In the 1980s, the left lost the argument on the economy; it resorted to vituperative, belligerent language and mass hysteria to denounce Margaret Thatcher’s economic reform. The Labour party opposed, outright, any tax cut and privatisation that occurred throughout the period. People embraced the idea of ownership democracy, popular capitalism and the expansion of credit; we all had a chance to achieve our aspirations and dreams, yet the left predicted catastrophe.
It never happened. The country become one of the richest and the centre of global finance in the world. In 1994, under the guiding hand of Tony Blair, Labour embraced markets and the private sector. The left lost. And, in 2012, they’re losing again, but this time on social policy.
Workfare, welfare, education and health reforms have all been opposed by the left, post-May 2010. scaremongering and mass hysteria has returned to the front of all arguments on the left; apparently, the NHS will be abolished, but my GP has ensured me I do not require a credit card or any other form of payments for my appointment on Monday. The NHS is, and still will be, free and universal. Yet Andy Burnham persists with utter lies and union-esque hyperbole; his behaviour and hypocrisy helped to ensure the safe passage of this bill.
And the left wonders why the Tories have taken the lead in the recent ICM poll and Cameron’s own approval rating is 42%, with a personal 17 point lead over Ed Miliband (on ‘who makes the best Prime Minister). Labour are not trying to fight the 2010 election again, they’re fighting the 1983 election. With similar tactics.
Scotland is a warning to the Labour party, a warning of what happens when a party panders to its most deepest core vote and assumes the country will vote for them; sheer toxic arrogance. Officials within Scottish Labour refused to acknowledge the personal ratings of Alex Salmond and his capability as First Minister; even after the SNP gained a majority under a supposed anti-majority electoral system, Labour still refuse to acknowledge the First Minister.
Tories, Liberal Democrats and the SNP are all in government, passing reforms and changing the country. Labour have drifted to the far left, marching with the SWP and the Communist Party in opposing every cut and reform; Ed Miliband’s strategy is nothing less than a non-occupation UKUncut equivalent, with placards and banners which no one is reading or taking any notice.
In reality, the left are not really providing an alternative – they’re digging a grave, a very deep grave.