petej + milibanded   213

Communist Realism | k-punk
"Back to Thursday, here’s “entrepreneur” Chris. “A ban on zero hours contract would prevent me from running my small business …” Well, would it now? We’ve heard many versions of this plaint over the last few months, from businesses big and small. What this amounts to is saying that, these businesses cannot function without super-exploiting workers, and they cannot function without indirect government subsidies (with benefits supplementing low wages). Hold on a minute: didn’t the capitalist realists make their “hard decisions” to close down nationalised industries on the grounds that they weren’t viable and they were draining too much public money?

We need a new, communist, realism, which says that businesses are only viable if they can pay workers a living wage. This communist realism would reverse the capitalist realist demonisation of those on benefits, and target the real parasites: “entrepreneurs” whose enterprises depend on hyper-precarious labour; landlords living it large off housing benefit; bankers getting bonuses effectively or actually out of public money, etc.

But the concept of communist realism also suggests a particular kind of orientation. This isn’t an eventalism, which will wager all its hopes on a sudden and final transformation. It isn’t a utopianism, which concedes anything “realistic” to the enemy. It is about soberly and pragmatically assessing the resources that are available to us here and now, and thinking about how we can best use and increase those resources. It is about moving – perhaps slowly, but certainly purposively – from where we are now to somewhere very different."
UK  politics  ge2015  generalElection  election  MilibandEd  neoliberalism  capitalistRealism  ideology  dctagged  dc:creator=FisherMark 
may 2015 by petej
Richard Seymour · Bye Bye Labour · LRB 23 April 2015
"The Labour Party faces a dilemma in May. Defeat will be demoralising and will increase the possibility that the party will ultimately collapse. There is little evidence that any significant force, other than the Blairites, would be in a position to take advantage of Miliband’s loss, and certainly none that a Labour left with any influence would emerge from the ruins. Yet if it wins, Labour will be forced to implement an austerity agenda which, while not enough to satisfy Conservative voters, will turn its own remaining voters off in droves. That would be a defeat of a different order. For a vision of that future, one need only look across the Channel, at François Hollande sinking and sinking in the polls, and the Front National on the rise."
UK  politics  LabourParty  conservatism  austerity  authoritarianism  MilibandEd  recession  debt  crisis  postFordism  socialDemocracy  ge2015  generalElection  dctagged  dc:creator=SeymourRichard  LRB 
april 2015 by petej
The making of Ed Miliband | Politics | The Guardian
"The project had necessarily been marked by compromise. It had become a hybrid of New, Blue and Brown Labour. The slate of retail policy may not, to many on the left, look equivalent in scale to the mission of rewriting Britain’s social and economic order – a higher minimum wage, apprenticeships, a gentler trajectory of budget consolidation to protect public services, more midwives, free nursery places and nurses. Some of it looked like old-fashioned redistributive social democracy: taxing the very rich to pay for the NHS.

But for Miliband these were emblems of intent – flares sent up to illuminate the motive that had impelled him to run for the leadership five years earlier. Opposition had imposed severe constraints, not least the obligation to publish a manifesto whose first page delivered a commitment to budget discipline. But Miliband felt that need not extinguish Labour’s fervour for radical change. And he has revealed enough evangelical ability at the end of the journey for the party to get behind him with more relish than it had previously shown. Miliband often struggled to be heard, but he never lost sight of what it was he wanted to say.

Whether less partisan voters see it that way is another matter. Miliband has not amassed a great army of followers along the way; at times it felt more like a siege than a crusade. But for his small band of trusted advisers, it has been a triumph of intellectual consistency over political volatility. They see a potential prime minister whose platform is a concrete extension of the idea that brought them together in 2010: a belief that Labour could win without compromising its historic determination to fashion a more equal society.

If he fails, there will be no shortage of critics ready to point out the flaws in the original idea and its subsequent execution. Yet none can deny that there is a principled resilience that has driven him on. If Miliband makes it to Downing Street, it will be a vindication of his earliest conviction – that his vision for Britain would, in time, vanquish doubts about its bearer. “If you let that side of you shine through,” Axelrod had told him over dinner in May, “the man who has a cause he believes in and is prepared to lose for – then you can win.”"
UK  politics  LabourParty  NewLabour  socialDemocracy  TheLeft  MilibandEd  BrownGordon  MilibandDavid  KinnockNeil  BlueLabour  identity  ge2015  generalElection  election 
april 2015 by petej
Damian McBride, Miliband's rope-a-dope trick
"After Manchester, George Osborne thought the election – and with it his destiny as David Cameron’s successor – was there for the taking here and now. When he should have stepped back, picked his punches and won on points next May, he went wild in search of an immediate knockout.
But by promising too much, too soon on spending cuts and raising the spectre of another VAT increase, he has achieved the near-impossible: making the Tories look like the step into the unknown on fiscal policy.
In the process, he has also resolved the four-year debate on what to say about the deficit at the top of Labour, allowed the Liberal Democrats to achieve the differentiation they crave, and undone all of David Cameron’s efforts to make the Tories look like they believe in public services.
That is some ten weeks’ work by George Osborne, and some ten weeks of good luck for Ed Miliband. At this rate, we may look back at the Labour leader’s conference gaffe as the missing words that won him the election."
MilibandEd  LabourParty  OsborneGeorge  ToryParty  austerity  cuts  deficit  AutumnStatement  services  publicSpending  politics  UK  election  ge2015  OBR  generalElection 
december 2014 by petej
New Statesman | Tweeting a picture of a house is not an act of class warfare, whatever the Sun says
"In the run-up to the Rochester by-election, Ian Dunt pointed out that the story here was one of a left that had lost its voice. In the aftermath of the 2008 crash, we truly could have seen the “social democratic moment” that Miliband’s been so keen on invoking. People wanted redistribution – polling still shows that the public believes austerity has been unfairly implemented – and all that was needed a few years ago was for someone to show the electorate what fairness could look like in practice. But Labour failed, and in the breach of their incompetence, we got scapegoating and insularity. We got Ukip. Now look where we are: bigotry on the march and press-enforced compulsory patriotism. I don’t even want to think about where we’re going."
UK  politics  UKIP  Rochester  byelection  election  ThornberryEmily  flag  photograph  nationalism  patriotism  LabourParty  MilibandEd  dctagged  dc:creator=DitumSarah 
november 2014 by petej
Former Labour minister Frank Field hits out at Ed Miliband for being soft on immigration - UK Politics - UK - The Independent
Blue Labour is a group within the party which aims to win back working class voters with an appeal based on “faith, family and flag”.
LabourParty  politics  immigration  FieldFrank  BlueLabour  UK  populism  UKIP  MilibandEd 
october 2014 by petej
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