Is Labour planning to betray its core supporters by siding with Iain Duncan Smith?

Faces of betrayal: Are Ed Miliband and his work and pensions spokesman Liam Byrne about to engineer the biggest betrayal of working class people in Labour Party history? If so, how do they think they will ever be able to win an election?

Faces of betrayal: Are Ed Miliband and his work and pensions spokesman Liam Byrne about to engineer the biggest betrayal of working class people in Labour Party history? If so, how do they think they will ever be able to win an election?

Last night I read a news report that, if true, shocked me to my core.

Headlined DWP seeks law change to avoid benefit repayments after Poundland ruling, the Guardian article made the following statements:

“The Department for Work and Pensions has introduced emergency legislation to reverse the outcome of a court of appeal decision and “protect the national economy” from a £130m payout to jobseekers deemed to have been unlawfully punished.

“The retroactive legislation, published on Thursday evening and expected to be rushed through parliament on Tuesday, will effectively strike down a decision by three senior judges and deny benefit claimants an average payout of between £530 and £570 each.”

It said lawyers and campaigners have branded the DWP’s move as “repugnant” and “unbelievably disgusting”, saying it undermined the rule of law. That is my belief, also.

Then came the hammer blow:

“The Guardian understands that Labour will support the fast-tracked bill with some further safeguards and that negotiations with the coalition are ongoing.”


Labour, supporting a Bill by the Tories, specifically designed to oppress people who are in work or trying to find work?

This would be a betrayal of Labour’s core support and is something that, in my belief, nobody who supports the rule of law in this country should tolerate.

Allow me to put this into perspective:

The Court of Appeal ruling means that the Department for Work and Pensions, under Iain Duncan Smith’s supervision, broke the law more than 228,000 times. That is the number of jobseekers from whom they have deprived benefit, according to the figures available. IDS is a criminal a quarter of a million times over.

Not only that, but the Workfare programme, by making people work for employers who are perfectly capable of hiring people at the minimum wage or for higher amounts, is taking real jobs out of the economy – something that the Labour Party must abhore (the clue is in the title – ‘Labour’ Party).

There can be no justification for it.

The electorate will never forgive the party if Labour turns on its core voters – the poor and vulnerable – and attacks them in this way.

It is an absolute and certain path to defeat at the next election.

The only reasonable way forward is to fight tooth and nail against this evil subversion of the legislative process.

Just scan the responses to this article on the Labour Party’s Facebook page and the Guardian article’s comment column and you will see that (to the best of my ability to judge) nobody who has professed support for Labour has expressed support for this.

Not one person.

The response has been universally negative. Nobody wants Labour to do this.

Now, it could be that this is all a mistake and the Guardian article (by Shiv Malik) contains information that is wrong.

But I, and others, have been trying to get a response from the Labour leadership for nearly 24 hours now, to no avail. It seems – whatever their convictions – these MPs don’t have the courage to stand by them.

The new Bill is being rushed through Parliament and there will be a vote on Tuesday, so you may well be asking what is to be done.

The immediate thing to do is, if you are a Labour supporter and have a Labour MP – CONTACT THEM. Telephone them, email them, get to them whichever way you can. Make it clear, politely but in no uncertain terms, that supporting Iain Duncan Smith’s evil Bill is a betrayal of the people who support the party and that you will not tolerate it.

PRESSURE. It’s the only way to ensure the will of the people is heard.

Meanwhile, some of us will explore other avenues.

We’ll get to the bottom of this.

What a shame this shot in the foot had to happen just when support for David Cameron and the Coalition has been crumbling. It really is an abomination. My opinion is that those responsible should be ejected from the Labour Party altogether.

81 thoughts on “Is Labour planning to betray its core supporters by siding with Iain Duncan Smith?

  1. sallyb41

    I have emailed Rachel Reeves (my MP) on this. Will let you know what, if any reply I get.

  2. Mike

    unfortunately my local MP is Liam Byrne, no point telling him as he is one of the MP’s at fault.

