Sky Fall Dec 12

December 12 2019 the sky fell. Whether it can be rebuilt in my lifetime (another 20 years maybe) I do not know.

Government fails to feed the children = FAILURE.
Government that fails to ensure its people have homes = FAILURE.
Government leaving millions in pain, or dying too soon = FAILURE.
Government protecting tax evaders, selling our valuable national services to foreigners, = FAILURE.
They are taking our pay, but failing the job.

Yet people voted them in – again.
Because this Government lies every time it speaks. 80% of Tory statements in their campaign was lies.
Because Tories own most of the mainstream press, stuffing it with lies.
Because they ramp up fear and hysteria, play divide and rule, push hating as patriotic.
Because people who are hungry, stressed, unhealthy, frightened, despairing, are easy to manipulate.

Because Labour failed to keep it simple.
*People aren’t educated in investment economics. We had an excellent statement – “You can’t grow an economny by cutting it.” It disappeared.
*People don’t know what “Take back control” means. Take back our NHS, water, nuclear power, transport services, education system, aviation, postal services, and all the rest.
*Last minute policies look like bribes. Stick to a short list and keep repeating it.
*Remember people have been starved of services by ‘austerity’. They think going without is normal. Too much too fast looks scary and unrealistic even if it’s actually mending the broken thing.
*Stop the long speeches, and the long sentences. Keep it short (250 words max 5 words best). Keep it simple.

2 thoughts on “Sky Fall Dec 12”

  1. Labour cannot win. That is the long and the short of it.

    On the right of the party they talk about “electable democratic socialism” and “real radicalism” and suchlike buzzwords and slogans, but they seem remarkably coy about what, exactly, this is supposed to mean in terms of real policies described in any level of meaningful detail.

    One therefore has to go back to the last time Labour’s right were in power to get a clear idea of their policies.
    They happily accepted massive inequality.
    They favoured market solutions to everything. Market provision is always seen as good, state provision is always seen as bad, clumsy and wasteful. This is an article of faith, a piece of neo-liberal ideology that is adhered to just as firmly as communist ideology was adhered to in the former USSR. The reality, of course is that there are some things that markets do very well and other things they do much less well, but ideology is immune to reality.
    They promoted privatisation, selling off public assets at enormously discounted prices. This notoriously results in worse service at a higher price, plus reduced accountability, but ideology ignores that as well.
    They let a housing bubble create a housing crisis. They did little effective about this, did very little to provide much-needed social housing and allowed homelessness and street begging to increase while he was in power.
    They pushed control of schools towards unaccountable private organisations. It is called “academisation”.
    They promoted authoritarian domestic policies. Blair did not reverse any of Thatcher’s hard-line legislation but doubled down and created a surveillance state.
    They loyally followed the USA in foreign policy.

    If you were to say these look remarkably like Tory policies which increase the wealth and privileges of the already privileged, you would not be the first. The great difference between right-wing Labour and Tory policies is of course “austerity”, but then right-wing Labour was in power during a period of economic prosperity when there was a surplus to spend on useful things like Sure Start. But they still managed to tie NHS trusts up in PFIs at swingeing rates, so their commitment to protecting public services is doubtful. It also seems likely (to put it at its mildest) that had they been in power after the crash of 2008, they would have adopted policies very similar to Osborne.

    On the left of the Labour party they believe, among other things, that public services should not be run as cash cows for outsourcers, but as public services. Surveys suggest this enjoys overwhelming public approval, but Labour presented it very badly, making it look as if they are giving away free stuff rather than investing in the nation.

    They needed to keep it simple, exactly as you say; to come up with a few slogans along the lines of “invest now for a prosperous future”, “you don’t grow a business by cutting it, you invest, so why would you cut a country”, or “more money in your pocket is more money in the economy”, then repeat it and repeat it until everyone heard it so many times they were almost sick of it. But it would be in their heads, so when big public investments were announced, or policies to put more money in people’s pockets, they would link it to the slogans.

