Topics about the Labour Party
:sunglasses: 42.1 % ❤ 5.3 % :thumbsup: 5.3 % :grinning: 36.8 % 😟 5.3 % :cry: 5.3 %
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#300915
Can't be bothered to move furniture around and ask Blair could have won, but Brown was perceived as a man who was no longer in charge.

I don't much like Blair personally and disagreed with most of his social, economic and foreign policy but for the middle of the road voter who swings elections he looked like a man who had a grip on power.
#300920
You disagreed with

increasing funding to the NHS
improving funding and arrangements for schools
increasing funding to general in and out of work benefits
increasing social mobility
improved race relations legislation


???

Like I said, too much knee jerk.
#300923
With regards to Iraq I was given a booklet by the Stop the War Coalition once on the trial of Tony Blair, some of the questions were quite bluntly absurd
Oh, well in that case I'm convinced, the invasion must have been just fine then.
#300932
Tony's legacy remains something of a quandary. I think people forget quite how bad things were when he came to power. We only have a minimum wage and equality law because of his government. On spending, however, I think people often misjudge from both sides.

The right accuse him of "running up the nation's credit card", which in a literal sense, we know, is not true. What he did do, however, was run up ever citizen's credit card, by doing nothing about wage stagnation, and a breakneck housing market. In that sense, he finished Thatcher's job of letting lots more people into the 'loadsamoney' wankers club, but kept a huge chunk of society trapped in welfare dependence (the sort caused by wealth inequality, not the sort caused by fecklesness). We know, however, that the Condems have no interest in addressing this. What heartens me, though, is that people do seem a lot wiser to it now.
#300941
Most of the stuff on Socialist Unity is pretty crap, but this piece from a few years back is a decent assessment of Blairism and where it stands in relation to older forms of Labourism:

http://socialistunity.com/the-radical-l ... ony-blair/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
#300951
Malcolm Armsteen wrote:Given the amount of personal hostility to Brown, and that the Iraq war opponents are vocal but not a critical mass, I suspect he is right.

There's a rather sickening Blair witch hunt going on. We need to make a calmer appraisal of his premiership than just a WMD dossier and a stupid military venture, which was supported by the United Nations...
...and the Tories. I remember IDS sneering at Blair for waiting for evidence before agreeing to military action. Also the Tories supported Labour's spending plans right up to 2008. So the two policies which are the main sticks the Tories use to beat the Labour government were actually Tory policy as well.
#300954
Malcolm Armsteen wrote:You disagreed with

increasing funding to the NHS
improving funding and arrangements for schools
increasing funding to general in and out of work benefits
increasing social mobility
improved race relations legislation


???

Like I said, too much knee jerk.
I could add to that inner city renewal, the HRA, FoI, devolution and some expansion of employment and social rights.
But Blair had little interest in the nuts and bolts economic and social policy and when he did make rhetorical speeches on the subject they were way to the right of the aforementioned policies being implemented.

He wasn't even a moderate social democrat but a slightly parternalistic neo-liberal. New Labour was a coalition in which the party had to hold its nose and put up with Blair in order to get elected.
Last edited by youngian on Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
#300956
A fair assessment from Political Betting:
Blair was in trouble in 2005 with the Tories winning more votes than Labour in England. This was despite the blues led by Michael Howard, a leader never regarded as the likely victor by many in the press. Blair was increasingly electorally toxic with Labour MPs in marginal seats refusing to put his face on literature and accept his visits.

The Parliamentary Labour Party was already in a near state of civil war with increasingly large rebellions taking place such as over higher education fees, trident renewal and 90 day detention powers. Divided parties lose elections and the divisions, already significant, would have amplified even further.

The Labour Party itself was verging on bankruptcy as a result of Blair and his circle relying heavily on a series of huge loans for the 2005 election that had to be repaid, rather than cut the cloth accordingly. Over £20m of debts had been amassed which meant that Labour was shedding staff when it needed to recruit them. There was no way the trade unions would have been able to bail out a Blair-led party and the rich donors were already fleeing to a party that had a better chance of winning and could arguably give them more of what they wanted.
http://www7.politicalbetting.com/index. ... y-in-2010/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
#300969
Some clown who used to write speeches for Blair has popped up.
But Philip Collins, a former speech writer to Tony Blair, warned that Labour was in danger of handing the political initiative to the Tories, as polls showed strong support for a crackdown on welfare. In his weekly column in the Times, Collins wrote: "This week the tanker of politics started to turn. The benefit cap – which limits welfare payments so that no family can receive more than average after-tax household earnings – was introduced. Housing benefit cuts began to bite.

"Then the grotesque Mick Philpott became the stooge embodiment of all that is said to be wrong with a culture in which the idle take the rise out of the working population. We may look back on this as the week in which the coalition began to speak again to the British public while the forgetful Labour party slunk back on to the sofa."
Yeah, because trifles like feeding Philpott's children can be overlooked. Anyway, what did your man do? Same as Ed Milliband, wasn't it?
#300984
new puritan wrote:Most of the stuff on Socialist Unity is pretty crap, but this piece from a few years back is a decent assessment of Blairism and where it stands in relation to older forms of Labourism:

http://socialistunity.com/the-radical-l ... ony-blair/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
I've liked the articles I've seen on there. This for instance on our mate Gilligan:

http://socialistunity.com/gilligans-sex ... V7oKpOG2So" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
#300987
It wasn't vetoed, and the US and UK could claim that they were enforcing previous resolutions. The UN couldn't sort itself out, basically, in the face of US/UK pressure. The UN has carefully never ruled on the legality of the invasion. It's not a black and white issue.

Personally I think it was the biggest mistake (possibly bar one - the one that led to it) that Blair ever made and that it taints his premiership. He is greatly diminished by it - I'm not a Blair supporter as you seem to assume - but to simply wash away all the good things the Labour government achieved in order to score a point against him strikes me as disingenuous. Or something.
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