    1. Mike Sivier

      On the contrary!
      My own CLP has authorised me to write to Mr Byrne, expressing the constituency’s dismay at the information in the article and our desire that Labour vote against this evil Bill when it is debated.
      The more people tell Labour MPs just how wrong they would be to support it, the better.
      That means Labour members, Labour supporters, and officers of Constituency Labour Parties.
      To the best of my ability to judge, there is literally no support for this among Labour’s support base – none at all.
      They need to be sure that, if they support the Conservatives in a law that BREAKS the law, they’re going to be in serious, serious trouble – long before 2015.

    1. Susancyanbutterfly (@cyanbutterfly)

      I can hardly believe that Labour is so blatantly contemplating the betrayal of it’s core support. In the rush for the middle class vote even the party formerly of the working class has turned it’s back. @ curly I trust you are talking about UKIP and the BNP. If anyone is stupid enough to give either of these vipers so much as the time of day, we will all have something to think about – like life under a regime indiscernible from that of 1930’S Nazi Germany. This with all it’s attendant policies of abominable cruelty towards the poor, disabled, racially diverse and gay..

      While the three main parties are becoming increasingly impossible to vote for, the cartel behaviour of the three main parties is leading us to the political abyss.

      1. W Leon

        They are ‘Tories’ Mark 2. Labour is not the old Labour that we once knew. They have swung so far to the right to gain the votes of the middle classes, they are completely ignoring their core support base.

  3. Michael Stimpson

    Since when was new labour representing the working man? Somebody has not read the history of the labour party or been awake for the last 15 years. Please google “labour party uk Clause 4”. When new labour dropped clause four from their manifesto they also dropped the working man, and quite deliberately.

    1. Davie Withers

      Yep Michael , Clause 4 should have had every single member of the rank and file voting with their feet and defecting to REAL Left-Wing parties in this country . Labour have consistently turned their back on the plight of the workers , this and the fact that they have abstained in a vote to remove Union rights should spell the end for this shower of pseudo Socialists !

  4. friendsofcre8radio

    I am disturbed to hear that the Secretary of State DWP is proposing legislation in response to the Work Programme court ruling that is retrospective in its attempt to avoid breaking the law for which it may have to compensate those sanctioned unlawfully.

    It appears that the DWP have decided they are no longer accountable to the laws of the land. What will be the point of taking the Government to court if they can simply change the law on a whim to avoid facing any legal consequences retrospectively? It makes a mockery of our judicial system and democratic accountability.

    I am further dismayed by reports the Liam Byrne seems to be backing this retrograde and cynical move. According to the Guardian, Labour are looking set support the government in legislating to avoid paying back money ruled legally due to claimants who have had benefits sanctioned.

    As a Labour Party member, I find this possibility of this offensive with the disregard to the judicial system that the Government feel they are above law and I do not want our party dragged in to the prospect of this undemocratic precedent.

    1. Mal Ferguson, Liverpool

      I sent this to Stephen Twigg (Cc Ed Miliband)
      According to a recent article in the Guardian, Iain Duncan Smith is proposing to rush a change of legislation through Parliament, in attempt to avoid the Government’s obligations to the citizens, which arise from the recent judicial rulings in the “Poundland” case.

      In a depressingly familiar way, this is unsurprising. Blaming (and punishing) the poor for their poverty, while backing the interests of millionaires and their businesses is typical of the man and of his party.

      What is truly shocking is the suggestion that “Labour will support the fast-tracked bill” (albeit with some caveats).

      This is simply unacceptable. It would be an affront to democracy in this country if Her Majesty’s Opposition fails to oppose a measure which is so vehemently opposed by so many of the citizens of this country.

      Moreover, opposition to this bill is an electoral “gimme”. The Tory Government (for that’s what it really is) is on the ropes over the Bedroom Tax and Press regulation. By leading opposition against this odious bill – and by defeating it – Labour could finally start to become visible to the electorate at large. Fail to act on this and supporters and voters will, quite rightly, desert your party in droves.

