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The Labour Party

(206 Posts)
Anya Mon 18-Apr-16 14:16:14

Is it just me or do other moderate left-wingers feel alarmed by the way the Labour party is being torn apart by a move to the far left and the way this is being glorified on GN?
I've never voted Tory in my life and I detested Blair before it became fashionable to dislike him. But I feel the heart is being torn out of the Labour party. This talk of returning to 'traditional values' is no such thing but a cover for a lurch to the extreme left.
There must, surely, be others like myself whose socialist principles are firmly held, but who are alarmed by the current situation.
I know the reaction this thread is going to get from some who think otherwise, but I believe that there is a cohort of quiet socialists on this forum who would agree with me.

nigglynellie Mon 18-Apr-16 14:29:02

I expect there are Anya, and I may be wrong but I don't think you'll get many takers!
I'm afraid I can't help as my political stance is well known and predictably abhorred, therefore I now keep quiet! However, I personally would love to be able to have a civilised chat with you and like minded people, as different ideas and attitudes can be interesting and informative. It aint going to happen though, so I'll leave it that - sorry.

rosesarered Mon 18-Apr-16 14:34:29

I'm not a Socialist or Labour voter, as you know, have voted Lib Dem for a long time, and next time would vote Conservative just to keep Corbyn and his ilk out of power.The Lib Dems are finished now, and their own voters fault too, for punishing them for working alongside the Conservatives in the last coalition government.As you say, there must be moderate Labour voters on Gransnet, so let's hear from them! It may now sadly be the case that the few ( but vocal) far left
Voices on the forum ( and there aren't actually all that many) dominate threads, all agreeing with one another. It's become a bit of a club for themgrin thankfully this is not the case for the country in general.

Anniebach Mon 18-Apr-16 14:41:19

Anya, what do you consider are socialist traditional values ?

daphnedill Mon 18-Apr-16 15:02:05

ab, I think that's a very good question and where the starting point should be. Let's forget about labels such as 'far left'. There is no way that Corbyn or his supporters are Trotskyists. I agree with Anya that the Labour Party is ripping itself apart at a time when the country really needs an effective opposition to this government.

I'll start the ball rolling. I would like to see a return to the post-war consensus about having a safety net for everybody. I would like to see people caring about everybody in society. In fact, I'd like to see a return to the concept of a society. I'm not against capitalism, but I would like to see a situation where people have more equal opportunities. They'll never actually be equal, but there's a lottery of birth, which people can't fight, however hard they try.

Once we've established what socialist traditional values are, maybe it would be interesting to hear from people who don't agree with them and why.

janeainsworth Mon 18-Apr-16 15:19:50

It's an interesting question Anya and one I think which could equally apply to those who think of themselves as on the centre right but think that the Tories are lurching too far to the right, and there is no-one left to represent those of moderate views, such as wanting to maintain good public services and the NHS.

POGS Mon 18-Apr-16 15:22:37

How can you forget 'labels'. People go on facts don't they.?

'Labels' are happily applied to other party's , what's so different about Labour.

If it walks like an animal, smells like an animal, It's an animal scenario.

thatbags Mon 18-Apr-16 15:22:44

anya, Militant Tendency all over again? But this time no Neil Kinnock to kick them out?

rosesarered Mon 18-Apr-16 15:28:17

Neil Kinnock must be really upset to see what is happening now, when he got rid of them all back then!

rosesarered Mon 18-Apr-16 15:30:44

You can't say ' let's forget about labels'! In fact there is some debate about whether Corbyn and McDonnel et al are Trots, but they are certainly far left.

daphnedill Mon 18-Apr-16 15:30:59

Of course you can forget labels.

So, if you were starting up a political party or even in government, what kind of principles would you have?

What would be the bullet points in your manifesto?

No, it's not Militant Tendency all over again. I think you should check your history books.

nigglynellie Mon 18-Apr-16 15:31:43

Perhaps his son will take on that mantle? I understand he is considered in some quarters to be a rising star. Not sure about the far left though.

daphnedill Mon 18-Apr-16 15:31:52

I did just say 'let's forget about labels' so I can.

What are your priorities for how a country should be run?

daphnedill Mon 18-Apr-16 15:35:06

Incidentally, I don't think people do go on facts. They start with some very irrational views and they use selected facts to reinforce their prejudices.

TriciaF Mon 18-Apr-16 15:38:33

It's a question that bothers me too, having grown up in a NE coalmining town and seen the deprivation so became an idealistic member of the Labour Party as soon as I was old enough. I was "far-left" (still am, but not a trotskyist.)
Just post-war the majority of the population was sympathetic to those who had lost the most, and our party was able to carry through most of the necessary reforms in the following 20-30 years.
Then what? I left the party when Blair was on the ascendance and rejoined last year hoping that Corbyn could rekindle the earlier enthusiasm. But by then the Tories had reverted to their pre-war dominance, and anyway, the social problems are very different now.
So I think there's still a need for an effective opposition, with a caring attitude towards those who are losing out. The task ahead is to identify the "new poor and deprived" and try to correct the current imbalance. We need someone in the same class as A. Bevan, E. Shinwell, T. Benn etc for inspiration.

