Jim Murphy is leaving his disastrous leadership of ‘Scottish’ Labour but not before throwing a stink bomb into the mix by taking on Len McCluskey directly, and in return, Unite in Scotland are going to vote in July to see about cutting support for Labour in Scotland.
Added to this, the STUC have decided to support the SNP government in Scotland in standing against Tory austerity and their government generally. In England and Wales, the party is in the middle of a bizarre conversation about replacing it’s former leader Ed Milliband as candidates talk of ‘aspirational voters’, John Lewis shoppers and endless reams of entitled self-indulgent soul searching that spreads the shite everywhere apart from at the feet of Labour itself or the fact the party has supported austerity for the last five years and has voted with coalition policy or abstained over the last five years.
The clear favourite for leader, Andy Burnham, is coming out of support for an EU referendum and is using language that just about stops short of sounding full-fat Tory, especially on the subject of immigration. All the other candidates are actually worse, and none have any idea as to why the Labour Party failed so, so badly in the election.
Andy Burnham could do himself a favour and read this splendid article by John Harris in the Guardian from last week, and actually understand it. Labour lost not because of the SNP, or UKIP, or anyone standing on a grassy knoll but they failed primarily because Labour don’t know what they’re actually for anymore apart from gaining power and keeping it. They’ve become a party of power for the sake of power itself, and in seeking this power they’ve driven many people away into the arms of more left wing parties like the SNP, Plaid Cymru or the Greens, false hopes like the Lib Dems, or the chancers of UKIP. In Scotland it’s even worse as Labour supporters and voters voted Tory in order to ‘keep the SNP out’ and in doing so added to David Cameron’s share of the vote and denied Labour an increase in short money.
As a serious anti-Tory campaign starts to form Labour are nowhere to be seen as they fight among themselves, or indulge in wheezes like attacking the SNP for not voting in the forthcoming free vote in regards the fox hunting ban in England and Wales. They know fine well the SNP don’t vote on England only issues, and that there already is a ban on fox hunting in Scotland that was introduced in 2002 introduced during a Labour government in Holyrood, and supported by the SNP. Rather than unite with the anti Tory movement and help protect the Human Rights Act, or even try to find Tory MP’s that could vote to retain the ban, they’ve continued this tactic of attacking the SNP, but this is going to blow up in their face as it not only provokes the West Lothian question (not that it’s a concern for Labour as they only have one MP left in Scotland) but it will invoke the question about why then did Labour spend so much time supporting the previous government or abstaining?
So as Labour is being eaten alive from within what’s it actually for? It doesn’t support the unemployed. It doesn’t especially seem to care about the poor. It doesn’t seem to understand the purpose of government is to serve, not to use power to curb people’s freedoms. Yes, Labour will tell you they formed the NHS, the Welfare State and brought in massive reforms in the 1960’s but that’s the past. Telling us what better men and women than the people in the core Labour Party now did isn’t painting a vision of the future under any sort of Labour government. I understand the Tory vision of the future, it’s horrible but I get it. I understand UKIP’s, the SNP’s , Plaid’s and the Greens (the Lib Dems have an even worse problem than Labour but fuck them) but I have no idea what Labour are actually for now?
Perhaps then it’s time to kill it? Give it a quick painless death now rather than hope that maybe one day Labour will be that party it was when we were either young or not born. Sure, it might change but then again I might be Batman, so the hope for the left in England especially is to take things into their own hands. Scotland has a healthy left in the SNP, Greens and SSP. Wales have Plaid Cymru and the Greens. All England have as a realistic left wing option now is the Greens.This isn’t to say Labour need to become fire breathing socialists, but a centre left socially democratic party would be nice, but as said, that’s not even remotely going to happen.
And that’s why Labour needs to die. Stop the endless hope it’ll reform. It won’t. It’s too corrupt, too bloated and too complacent to take the fight to the Tories, and from right now that fight needs to be taken to the Tories every single day. The majority of people that didn’t vote Tory, that don’t want £12 billion worth of cuts or the Human Rights Act removed and anything the Tories want as they intend to dive into neo-fascism need a voice and that isn’t going to come from Labour.