      The purpose of the bill is to favour millionaire business owners and to further oppress workers: if your party fails to oppose it, what is the purpose of your party? This is one of those occasions which calls to mind the challenge of the old Labour Movement anthem: Which Side Are You On?

      Please vote on Tuesday as your conscience, your constituents and the wider electorate would want you to vote. Please defeat this bill.

    2. W Leon

      This is why this accursed Government wants us to pull out of the Human Rights Charter. It will then give them an open field on the poor and unemployed. They change the law to suit themselves, at a whim. But they are completely forgetting that they work for US, not the other way round.

      They will not be in power for much longer, people power will see to that. And as for Labour? As I have said in my previous comment, this is no surprise that they are siding with the Government on this.

      They have swung so far to the right, to gain the votes of the middle classes, that they have completely forgotten their core base,and the whole reason they are called ‘LABOUR’. They are just ‘conservatives’ [with a small ‘c’] Mark 2. They have become indistinguishable from each other.

  5. friendsofcre8radio

    What I sent to my MP:

    I am disturbed to hear that the Secretary of State DWP is proposing legislation in response to the Work Programme court ruling that is retrospective in its attempt to avoid breaking the law for which it may have to compensate those sanctioned unlawfully.

    It appears that the DWP have decided they are no longer accountable to the laws of the land. What will be the point of taking the Government to court if they can simply change the law on a whim to avoid facing any legal consequences retrospectively? It makes a mockery of our judicial system and democratic accountability.

    I am further dismayed by reports the Liam Byrne seems to be backing this retrograde and cynical move. According to the Guardian, Labour are looking set support the government in legislating to avoid paying back money ruled legally due to claimants who have had benefits sanctioned.

    As a Labour Party member, I find this possibility of this offensive with the disregard to the judicial system that the Government feel they are above law and I do not want our party dragged in to the prospect of this undemocratic precedent.

  6. lukasdavas

    If this is true not only do we have to get rid of the coalition we also have to get rid of Labour and have a “” A Peoples Party”” who are employed by the people to serve the people not there own bank accounts and mansions !!

    1. Mike Shone

      Try the Green Party .Our adminisratation in Brighton has adopted a policy of not evicting people who can’t afford to pay the “bedroom tax”.

    2. W Leon

      Exactly. But for that you need donations – as in money. And support has to come from nationwide. And money runs political parties. Every political party begins small. But we really have no time now to watch something like a ‘People’s Party’ build up. By the time that happens we could all be finished under this present regime and now also, under a future Labour Government.

  7. jayne

    all mp,s piss in the same pot, it doesent matter any more what british, welsh, scottish and irish people vote for none of the goverment will do anything to change for the better just tax everyone until there is nothing left to tax.

  8. Dave

    Lets hope thisis not thecase if only because it would go against the millibands socialist principles. I fail to uunderstand how a lqa ruling can be hijacked in this way doubtless there will be a challenge

  9. Duncan McLean (@A_D_McLean)

    As we in Scotland have long known, UK Labour takes its safe areas for granted and will now shimmy about the right wing agenda looking to capture Tory voters.

    When you have people like ‘There’s no money left’ and ‘for the shirkers not the workers’ Byrne devising the strategy you are on a hiding to nothing.

    There is only one thing Westminster parties, Labour, Tory, or LibDem will understand, and that is when those areas of the UK that can eject them from power, by opting for independence, do so.

    When Scotland votes Yes in 2014, Cameron and his crew are finished. The Tory party will shatter in the 2015 election, with their more extreme supporters moving to UKIP and elsewhere.

    In that election, and possibly in 2020, Labour, will have no need of being propped up by its tame Scottish MPs. It will be facing a divided and weakened right and if they can’t take that chance to carry out radical reform of Westminster’s culture and workings, they never will.

    Those who claim to be for progress in the UK and who are resisting Scottish independence are making a mistake of epic proportions. They are opting to prop up a union that puts weapons of mass destruction ahead of the needs of its people. By doing so, they are betraying the people who depend on them to tilt the playing field back in their favour and against the rich and powerful.