    The problem is that Labour’s right has people who would quite genuinely prefer to see a Tory government in power than a left-wing Labour government. They have said so, they mean it and they can make it happen. Indeed, they have, twice now. A left-wing leadership has to fight the Tories, their millionaire backers and the billionaire corporate press. It is unreasonable for them to have to fight parts of their own party as well, determined on a strategy of carping, wrecking and briefing against their own party at every turn, to a corporate media that is only too ready to give them a platform, as they do the Tories’ work for them.

    For most of the last thirty years Labour’s right has been firmly in control of the party. They were able to run the show with an appearance of party unity. In fact this was an imposed appearance heavily maintained by inner-party control-freakery. The left just had to shut up.

    But with the left now in power in the leadership, the offices of party chairman and secretary, the NEC and a majority of the membership, Labour’s right are reduced to a rump. But they are a very troublesome rump of wreckers who, while they cannot regain control of the party, can act as spoilers, a fifth column for neo-Tory policies in the party. They can and do ensure no alternative to existing policies can ever succeed. So we will just have to go on being robbed blind on a daily basis.

    As for the personal venom with which Labour’s right-wingers attack Labour’s left, I suspect this has less to do with policies than with the spoils of government, or the lack of them. Leading members of a governing party can make very large sums out of jobs in the quangocracy, from consultancies and via lobbying. Even leading members of an opposition party can have access to the spoils so long as they espouse “safe” pro-corporate policies. Look at Owen Smith’s career as a Pfitzer lobbyist, for instance. But if the opposition espouses policies that are too controversial, the money-tap gets turned off. The presence of a left-wing leadership has reduced the personal income of right-wing Labour MPs by tens, maybe even hundreds, of thousands of pounds. They are understandably bitter. Okay, so it’s ill-mannered of me to mention that, but it is very important.

    I really see no hope for left-wing politics, at least not on a national parliamentary basis, for the foreseeable future. We tried. We failed, twice, largely because a disunited party fighting amongst itself does not win elections.

    Local initiatives have some hope, devolved politics (the Welsh NHS, still run as a public service?) has some hope, single-issue protest campaigns hold out some hope. But nationally, no.

  2. Just as an afterthought to the above, we hear a lot from right-wing Labour MPs about the need to become “electable” in order to “protect working-class communities”. But in fact the policies they espouse do not protect working-class communities at all. They are strikingly similar to Tory policies, which protect a tiny privileged elite at everyone else’s expense. (See post above for the full list). For instance, an over-inflated housing bubble, a lack of social housing and over-priced inefficient public transport does not “protect working-class communities”, nor do inefficient privatised public utilities.

    So my conclusion is that when right-wing Labour MPs talk about “protecting working-class communities”, that statement cannot be taken at face value. It makes no sense at all. So, logically, one has to look for an interpretation that does make sense.

    I think when right-wing Labour MPs talk about “protecting working-class communities”, what they really man is protecting their own access to the spoils of office; well paid sinecures in the quangocracy, via lobbying and access to policy-making, from consultancies and so on. They are really talking about protecting their own personal levels of income. Many of them have become quite rich out of their time in politics.

    That may seem an excessively cynical interpretation. But one of the various jobs I have done in a long and interesting life was a stint as a right-wing Labour MP’s research assistant. I thought I was adequately cynical about politicians, their motivations, practices and ethics. I had, after all, studied politics and taught it for many years.

    Not a bit of it. I knew nothing at all. After three months in and around the Palace of Westminster I came to the conclusion any of these people would cheerfully sell their grandmothers to be boiled down for glue if it would get them a temporary political advantage and what is more they would be able to convince themselves they had acted well and honorably.

    Nobody expects the Tories to be nice. But Labour’s right-wingers are a breed apart. As long as they exist as a fifth column for Tory policies inside the Labour party there is no chance of any real change for the better and alas, there is no obvious way of getting rid of them.

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