End of the line for the Blairites: Labour is coming back to the people - and not a moment too soon.

End of the line for the Blairites: Labour is coming back to the people – and not a moment too soon.

Every day, either on the Facebook page, Twitter or here on the blog, somebody tries to tell the world that Labour is just as bad as the Conservatives (or almost) because the right-wing Blairite neolibs are in control. These people adamantly refuse to believe evidence put before them that this isn’t the case – will they believe today’s article from the New Statesman?

It says: “In today’s party, Blairite stock has reached junk status.

“The brief, flickering hope among some last week that Alan Johnson could be persuaded to take over if Miliband was forced to quit, came to nothing. He was the last, best hope of what remains of the party’s Blairite tribe. And he wasn’t interested.

“Most of its other chiefs are no longer involved in frontline politics (think David Miliband, Alan Milburn, Stephen Byers, Geoff Hoon, Hazel Blears, John Reid, Patricia Hewitt and Charles Clarke).

“There will be no sequel.

“The circumstances that propelled Tony Blair to the Labour leadership and on to Downing Street were unique, a conjunction of the party’s desperation to win after four general election defeats in a row and Blair’s personal reputation as “the man the Tories most fear”. For Labour, for a long time, winning became all that mattered.

“Fast forward to today and it’s clear just how parlous the prospects are for contemporary Blairites. They enjoy none of the old master’s advantages… The old Labour right of the party feels short-changed that after 13 years in power, the north and midlands still lag behind London and the south east; demanding a focus on the heartlands rather than the marginal.

“The metro-leftists, who flocked to Blair’s cause, have now reached their political dotage. For the new generation of activists, well to the left of the party mainstream, it will take several more years (and election defeats) before they make a similar journey to the centre.

“The trade union movement, so important in providing finance, organisational muscle and political cover for Blair, (certainly initially) will no longer accept a policy platform of privatisation, contracting out and spending cuts.

“Today’s party grassroots are nowhere near desperate enough to switch off their critical faculties, extinguish their idealism and countenance allowing the party leadership to do absolutely anything to win.”

In other words, Labour’s right wing needs to face up to the fact that they are far – far – out-of-step with the party’s current membership. Labour’s grass roots won’t accept a metamorphosis into ‘Tory-lite’ for the sake of winning because they know that it would achieve nothing – the policies that would go forward would be almost as damaging to the people of the UK as Tory plans.

This is why Ed Miliband has been changing the party. It might not be easy to see because his changes have been announced as individual policies, rather than as part of any overarching philosophical change, but change is there.

It is change for the better, and even if he were to lose the leadership in the future, his successor would continue the trend he has started.

So let’s have an end to all the whining about Labour being “just the same as the other parties”.

The only people who believe that little myth have been listening too hard to Lynton Crosby.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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