    With Ed endlessly mouthing the ludicrous ‘One nation’ mantra, he makes it abundantly clear he knows nothing of life outside the borders of the M25 and cares even less.

  10. anna

    this is out right betrayal to the working classes this bill should not go through amendments or not … if labour supports this bill they are dead & buried””””””

    1. W Leon

      Don’t you understand? Labour, for a very long time now, has NEVER BEEN FOR THE WORKING CLASSES. The ‘old’ Labour is dead and buried – along with the unions. This new breed are more ‘conservatives’ Mark 2. They are so far to the right of politics now, that both Conservatives and Labour are indistinguishable.

  11. Lesley Kinney

    So why would you go on supporting the Labour Party? Even if you can apply enough pressure to stop this particular betrayal, the rot has set in. The very fact that they would do this, shows you how far away from their base, they really are. This is not the Labour Party of my parents or even the Party of my youth. We need the People’s Assembly, let’s throw our energy behind that.

    1. Mike Sivier

      We don’t know for sure that the Guardian report is accurate yet. We don’t know that they really WOULD do this. Let’s just concentrate on getting the right information first. If we need to clear the Parliamentary party out, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

  12. imblackwillow1

    If Labour support this criminal act by the coalition, there really are no options left. The political process, voting for a party, is undoubtedly broken, perhaps beyond repair. The Labour party, by their inaction, have already alienated much of their core support, by their actions, such as backing this illegal rule change they will drive the final nail into the coffin of the modern Labour party. It will not mean the end of the Labour movement. The people who still believe in true socialist values, the heart and soul of true Labour politics will form a new movement, one that rejects the attentions of corporate fixers and shady lobbyists. That day cannot come soon enough!

  13. john

    Is it not the case that Labour thinks that this retro law will have popular support and that is why they would support this move? It’s not a moral issue for them but simply what they think is politically expedient.

    1. Mike Sivier

      That’s certainly one way of looking at it. Unfortunately it’s completely stupid-headed. You don’t alienate all your supporters for the sake of – maybe, perhaps – winning over one or two from the other side.
      It’s like Tony Benn always says about people who are signposts or people who are weathercocks. The cocks blow around with the wind, while the signposts always point the way forward (as they see it).
      What do Eds Miliband and Balls, Liam Byrne and the others want to be? Signposts pointing the way to a better Britain? Or blow-in-the-wind weathercocks?

  14. alancurran

    get rid of lab cons lib allthay ever dun is rob the us the laws not ear for us it is bent so get wok up and get rid of this lot with had for years

    1. W Leon

      BNP? As they not only want to destroy capitalism, but democracy too. And there, my friend, we really would be going down a very slippery slope to ruin.

    1. Terry Jager

      Dear Mike Sivier Even if this report in the Guardian is in error you would have to admit the Labour party hasn’t truly represented the working people for a very long time . After 18 years of Thatcher rule the red corner (Blair , Brown ,Milliband ) have been conspicuously quiet about the basic needs of working people with regard to redressing the housing stocks , if anything the Pathfinder scheme made things worse we lost even more housing stock !! The only good thing I can point to was the NMW ,which has not keep up with inflation & now with workfare is being totally subverted by IDS & Co ,And now it seems supported by Labour ? ! Enough already The NO PARTY gets my vote I just pray to god that they are genuinely a people’s party not just another westminster style BS party .

  15. Jj

    I emailed my MP too, but I’m not holding my breath. Shaun Woodward is a former Conservative, so inside he’s probably overjoyed about this whole fiasco.

  16. jenny O'TYoole

    I went on the anti bedroom tax rally in Manchester yesterday and the labour mp’s were out talked by a guy with his own loudspeaker he accused the labour party of jumping on the bandwagon and that they would also support these hideous taxes brought in by the tories. at first he was heckled by some very angry labour supporters however he did not stop he continued to attack the labour party for not standing up for the working class, eventually the labour mp’s went off, this guy then passed his mic on to other members of the public to speak and some great speeches were made all against the labour party for letting down the working class. I personally belief the labour party will do nothing for the working classes my own local mp is a labour mp and he has failed to respond to four e-mails sent to him in the last three weeks his name by the way is Ivan Lewis mp for Bury in Manchester needless to say I would not vote for him and I would not vote for the labour party so until there is a viable alternative I will refuse to vote.

