Topics about the Labour Party
By Tubby Isaacs
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It's as bad as you guys said. ... ivingstone" onclick=";return false;

Here's a rousing call from some "public affairs professional" who stood for Labour in a hopeless seat at the last election.

I've posted to ask if the "Livingstone knows Rahman who knows some extremists" is as bad as Boris himself praising Ray Honeyford.
By new puritan
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Don't forget Peter Watt's misty-eyed post on workfare. ... r-benefit/" onclick=";return false;
Once again Labour has discovered its self-destructive sense of self-righteousness. It seems that sometimes we really can’t help ourselves. This time the issue is workfare where some in the party seem determined to reinforce the image of Labour as the party of the workshy.


But “hang on”, I hear you say. Of course we oppose workfare. It makes people work for nothing. It compels people to work against their will. It allows bloated profit makers to exploit poor people as they don’t have to pay them for their work. And it forces people who would otherwise have to be paid out of a job. Quite frankly we might as well put the unemployed in orange boiler suits, spray “soap-dodger” on their back and make them dig ditches.

Except of course it isn’t true.

One of the impacts of being unemployed, particularly if you are very young, is that you can’t demonstrate any experience of work. For a prospective employer to take someone on in these circumstances they have to take a leap of faith. There is no previous employer reference and no evidence that someone is up to the discipline and routine of holding down a job. There is no opportunity to demonstrate acumen or enthusiasm. And at a time when there is a glut of potential employees, most employers will simply not take the risk. Why should they? It is for this very reason that plenty of middle class young people seek out internships and work experience placements. Perfectly sensible, and an investment in their own future.

So for the government to arrange for time limited work experience placements for those unemployed who want them is a very sensible measure. It may not be the ideal, which is full time employment, but it is hardly unpaid – you still get your benefits. The only compulsion appears to be that if you choose to start a placement and then finish it prematurely, for no good reason, then you can be temporarily docked benefits.
The funny thing is I don't recall anyone from the Labour front bench really coming out against the scheme - the real opposition has come from pressure groups. It makes me wonder what these people want from Labour. They already have one Tory party and they seem to support nearly all of their policies, so why not just vote for them?
By new puritan
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More anti-worker, pro-Tory shit from a Blairite wanker. ... -is-right/
As part of the Budget run-up, on Friday Britain’s labour movement was convulsed at the thought of the latest Osborne proposal: that national public sector pay rates might be scrapped.

But, before we join the voices of the major trade unions and the TUC who are, understandably, trying to look out for their own interest group, as a party whose interests are not always identical to those of our union colleagues, it might behove us to take a few minutes to take a step back.

Now, while no-one would suggest we should be adopting the Tory Budget wholesale, smart opposition is about determining which bits to oppose. A regional bargaining system would likely increase some pay-rates, as well as decreasing (or failing to increase) others.

And it is surely difficult to argue that the current, entirely inflexible system of fixed national pay rates, which was put in place decades ago in a corporatist state era, is fit for purpose.


Ironic, really, because PCS’ Respect-supporting general secretary, Mark Serwotka – displaying, sadly, a crushing lack of economic understanding – claims that localising pay rates would “institutionalise poverty“. In fact, it is precisely this kind of distortion which can cause a market failure, leading to a lack of jobs altogether. And there’s little that institutionalises poverty more than that.

So, in short, some people get overpaid for where they live and some people get underpaid. The fixed national rate distorts the pay rate away from the “fair” cost of living in a region. Pretty obvious stuff really, in that unless the cost of living were uniform across the country – which it is not – this is always going to happen.

The obvious question: is it not, then, sensible, to vary pay rates across regions, as they do in many other countries with not quite as centralised a tradition as ours? Will the sky really fall in, Chicken Licken? Why exactly should public sector workers be paid the same in the south east and the north west?
By Tubby Isaacs
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Any thoughts about who'd want to teach in Middlesbrough, Stoke, Hull, Salford etc if they didn't get a relatively good wage?

And if you're buying a house, you pay more in a rich area and get a more expensive asset. Mr Disposable Income in a cheap area's place isn't worth as much.
By new puritan
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No mention of the impact that taking even more money out of floundering regional economies would have, either. Not that I'd expect a Blairite to give a shit about the little people in the frozen north, of course - we're only, y'know, Labour's core vote.
By new puritan
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mattomac wrote:At least Luke Bozier had the decency to jump ship.
The Blairites are more damaging and more influential (just look at their media connections) than the Militant shower ever were. It would be in the long-term interest of Labour to get shot of the lot of them, because all they've done since their man lost the leadership election is drip poison in the press. Just look at this bilge from a 'Labour party worker' over at HuffPo: ... 61807.html" onclick=";return false;

The problem for Labour is that nobody on what passes as the left of the party really has the stomach for the scrap, particularly with the election only three years away (maybe less depending on how things pan out) and with the infighting of the '80s still relatively fresh in many people's minds. The Blairites themselves, of course, are well aware of this and are banking on it. Progress is dodgy as fuck though and needs to be driven out into the open before it can do any more damage. It's the continuing machinations of the Blairites that keep me from joining the party myself - I just can't bring myself to campaign for people I disagree with and distrust so strongly.
By new puritan
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Not a Labour Uncut piece, but of a similarly dismal standard:
The Labour party has become an effective opposition. As someone who desperately wants to see our party back in office, that’s a terrifying prospect . Every step we take towards being an effective opposition runs the risk of taking us further away from being a government-in-waiting. ... pposition/" onclick=";return false;
By Tubby Isaacs
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Looks like someone who thinks he understands "politics", which need not involve policy or anything like that. Just a few young generals moving flags around on a map.

Milliband seems to have done quite well. No specific promises as far as I can see, and some big themes. Time to flesh out each nearer the election.

It wasn't a strong leadership field. Milliband is hugely inexperienced- of life and top flight politics- but he was the right choice. Areas of policy, like taxing the rich, are still in play when they wouldn't have been with his "moderniser" brother.
By Tubby Isaacs
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So, one of the top Tories has been caught selling access, and how do Labour Uncut respond? With some "faults on all sides" stuff: ... ment-13519" onclick=";return false;

I'm the only comment so far:
Chris M says:
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
March 26, 2012 at 11:58 pm
“The Tories feared a spending cap, but wanted a cap on trade union funding. Labour wanted both caps, as long as the trade unions were exempt.”

The Tories consistently talk about trade union donations as being like billionaire donations. Michael Fallon did it an hour ago. They aren’t. So I doubt there was some reasonably proposal re the unions that Labour turned down. Your evenhandedness is just wrong, and bizarrely masochistic.

Can you tell me why I should care that it costs money for parties to stick up pictures of their smiling leader, saying stuff that they disregard anyway? They can’t raise money except through rich people- that’s their fault.
By new puritan
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Labour Uncut lays into Livingstone again: ... our-flank/" onclick=";return false;

The Labour right really is unbelievably bitter, isn't it?
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