flux.org.uk / Will Green

Defeat for Blairites – but the fight will continue

9th October 2010 Socialist Action 0

By Stephen MacAvoy

The election of Ed Miliband as Labour leader has dealt a significant blow to the Blairite tendency within the Labour Party. That current failed to regain the party leadership and is further weakened by the withdrawal of David Miliband from frontbench politics. Far from damaging Labour’s electoral chances as a range of Blairites have warned, this actually offers the opportunity to move away from the unpopular policies of the Blair era.

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Labour needs to fight the right wing offensive

26th May 2010 Socialist Action 0

By Stephen MacAvoy

The formation of the Conservative-led coalition represents a sharp rightwards shift in the British political situation. Working class living standards are set to face an onslaught with the deepest public service cuts since the Second World War and the weakening of pay and working conditions of millions of people. The coming assault on the public sector far out shadows that undertaken by Thatcher.

Whilst all the mainstream parties fought the general election on the basis of cuts – a blatant attempt to restore capitalist profitability by making the working class pay for the economic crisis – the balance of forces for the working class under a Conservative led government, with a large majority provided by the Liberal Democrats, is clearly much worse than it would have been under a Labour government or Labour-led coalition.

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Labour should not aid the Lib Dems

2nd May 2010 Socialist Action 0

By Stephen MacAvoy

The forthcoming election is being fought with all three main parties committed to unprecedented cuts in public spending. As the Institute for Fiscal Studies has recently described, the Conservatives’ plans for public spending from this year onwards would make it the “tightest five-year period since (at least) World War Two” whilst Liberal Democrat and Labour plans would see the “tightest four-year period since April 1976”. The Financial Times has outlined various scenarios of what this will mean for the population here.
 
This consensus on cutting spending needs to be opposed by the widest possible coalition. Not only will these cuts unleash serious attacks on living standards of the population but they will undermine the restoring of economic growth, as the TUC has recently noted. Given that the recession has been driven by a collapse in investment and the government budget deficit is overwhelmingly a product of the falling tax receipts caused by the recession, the priority should be to increase investment.

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Blairites putting a coalition before Labour

23rd April 2010 Socialist Action 0

By Stephen MacAvoy

Following the Liberal Democrats’ rise in the polls, the Blairites have launched an offensive to secure their long held goal of a Lib-Lab coalition. The BBC’s Nick Robinson has reported that senior Labour figures see the prospect of a Lib-Lab post election deal as the “the ultimate fulfilment of the New Labour mission.”

It is now less than two weeks till election day and postal voting is commencing, so one would expect Labour’s campaign to be focussed on maximising its vote. But this is not happening. Instead in the official campaign, run by Peter Mandelson, the formation of a coalition is being promoted. Mandelson’s memo to Labour Party members on 18 April, in which he said he was “not against coalition government in principle”, was flagged up by The Independent as “the first time a senior Labour figure has spoken about a Lib-Lab coalition” in this election. To help secure this outcome the Lib Dems are being defended, with Mandelson criticising media attacks on them. Simultaneously, Labour and its Leader’s prospects have been deliberately run down, with the FT titling an article “Mandelson admits voters tired of Labour”.

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Fighting against a Tory majority

30th December 2009 Socialist Action 0

By Stephen MacAvoy

The narrowing of the Tory lead in the opinion polls over recent months underlines that the outcome of the next election is not certain. The political implications are clear: a shift by Labour to policies that motivate the overwhelming majority of the population threatened by the Tories’ planned harsh economic policies could prevent a Conservative government.

Despite the backdrop of a deep economic downturn and strong backing from most of the press amongst other factors, the Conservatives are still only polling on average at around 40 per cent (see UK Polling Report 28 December).