    1. nellie

      esther mcvey! seriously? esther mcvey is one of iain duncan smith’s ministerial lackeys.. i am pretty sure she will be supporting this evil bill.

  17. Tony Hardwick

    Let’s be clear about this the Miiliband Mob are all New Labour … in effect paid up to worship the corporate business model. They have nothing to do with Socialism.

    1. reddeviljp

      Ed Miliband is not New Labour but also Labour has never been a socialist party so why are you now surprised?

  18. john

    @ Mike
    When the court found that the present regime had acted illegally over Workfare in February they presented new regulations that very same day which introduced the 35 hour job search requirment for non-existent jobs. A labour mp immediately raised an early day motion seeking to overturn this penal legislation. Only 38 mp’s have signed it so far. Byrne last week told Duncan-Smith “Sanctions are vital to give back-to-work programmes their bite” and I didn’t hear any rebuke from other labour mps.

    Byrne and co would I believe vote for retro change to laws if they thought it was popular with people. Some might even do so because they agree with it on principle but I suspect it will be decided by self-interest.

    1. Mike Sivier

      If this is a simple question of popularity then Labour will be voting against this Bill.
      The response to the Guardian article that sparked this controversy has been overwhelmingly negative. Nobody wants Labour to support the Jobseekers (back to work schemes) Bill.
      Therefore, I suppose we may hope that you are right and they vote against it, if only on grounds of self-interest.
      I’d rather they opposed it because it is wrong, but then maybe I’m a head-in-the-clouds idealist after all!

  19. TrinKats Jewellery

    Unfortunately until we replace the “first past the post” system with “proportional representation” most votes for anything other than one of the main parties in this country is a wasted vote. The current “coalition” government is a direct result of the “protest” voting in the last election. Instead of watering down the power of your vote by creating new parties to stand against the big three, people need to stand up and be heard by their representatives. For too long we have revered our politicians and left them to it after we have cast our votes. We have forgotten that those we elect are there to represent us. We stopped telling them, between elections, what we want them to do. We have become comfortable with party politics that change with the wind, not in the interests of the people, but with their own agenda for power and control. Ticking a box every few years is not enough to ensure that our government has our interests at heart. We don’t need more parties; we don’t have the luxury of time new parties need to gather political strength and support sufficient to win general elections. We need to make the most of what we have, we need to tell those we elect to represent us what we want them to do. Stop listening to their empty promises and start telling them what we want. Stop giving them carte blanche and start reigning them.

  20. Mike Sivier

    It seems Tom Watson MP is going to look into this matter tomorrow. From this, we may judge that he does not know what the Labour leadership’s policy is. Therefore, let us hope that this is a rumour that has been blown out of proportion.
    But keep the pressure up on your MPs, just in case.

  21. Atos Victims (@AtosVictims1)

    I have not trusted the Labour Party for years and never will again, for me they totally betrayed people in this country when they introduced the disabled community to Atos years back.

    The Labour Party as many people knew it as no longer exists, they are just Tory’s by another name.

    They all disgust me…

  22. Isobel MacLachlan

    Have given up on contacting my Mp Gordon Brown,he was one of four in Scotland who did not vote against the bedroom tax.There again he has this habit of disappearing.Shame on them,this is not the party generations of my family voted for.

  23. Thomas

    If we don’t vote Labour, who do we vote for? Tories are evil, Lib Dems are traitors, BNP are Nazis, UKIP are facists, SNP and Plaid Cymru and the Irish parties are regionaly-based only. Greens might at most increase their 1 MP to 2 or 3 MPs. Any other party, good or evil, is totally crushed by the voting system. Who do we vote for?

  24. Pingback: There’s Nothing Fair About Workfare | Radical University

    1. Mike Sivier

      i can well believe John McDonnell is against this. I would also dispute that he would be in the minority among the Labour Party. MOST of the Labour Party is against this, from what we have seen since the story broke.
      He appears to be in the majority, among Party members. It’s just the motives of the leadership that have come into question.

