist bigotry: it is both.) Islamophobic sentiment and related attacks are on the increase, legitimised by a media which has for years been normalising far-right rhetoric. British liberals like to believe that Americans are a different species but they didn’t think that even the Americans would elect Trump. Boris Johnson – limbering up with carefully pitched comments about women in burqas and suicide vests – is a threat not to be underestimated. And there are fates worse than Boris.

The other foreseeable consequence of the defeat of Corbynism is that what remains of the achievements of an earlier Labour Party will be undone. The combination of the economic consequences of Brexit and another few years at the mercy of the Tories or Labour ‘moderates’ will spell certain death for the NHS (even without Brexit, the health service would be doomed to an only slightly slower demise). In this context, the attacks on Corbyn’s leadership are attacks on all those whose lives depend quite literally on a break with politics as we currently know it.
UK  politics  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  Corbynism  LRB  capitalism  Bennism  redistribution  welfareState  taxation  tuitionFees  education  reform  Blairism  centrism  anti-Semitism  IHRA  Israel  Brexit  farRight  dctagged  dc:creator=FinlaysonLaura 
september 2018 by petej
Can Labour forge a new, 21st-century socialism? | John Harris | Opinion | The Guardian
The problem is that these ideas have yet to be turned into the kind of stories and messages that might decisively push Labour somewhere new. The party has been transformed, but it has a split personality – to quote the academic Jeremy Gilbert, Labour continues to be divided between a “decentralised political movement that would like to build a more democratic and cooperative economy” and “a top-down project focused entirely on maintaining Corbyn’s leadership, which is largely proposing a return to the statist social democracy of the postwar era”. The former demands deep thought, and the willingness to surrender old orthodoxies; the latter is a comfort blanket to which much of the party still instinctively clings.
UK  politics  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  Corbynism  Fordism  postFordism  post-industrialism  neoliberalism  democratisation  participation  socialMovements  conservatism  nationalisation  decentralisation  welfare  housing  education  schools  Amazon  exploitation  automation  employment  dctagged  dc:creator=HarrisJohn 
september 2018 by petej

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