Saturday, February 25, 2012

Never (ever) Buy the Sun


joe butler said...

hi john

just found your blog, and have to ask what are you doing in the Labour Party? Tony Blair and Gordon Brown assiduously courted Murdoch, and the Millibands would do the same, the poisonous desire for office makes hypocrits of all politicians.

I suppose you'll tell me you'r working for change from inside. My view is the Party has become a husk and needs to be replaced by somthing more appropriate for the current situation. Don't know what that is, but it wont live in Victoria St.

This is no doubt a council of despair.

ps i wont think of buying the Sun

John Gray said...

Hi Joe

Although at times it can be very frustrating (to say the least) there simply no alternative in my view to the Labour Party. Warts and all.

It is very easy to knock and to question peoples motives but the truth of the matter (IMO as always) is that there is nothing else and instead of moaning on the sidelines you have to just get on with it.

Part of the problem is that there is a vacuum in the Party between Progress and the LRC which needs to be filled. The centre left have not fought their corner well. Grandstanding, finger wagging and unswerving "principled positions" haven't worked either. The Marxist tradition have been discredited by the failure of Soviet Union and its satellites. However, the neo-liberals right in the Party have been pretty much untouched by the collapse of “market knows best” capitalism in 2008.

Its frankly "our" fault that the influence of a truly centre left in the Party is so limited. No one else’s.

This is not a council of despair but a call to stop whinging and get on with things.

ps the Party is moving from Victoria Street.

pps good you don't buy the Sun. I don't either. But it has an average readership (Wikipedia) of 7.6 Million. We have a real problem here.

joe butler said...

Hi John

Interesting John that you don't comment on my substantive point that Brown and Blair courted Murdoch. I do knock and question Brown and Blair's motives precisely new labour highjacked the party, and led it on a road which has led to the current crisis. Milliband and Balls are now trimming to an economic position which isn't far from the coalition.

On reflection my suspicion is that your blog is for Labour Party insiders , hence references to "Progress" and "LRC" ?? are they factions?

Think about the millions, many of them young people who are completely turned off by politics, because of the cynicism of politicians. The right wing of the Labour Party will always dominate as long as Murdoch and his ilk determine what is deemed as being electable, not reading the Sun wont make it go away. Barack Obama for all his faults mobilized a huge coalition to get elected.

It's not whingeing or navel gazing for the Labour movement to have a thorough debate and examination of the New Labour project, why, even now isn't there a debate going on about the expulsion of Tony Blair, not least for his war crimes.

I would consider rejoining the labour party, but my local MP is Liam Byrne who seems to sum up for me everything that is wrong with Labour. He was parachuted into the constituency by the Blairites, and my experience of his meetings is that he allows no debate and turns everything into a focus group.

John Gray said...

Hi Joe

I think that everyone with the benefit of hindsight would now say that nearly all Labour politicians were too obsessed with the Murdoch press. Yet there was this genuine fear that the Sun had helped ensure that Labour had lost in 1992.

Miliband and Balls I think are wrong over budgets but their overall position is still miles and miles away from the Tories.

I am surprised that you haven’t heard of Progress or the LRC but yes they are "factions" within the Party.

I think it is too simplistic too to think that the Party is dominated by "the right" or "Murdock" and a bit of a cope out. The "left" as a whole has completely failed to score dispute the open goal of the worse failure of capitalism in 80 odd years.

I have only met Tony Blair twice during which he was dismissive and even pretty rude about my thoughts about trade unions! however to talk of "expelling" him or anything similar is nonsense. If you genuinely think that then the Party is probably not for you.

I would disagree with certain things that Liam Byrne has said (and agree with other things)but there has been a debate even though I would not always like the outcome. Such is our (imperfect) democracy.

joe butler said...

Certainly made my mind up for me John

I guess I'll see in the next Labour cabinet saying things are complicated, and we all have to compromise.

John Gray said...

Hi Joe

A sad, sad loss to the Party of course.

Anyway, Good luck with your alternative!