      1. Jan

        If the majority of Labour MPs ARE against this then it is time for a leadership challenge in the Labour Party. They have some excellent MPs fighting to do what is right such as Michael Meacher, Tom Greatrex John McDonell Tom Watson who have all fought against Atos and on many on the Work and Pensions Committee. We need a real choice in politics.

        The far right of the Tory party should break off and form a new party, the Labour leadesrship can join the Tories and we can have a new Labour party that still holds some democratic principles, call it socialism, the left, whatever you like. I just call it morals, democracy, freedom and fairness.

        Otherwise the winners will be UKIP and the BNP as protest votes simply because most people have no idea what they REALLy stand for. It is time for the Labour membership to take back their party, just as the Lib Dems should have done.

  25. Dem Bones

    I have no trust left in Labour. I was a member of the party for many years but don’t even vote now. It disgusts me the way most of them – with one or two exceptions – abandoned their traditional voters and started courting the middle class.
    They sold disabled people down the river and see the working class as ‘stock’ – exactly the same way IDS, Freud etc view disabled
    people, and assume
    the working class will vote for
    them whatever they do, because they have no respect for them at all.
    We need a new party of the people, starting from the grass roots.

  26. Kevin Ward Walthamstow CLP

    Thanks for publicisng this. I messaged Stella Creasy MP (theyworkforyou) put this on other constituencies and Compass facebook pages.

  27. pat

    The welfare state is being dismantled by the coalition government, bringing great suffering to the most vulnerable in society and eroding the living conditions of millions of ordinary people.
    Worse still, the Labour Party is not presenting a strong opposition to austerity and instead appears to have wholeheartedly adopted neo-liberal policy, advocating its own brand of austerity and privatisation.
    Ken Loach’s The Spirit of ’45 gives us a perspective on the achievements of the post-war generation, transforming the lives of ordinary people by bringing improved health, housing, education and social security to the people of Britain.
    We need to defend these achievements and continue the tradition of protecting the most vulnerable in society.
    Support Ken Loach’s appeal to discuss the formation of a new political party of the Left to bring together those who wish to defend the welfare state and present an economic alternative to austerity HERE:

  28. KS

    Did the post-war Labour elected in 1945 really supported working class people?

    The election of 1945 returned a gentrified Labour party to Westminster with a few token ‘workers’ in the cabinet (Bevin of course. But Bevan, Wilkinson were soon shunted to one side). The Labour party in 1945 actually had fewer working class MPs, by proportion, than at any earlier time. Perhaps 1945 was the start or the exacerbation of the trend towards adopting apparatchik Oxbridge PPE graduates as Labour parliamentary candidates who get fast-tracked to the front benches.

    The 1945 – 1951 governments did not build as many council houses as the subsequent Conservative governments. However, it may be fair to note that Labour’s homes were of a better quality.

    Did 1945 Labour abolish or reform the House of Lords?
    Did it bring in comprehensive education and deal with the public schools?
    Did it’s nationalised industries include worker control?
    Did it pay too much compensation to the mine and rail owners?
    Did it boost the arms industry?
    Did it bring in social security payments which were the barest minimum?

    Whilst Loach’s desire to build a new party is reasonable and the Left needs to unify, supporters need to consider the degree to which Labour 1945 followed it’s claim to be a ‘socialist party and proud of it.’

    It seems to me that there are genuine Labour people both as activists and voters and then there are the rest. And the rest run Labour. So the PLP’s pandering to ‘interests’ which are anti-working class and anti-poor should come as no surprise to those who have read the history.

    Things are so desperate for so many in this country that they need help and whilst I broadly support Loach, I do not feel that change can be brought about by remembering 1945. Better in my view to see 1945 as unfinished business.

    1. Mike Sivier

      That, and the comment by Pat, could have been an article in their own right. Is the spirit of 1945 one of unfinished business?
      Great talking-point.

