Sunday 14 September 2008

Denounce the New Labour Faction Fighting andLet's have a Labour Leadership Election Based on Policies Not Personalities

I took August off from blogging simply because most of my time over the last month has been spent on time with my family, catching up on constituency work and preparing for the launch of the Trade Union Co-ordinating Group at the TUC. I last blogged when Miliband was positioning himself just in case there was a leadership bid and just as I return to the blog many of the loyalist of the loyal Blairites are attempting a coup.

I find it ironic that many of them are now arguing that part of the problem is Labour never had an election for leader last year. It is also typical that this this bitter internal infighting between New Labour factions has not raised a single difference in policy or political ideology. Both the Blairite and Brownite faction fighters have voted for virtually every policy implemented over the last 11 years, which have alienated our supporters and are delivering us up to the prospect of a Tory government.

I have largely declined media interviews because I just thought the Left should stand above and not get dragged down by this unseemly, internal, opportunist New Labour infighting. However a number of activists urged that we remind people of our position that for the Left the issue of the Labour leadership is about policies not personalities and that whilst we have wanted a leadership election for the last 2 years we believe it has to be a debate about alternative political analyses of the world we face and the alternative policy programmes that follow from them.

That is why I put out this short press release yesterday evening.

Its Like Watching the Crew having a Punch up on the Deck of the Titanic.

Commenting on Labour Leadership debacle, Labour MP John McDonnell said:

Most Labour Party members are looking on aghast as the Blairites and Brownites fight an irrelevant turf war. Its like watching the crew having a punch up on the deck of the Titanic. Without a single policy difference between them they are willing to destroy a Labour Government. I challenge both of them to publish a policy programme to put before our members for support and lets test the views of our supporters on the way forward for Labour.

Of course we are up for a leadership election at any time but our task is to ensure that we use any leadership talk or actual election as a platform for our policies and to demonstrate to our supporters and the country at large that there are socialists within the Labour Party that are willing to stand up for them as this recession hits our community.