Gransnet forums

News & politics

'Old' Labour

(36 Posts)
Fennel Thu 08-Aug-19 15:49:06

This morning I was diagnosed as being 'Old' Labour. I had a very interesting political discussion, chatting at the bus stop, and on the bus, with a woman much younger than me, in her 50s probably.
I'm not sure what category she's in, she supports Leave because of all the money we have to contribute to the EU. Thinks Corbyn is a Marxist. hopes Boris gets on with it.
But what is 'Old' Labour?

RosieLeah Thu 08-Aug-19 16:28:49

I think all the political parties have lost sight of who they are supposed to be. Labour was originally supposed to support the working class as opposed to the upper class. I think Corbyn is more concerned with his own personal agenda. He certainly isn't doing what is best for traditional Labour voters. He should be making sure that children from poorer families have the opportunity to fulfil their potential by providing grammar school places and assisted university places. Instead of raising the standard for the poor, he wants to lower the standard for the better off. This is his idea of an equal society.

Anniebach Fri 09-Aug-19 08:16:27

For many Old Labour is the 60’s , 70’s and early 80’s

Grany Fri 09-Aug-19 08:57:59

Labour is back to its roots forvthevworking class for the many. Unlike New Labour.

Towards a national Education Service

To meet this responsibility, Labour will create a unified National Education Service (NES) for England to move towards cradle-to-grave learning that is free at the point of use. The NES will be built on the principle that ‘Every Child – and Adult Matters’ and will incorporate all forms of education, from early years through to adult education.

EllanVannin Fri 09-Aug-19 09:00:27

Corbyn's done nothing for the Labour party. Unlike the ILP party which George Orwell was a member of in the late 1920's with everything nationalised and being a part of public ownership, above all a classless society.
A proper living wage and also decent unemployment pay.

Though he himself was from a privileged background and because he detested the British Empire he decided to experience the life of the working class with a firm belief that only socialism was the fairest way to an equal society.

Sadly, Democratic Socialism will no longer be an option.
This Labour party is sympathetic towards socialism rather than being active.

Anniebach Fri 09-Aug-19 09:02:33

We cannot go back to the 1920’s

Anniebach Fri 09-Aug-19 09:06:36

How many went to university in the 20’s ?

MaizieD Fri 09-Aug-19 09:12:14

Anybody care to enlighten me as to what the characteristics of 'Old Labour' were?

silverlining48 Fri 09-Aug-19 09:43:22

Annie indeed, only 6% went to university in the mid 1980s.

Grany Fri 09-Aug-19 09:47:41

^Corbyn's done nothing for the Labour party. Unlike the ILP party which George Orwell was a member of in the late 1920's with everything nationalised and being a part of public ownership, above all a classless society.
A proper living wage and also decent unemployment pay^

What are you talking about? This is Labour now back to its roots.

Jeremy Corbyn Labour will nationalise everything and bring in a proper living wage along with properly funded NHS and Fantastic green polices. Have you seen the manifesto all the transformative polices? And Free education cradle to grave

Anniebach Fri 09-Aug-19 09:59:33

Free education from cradle to grave, does this include the free musical instruments and free music lessons for every school child as promised at the last election ?

It’s 🌈 time again

MaizieD Fri 09-Aug-19 10:05:58

Would someone please tell me what the characteristics of 'Old Labour' are/were?

Fennel Fri 09-Aug-19 11:55:58

Maizie I told this lady that I had always voted Labour because I grew up in a NE mining town and saw the deprivation. And the post war Labour govts. reforms.
I didn't tell her this, but I also spent a year at the LSE in 1959 when all these reforms were being planned. Some brilliant Socialist lecturers.
Then she said - ah - you're Old Labour.

MaizieD Fri 09-Aug-19 12:25:20

Thanks, Fennel. The woman's response is not exactly illuminating, is it? To label you 'Old Labour' just because of your background.. grin

Can anybody else throw any light on what 'Old Labour' actually stands for?

trisher Fri 09-Aug-19 13:30:26

Doesn't "Old Labour" mean anyone who wasn't converted by Blair and became "New Labour"? It sounds like a biased opinion anyway. Perhaps it's jut another way of calling you a 'socialist'.

Grany Fri 09-Aug-19 13:31:09

Old Labour is traditional Labour The Attlee Socialist government that brought us the NHS and welfare state before New Labour and Blair that is what I think Old Labour is, anyway a good thing for old Labour too to be too.

Old Labour refers to the traditional Labour policies such as nationalisation, redistribution of income and wealth and an extended public sector that were rejected by the New Labour approach.