      1. KS

        The history of Britain’s Labour party and other socialist parties has been mythologized. They have been fragmented.Look at the ILP and SLP in pre-1WW Britain. The ILP and Clarion supported the war. Socialists reading the Clarion magazine in Manchester were urged to join a socialist pals regiment. The SLP was scattered in sparse numbers across the country and had no real influence. Not that Leftists today would admit it. Socialists and workers joined up because of 4,400 calories a day (more than the Germans or the French recieved in their rations), a guaranteed wage and bed, comraderie, the barest care for internationalism and fear of the Prussian state. How many of today’s socialists have heard of the socialist fighter pilot Edward ‘Mick’ Mannock who used socialist theory to develop the combat practices which were carried over into the Battle of Britain?

        The level of mass support amongst the class I come from has been amplified into a romance. Yet my parents saw them as sell outs from the Attlee era onwards. Callaghan was already embracing monetarism in 1970s.Check the Social Contract instituted by Labour which stymied the Trade Unions before Thatcher came to power. You can read about Thatcher’s and other top Tories’ concern that the Social Contract had stolen a march on their policies in her Margaret Thatcher Foundation online archive.

        And now we get a Left obsessed with ‘identities’ eco-issues, animal rights and a fashion for frugal ‘alternative’ consumerism and ‘culture’; which still has no point of of reference with most of the people whose priority is employment, pay, housing and participation in consumerism. Labour and other ‘socialists’ have turned into cabaret activists who hijack other people’s causes and marches because they have failed to deal with the economic bedrock of many of society’s problems. We need JOBS, FAIR PAY and AFFORDABLE HOUSES and access to CONSUMERISM.

        I recall the aspect of Socialism that was about hard work, materialism and progress for all .And you know what, if the workers want a car and a holiday somewhere warm, why not? Cars are a case in point, even today Iook at some post war council estates where the roads and the cul de sacs are too narrow for two cars to pass or for even one car to park on the road. I asked my father, who had worked in council house construction, about this and he opined that the councils and the architects couldn’t envisage the working classes owning a car, so they didn’t accommodate for vehicles in their planning. There is a side to the Left which doesn’t seem to want the workers to enjoy consumerism,its a kind of Leveller or Digger mentality goneanachronistically wrong.

        Everyone on the Left should reappraise what they think they know about general history and the history of the left and quit ‘romancing’ the past. Because,once you’ve had the romance its time for the reality that the Parliamentary Labour Party has had nothing radical to offer the mass of people in this country for over sixty years; we can’t turn the clock back because what many of us thought was there, isn’t there.

        Its more important to respect the grassroots actions that are now arising out people’s current distress and perhapstheir awakening to the capitalist system, than to harp on about a golden age. I’m not criticizing Loach, I’m happy that his film may open up a debate and encourage people to act now. But we have to remember that 1945 was largely limited, top-down and paternalistic in its conception and in its application.

    2. reddeviljp

      As has been said before, Labour is not a socialist party but a party with some socialists in it.

  29. Thomas M

    The voting system stops any new party taking off,even if it gets a quarter of the national vote like the Greens did in the 1980s.

  30. Patricia S

    Didn’t Labour betray its core supporters many moons ago? The bombing of Yugoslavia, the invasion of Afghanistan, Iraq, the privatisation of public services, Clause 4 and much much more made me leave the Labour Party years ago. The Green Party is the closest there is to a socialist party, apart from Respect.

  31. Grobble

    New Labour/Labour = Tory = Lib Dem = Green = UKIP = BNP = SDP = SNP = Respect = merry-go-round
    No matter which party wins spin the bottle, the same agenda’s are steamrollered through.

    1. john

      @Pat: “Support Ken Loach’s appeal to discuss the formation of a new political party of the Left to bring together those who wish to defend the welfare state and present an economic alternative to austerity HERE:

      The problem is that ideologues want only their own version of Truth in its it’s totality. I posted a message on the the link you gave that asked for people to come together under a banner of unity relating to the attacks on the welfare state rather than a whole host of unrelated issue that will divide – it wasn’t published.