POGS Mon 18-Apr-16 15:40:44


You only forget 'labels' when you choose to .

If Corbyn is not ' far left' as has been pronounced on other threads by his devotees why is there so much material to suggest otherwise. Blimey even the sainted Guardian calls him 'far left'.

If you can elect to dismiss Momentum, as many do, then you will be in for a shock in the future. Militant Tendency has it's footprint all over the Momentum group. I actually think there are posters who could possibly receive e.mails from Momentum , I would be surprised if they do not post on this thread.

daphnedill Mon 18-Apr-16 15:48:07

I agree with you, TriciaF, that the Labour Party needs a credible leader to pull them all together. It's often forgotten that the seeds of the post-war social revolution were sown during the war by a coalition government. Labour Attlee had been deputy Prime Minister and Beveridge was a Liberal. Churchill flipflopped between Conservatives and Liberals. Even the post-war Labour government experienced disagreement within its ranks.

The Labour Party itself has always been a 'coalition' of people with different views. Many of the earliest MPs came from non-conformist religious backgrounds, others were Fabians, others were social democrats and very few were Marxists.

To me, there have always been some 'red lines' with all post war governments and this one has overstepped most of them. Labour needs some simple messages to get people to understand what's going on.

daphnedill Mon 18-Apr-16 15:48:58

Evidence, dear POGS, evidence!

I'm going to work now, so you'll have plenty of time to get some together ;-)

varian Mon 18-Apr-16 15:55:51

rosesarered please stick to your principles. If you have voted LIbDem in the past why on earth would you change to the Tories now? You must have seen the difference between the coalition government which did implement some good LIbDem policies and the unfettered hardline Tory government we've got now.

It seems illogical to blame ex-LibDem voters for deserting them when they put party before country and paid a heavy price and then say you'll do the same.

I think the LibDems may take some time to recover but they are certainly not finished. This country needs a strong Liberal Democratic party and if you think of yourself as a LIberal please continue to support them.

Anniebach Mon 18-Apr-16 16:10:56

Every party has disagreements in the ranks .

How we do need a Nye Bevan Tricia, the thought of him across the dispatch box from Cameron would be a joy to hear.

So many great MP's from the Labour Party in the past who have done good for this country , people were bound to be drawn to Corbyn , he is of the time of Benn, Tam Dalyell, Donald Dewer, etc.

LullyDully Mon 18-Apr-16 16:40:54

I regret the huge weakening of the Liberal democrats. They kept the more extreme Tories in moral check. We can all see what has happened to social care since the last election.

Yes there are people who have taken advantage of the system in the past but many families are in need today. Not acceptable in a rich country .
All this while some of the rich fight not to pay and to milk the system .

I am not sure the current labour party are doing much to stand up for workers rights. I like the ideas and manner of JC but he doesn't have guts and determination IMO. Sorry if this post seems a bit confused.

Jalima Mon 18-Apr-16 17:06:10

Yes Anya

I come from a family of traditional Labour voters although I am more of a floater and do not like extremes of either right or left. Some of my nearest and dearest would not dream of voting other than Labour (and were most certainly not fans of New Labour!) but are not at all keen on the present Labour leadership and some of the Shadow Cabinet. They have said that they hope that, by the move to the left, New Labour will be left behind but that there will be another Labour leader and a change of some of the Shadow Cabinet before a General Election.

Ah yes, I remember my DF waxing lyrical about the Labour Party in the days of Nye Bevan etc! I wish I could ask his opinion of Corbyn et al (and somehow I don't think he would be overly impressed).

Jalima Mon 18-Apr-16 17:11:19

rosesarered please stick to your principles. If you have voted LIbDem in the past why on earth would you change to the Tories now?

I cannot answer for rosesarered but have you never heard of 'tactical voting' varian.
And some people read the manifestos very carefully indeed before deciding which way to vote.
Others decide that the party in power has gone too far in what it is trying to do and vote accordingly to try to bring back a balance.

There are many people who are not strict adherents to any one party, who read and listen very carefully and are not dogmatic either way; if there were not we would never have a change of government - end of democracy.

rosesarered Mon 18-Apr-16 18:31:47

varian the Lib Dems are finished for the forseeable future, maybe forever,and jalima is correct, tactical voting is what I shall do next time.However, I don't want to go into this 'in depth' as Anya started this thread wanting Labour voters to comment, moderate Labour

varian Mon 18-Apr-16 19:23:00

Nobody would vote tactically if we had a fair voting system - which means proportional representation. Tactical voting is negative and depressing - you end up voting for what you think is the lesser of two evils. Vote for what you believe in - and campaign for fair votes.