The Sunday newspapers are carrying stories presenting Orwellian ‘double speak’ on the situation in the Labour Party – that is words which are the exact opposite of their real meaning (in Orwell’s 1984 the Ministry of Peace carried on war).
Labour’s victory against the Tories in the Oldham by-election was a landslide. Labour’s share of the vote rose by 7.5%, the Tories’ fell by 9.7%.
December 2nd in the House of Commons saw one of those pantomimes that if it did not result in the death of thousands of people could form the basis of a Whitehall farce.
Monday’s decision by Jeremy Corbyn to allow a free vote for Labour MPs on the Tories’ proposal to bomb Syria was clearly not the position he preferred Labour to be in. He had earlier been reported as wanting the vote whipped, and his own opposition to bombing is unquestioned.
There is a concerted effort in the Tory press and beyond to prettify the latest Autumn Statement from George Osborne. There have even been ridiculous claims that it represented ‘An end to austerity’. At the same time the Tories have attempted to seize the political initiative by immediately switching the political agenda to bombing Syria.
The article below, by Michael Burke, demolishes the myth that austerity is over. In fact there is a renewed austerity offensive. The article first appeared on Socialist Economic Bulletin here.