  32. Jan

    I was planning to vote Labour at the next election, as were many people I know.If they do not oppose this they will not have my vote and will lose many many others I know. This legislation is an ourage in a democracy. It means it is not a democracy. Labour is trying to appeal to the masses who oppose welfare – but only because they have been fed misinformation. It is time Labour stood up for the system people fought for and makes us a civilised country Retroactive legislation is the kind of thing you expect in a dictatorship, to ignore the courts and call their decision “rubbish” just shows how far IDS will go to assert his will, whether it is legal or not. If a Minister will not abide by the law, where does it stop.

    Liam Byrne supporting IDS in imposing sanctions on workfare shows what Labour is really like. Nothing about Atos by Milliband, nothing about people dying. They are hoping to win the election by default but people see through them. Byrne must go. He is no different to the Tories. The sick and disabled do not trust him. It is time for Ed to speak out – if he does not, we will know he supports all the cuts and will vote accordingly. They will reap election defeat from their assumed victory.

  33. ToriesWantMeDead (@luckylove)

    Just had a reply from my MP Sheila Gilmore, Labour.

    “The Guardian article was wrong. The Labour front bench is not voting for the Bill. Currently they are looking to secure some amendments. Lots of discussion in the Parliamentary Labour Party ongoing .”

  34. Robin Shaw

    If Scotland is independent we’ll then have one country in these islands which stands for the underprivileged

  35. therbert6666

    The Parliamentary Labour Party are Conservatives in red ties. The bridges that Cameron and his cronies are marching over were built by Blair and Brown. They all piss in the same pot!

  36. Jerry Gould

    I think if this is true (time will tell) it is our duty as Trades Unionists to destroy the Labour Party, and establish a Worker’s Party that stands by the people who establish it.

    1. therbert6666

      Alot of people are saying that an attempt to form another party left of labour will ultimately fail like every other attempt so far and that we have to put all of our efforts in to reforming the Parliamentary Labour Party (along with the forty or so MP’s who revolted against the whip and voted against workfare on matters of moral, ethical, and legal nature) Some voices are now calling into question the Peoples Assembly (which is backed by Owen Jones who I really admire) saying it is some sort of Labour sham. Why can’t we all unite under one banner for fuck sake. I honestly think the British working class is it’s own worst enemy sometimes. We wont achieve anything unless we unify behind one agenda and shout with one voice! I honestly believe it is now or never for left. Recent Tory policies on the unemployed and benefit claimants are a soft form of ethnic cleansing but on the poor! People are dying as a result. Whether it’s disgusting decisions by A.T.O.S ( private French company who is know outsourcing to the N.H.S!) to send the sick, disabled and unwell back to work or kafkaesque sanctions by the J.C.P, denying those most in need of vital benefits, the warped and twisted neo liberal agenda of this government are killing our brothers and sisters. If we can’t unite against these what will it take? ?? a return of the workhouse maybe? ?

      1. TrinKats Jewellery

        I completely agree its time we unite against the greed of the coalition government and turn labour back to its roots; the working class. In an ideal world a new party would be the answer but we don’t have the luxury of time to launch a new party and for us all to get behind it. We need to stop and reverse the damage being done now before its too late to recover. Use your voice, tell your labour MPs what they should be doing as your representative, remind them of their political roots. Use the power of social media to encourage others to take action too. Join campaigns like the Robin Hood Tax. Starting new parties only divides us more and gives the Tories an open door at the next election. Remember it was the so called protest voting at the last election that gave us the coalition in the first place. Don’t repeat the same mistake; make the Labour party a stronger one instead of weakening it; risking another election loss. Use your power as a citizen, use your voice, show them what the people want and give them a fighting chance at the next election.

      2. Jerry Gould

        Yes let’s unite behind one Party, this is what the hijackers of the Labour Party rely on, as they did with the creation of the New Labour conservative agenda. The problem is the gerrymandering of the party constitution, and the subjecting of democracy to party ‘discipline’. Whatever you do someone will want to manipulate the situation democracy is the touchstone.

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