Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Long may Labour's drift to unelectability continue

It seems that the one member of the Labour Party who is not in denial about the deficit and the economy is Pat McFadden, shadow industry secretary. McFadden speaks today to the Fabian Society and will warn that Labour risks credibility with voters if they head into the "comfort zone of wishing away the need to cut spending."

He will go on to say, "Fight the cuts is a tempting slogan in opposition, and there are indeed some that must be fought. But if that is all we are saying the conclusion will be drawn that we are wishing the problem away." He also warns that the direction Labour are taking - of opposing all cuts - is exactly the direction in which the Coalition parties want Labour to head.

Well spotted Mr McFadden. Labour are clearly heading in the direction he warns should be avoided. I recently described Labour as clinging to their comfort blanket and offering painless palliatives. It's the same thing as McFadden suggests, just different words.

Few in Labour however will listen to him. After 16 years in which the "socialist" brethren of Labour have dumped so many of their principles under instruction from Blair and Brown so that they could build a "third way" utopia, they are now free of the responsibility of office and are reverting to type. They are loving the way the Blairite manual on what to say and definitely what not to say has been tossed on the bonfire. Suddenly, Labour MPs are taking about the "working class" as if it were some kind of organisation for which you need a membership card. Labour members have started to use the word "socialist" again. Some of them may even have looked up the meaning of the word. Some of them are dusting down their old hymn books and are learning the words to the Red Flag. Labour has "class war" as the new (old) rallying cry and they claim everyone in the City is a vile Tory banker who destroyed the last government (note - throughout history Labour have always blamed others for the mess their own governments get into). They have of course conveniently overlooked the widening of the wealth divide between rich and poor from 1997 - 2010. Also forgotten was the way they sucked up to rich bankers. Remember Ed Balls proclaiming the benefits of the light touch regulation of the City when he was City minister? I do. Labour MPs however have airbrushed that out of their history books.

Long may the drift by Labour into the realms of unelectable socialist posturing continue. The lessons of the 1980s have been forgotten. The wilderness beckons for Labour and their members want to set up camp there.

As I go about my council ward, talking to residents, one message I get from them is crystal clear - they know the country needs to go through some pain to put the economy right. None of us like that but we know it needs to be done. Only the most hardened Labour supporting constituents believe the deficit and economy can be put right by a wave of Labour's no-cuts magic wand. The more Labour waves this wand about, the less credible they appear to voters.

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