Friday, 7 August 2015

Labour suicide?

Are the UK Labour Party about to put themselves in opposition for the next 15 years?  It is as though they have not learnt the lessons of the early 1980's. Electing a hard left candidate opens them up to the hard left taking control of the party organs. This means putting forward left wing policies that the majority of the electorate do not want. They ignore what has happened when countries when they have been taken over by  the hard left. There is always the danger that the hard left are so doctrinaire in their beliefs they will not tolerate any dissenting voices or criticism's thought that in order to put into legislation the party's policies, they have to win a majority of the electorate is ignored.
I discussed this very theme in my novel An Ordinary Life:

 After the vote Mr. Reynolds moved a point of order. “ Are we quorate? There don’t seem to be many people here.”
“ Of course we are quorate,” Dave Dowling now back in the chair snapped. “ I would not have taken a vote if we were not quorate.”
“ Another thing,” Stan persisted. “ Why was such an important item placed towards the end of the agenda? A lot of brothers and sisters left before we got to that business.”
“ They knew what was on the agenda so it is their fault they were not here for the vote.”
“ Who draws up the agenda?” Stan asked not giving up.
“ The committee, you ass hole!” Dave Dowling snapped.
“ There is no need to call me that. I was asking perfectly valid questions,” Stan stood his ground.
“ No it wasn’t a valid question. The committee draws up the agenda from all the business that needs to be discussed. That is the trouble with the party. We have to keep faith with members like you and your wife. You are from the past. You want to be civil with all sides. You believe in decency and equal opportunities. Redistribution of wealth but not getting rid of those who exploit the working class. Christ, you should not be in the party. We need to turn back to a Marxist agenda. Nationalise all the means of production, finance and business. The best thing you two could do is to leave the party to the likes of me and Mike.”
“ That is not right. My wife and I have been working for the party for years and years. We have supported it through the good times and the bad.”
“ Look old man. Go home and leave the proper politics to those who know what they are doing. You are not wanted. You are part of the problem.”
Tom could see they were almost in tears and reacted angrily. “ There is no need to insult these good people, Dave Dowling. You might think that your education and ideas are superior to theirs but they are only ideas. Leave them alone.”
Dave Dowling smiled cruelly. “ What do you know of working people, Tom Houseman? You are the product of an elitist system. You went to grammar school and then to university. You work in a university now. What do you know of struggle?”
“ Coming from you that is rich,” Tom laughed. “ My father is at least a working man. Yours was a school teacher just as you are a school teacher. My convictions come from a deep rooted source. I believe in equality of opportunity and redistribution of wealth. But there has to be the creation of wealth in the first place. People have to earn money before they can pay taxes.”
“ But as is shown in Russia, there can be wealth without exploitation.”
“ Rubbish! Which is the richest country on earth?” Tom asked. “ The United States.”
“ But they exploit the poor unlike in Russia.”
“ Rubbish again. In Russia they put people in Gulags who disagree with the government. In the United States you are free to criticise the government. You can vote out those in office.”
“ To help the working class we have to have a left wing agenda.”
“ To carry out your agenda you have to get elected.”
“ With a left wing agenda and ideas, there are more working class than the rest, so we will get elected. The trouble with this government is that it is not radical enough.”
“ Now you are either being silly or you have your head in the clouds. With a programme like Mike is always advocating there is not a cat in hells chance of this party getting elected. Hopefully the Tories have shot themselves in the foot by electing a woman as leader. If Jim Callaghan goes to the polls this autumn, we have a chance but not with a manifesto like you are going to advocate at the party conference. Now you leave these good people alone in future. They have a perfect right to be here and a perfect right to ask questions. If you are so unsure of your position that you have to insult life long Labour members, there is something wrong with your arguments. Come on Mr. And Mrs. Reynolds. I will give you a lift home.”
“ Don’t you dare call me a coward, Tom Houseman!” Mike exploded.
“ Mike grow up and start acting like an adult. You are going to put this party in a right mess if you are not careful.” Tom grinned. “ The next thing you will do is start to advocate  locking up anybody who disagrees with you. All you have to do is look at dictatorships down the ages to see where that leads. Even better, go and buy a copy of animal farm and read that if you can read and understand what it is saying. It will save you a great deal l of heart ache in the future.”
Tom ushered them out of the building and into his car.
“ Thank you for standing up for us,” Mr. Reynolds said as they arrived at his house. “ I don’t know what the Party is coming to when people treat other people like that.”
“ We have to make a stand against the bullies of the left,” Tom smiled in reassurance. “ Lets make sure we are there next time.”

An Ordinary Life by Edmund Gubbins available from Amazon and as a paperback.
From Amazon and Kindle as an ebook for downloading to most ereaders