Fennel Fri 09-Aug-19 13:33:53

That's what it means to me too Grany.
Are those values still relevant now? Can we go back to those times?
Trisher I certainly wasn't converted by Blair.

Grandad1943 Fri 09-Aug-19 15:13:27

This thread poses an interesting question by the opening poster. If anyone looks back at the history of the Labour movement in Britain they will see that the Labour Party was born out of the growing workplace power of the trade unions at the beginning of the nineteen hundreds. It was, however, a realisation by those unions that not all the aspirations of working people in regard to better health care, housing etc could be brought about by way of workplace influence.

Therefore the Trade Union Congress was brought into being and that body initiated the formation of the Labour Party as it's political arm. Following that the parliamentary labour party was formed to bring forward candidates to fight for Labour movement representation in the House of Commons.

The Labour party remained closely aligned to its trade union roots throughout the early years of the nineteen hundreds. Evidence to the foregoing can be witnessed in the fact that many of the members of Cabinet in the 1945 Clement Attlee Labour government were from trade union backgrounds.

However, the trade Unions gradually relinquished ever more autonomy to the Labour Party during the period beginning with the1960s so as to grant greater speed and flexibility to the parliamentary Labour party in forming its policies and other actions. That parliamentary Labour Party autonomy reached its zenith under the leadership of Tony Blair when all trade union representation was eliminated from the Labour party National Executive Committee (NEC).

Further to the above, the influence of the Labour Party Constituency parties was then also drastically reduced when all candidates for palimentery seats were selected by the NEC and then "parachuted" into the constituencies with the local parties having no say in that selection whatsoever.

Many would argue that the above gave Britain a Tony Blair centre-right government which acted under the label of the Labour movement, but in fact, had virtually severed all communication and representation to that body. Again, many would argue that such a government without ties to its roots and not even accepting a reasonable level of representation from its own district and constituency parties, eventually brought Britain the beginnings of zero-hours contracts, the Gig Economy, the British side of the banking crisis and the Iraq war.

However, the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Parliamentary Labour Party in 2015, has brought action that has once again given the Labour party district and constituency parties far greater representation within the NEC, and perhaps most importantly the Broader Labour movement by way of the trade unions is also now once again well represented on that body. So, whatever the criticisms of Jeremy Corbyn, his legacy to the Labour Party and the broader Labour movement in the country will be the above structure, and many at the grassroots of the movement are and will be forever grateful.

Therefore those seeking "what is old labour" may look no further than what it is now.

Fennel Fri 09-Aug-19 15:48:41

Thanks for that bit of history, Grandad. I've never been able to understand the fear some have of the so-called 'power of the Unions.' imo they're the backbone of the LP, theoretically and financially.
I wish we could bring back those idealistic days of Socialism in the late 50s and early 60s. They're needed more than ever now.

Grany Fri 09-Aug-19 16:29:21

^That's what it means to me too Grany.
Are those values still relevant now? Can we go back to those times?
Trisher I certainly wasn't converted by Blair^

Yes these values are still relevant now and like you say more needed now than ever.

Iam64 Fri 09-Aug-19 16:38:57

RosieLeah, bringing back secondary modern schools would do nothing to help working class children go to university.

Bringing back proper apprenticeships and technical colleges woul help the country by training young people who aren’t wanting academic training. We need more engineers, there are good engineering degrees. We need brick layers, joiner’s, plumbers but bringing back secondary modern schools won’t help that either

Dinahmo Fri 09-Aug-19 17:07:48

I vividly remember the 1997 election - a group of us at a friend's house waiting for Portillo's result. The cheer that went up when it was announced. I also remember seeing TB when he was shadow home secretary debating a member from each of the other main parties and how impressed I was. But the Iraq war brought an end to such thoughts. Whenever I see him on tv now, he always makes sense but sadly I and many other Labour supporters can never forgive him.

Anniebach Fri 09-Aug-19 17:22:20

Iam many youngsters are not eager to work on building sites

paddyann Fri 09-Aug-19 18:29:48

Unions in Scotland have helped secure decent payrises for public sector workers .The latest being Prison warders who have been awarded 15% 10% backdated to last April and the rest split over the coming two years . this will add around £2000 this year to their wage .Warders in England and Wales were awarded ..according to ITV news ( I dont know if its true ) just 2 and a half %

jura2 Fri 09-Aug-19 18:33:04

Old and new and everything in between- the LP is currently as divided as the Cons. And cannot offer an effective oppostion to No Deal Brexit due to said divisions- a disaster.