Why can’t Labour support working people AND be pro-business?

Know your enemy: If you want to know why Labour was so soft on business between 1997 and 2010, here's your answer - Peter (now Lord) Mandelson was in charge of Trade, Industry, and Business at various times throughout those Parliaments.

Know your enemy: If you want to know why Labour was so soft on business between 1997 and 2010, here’s your answer – Peter (now Lord) Mandelson was in charge of Trade, Industry, and Business at various times throughout those Parliaments.

Michael Meacher has missed a trick in his recent blog article about Lords Myners and Mandelson – who say they want Labour to be pro-business.

He correctly identifies these two peers – one of whom (Mandelson) is a Blairite Labour Party member and therefore might as well be a Tory, while the other (Myners) is not aligned to a political party and therefore might as well be a Tory – as being very rich and refers to them sarcastically as “those stalwart supporters of working people”, meaning the exact opposite.

He correctly states that they are wrong to claim that Ed Miliband’s attack on “predatory capitalism” is harmful to Labour’s election prospects, pointing to poll results showing that the next election winner needs to be tough on big business.

And he correctly – yes, Ukippers, correctly – points out that businesspeople know an in-out referendum on membership of the European Union could cause huge harm to their firms if the vote goes in favour of leaving.

These are all good points, but Mr Meacher could have gone much further.

Labour should be pushing its policies as better for business than anything the Conservatives have to offer – because they are.

The party wants more firms and public sector organisations to pay the living wage. As this blog has stated time and time again, this can only help British industry as it would show employees that their contribution is valued, encouraging them to improve the quality of their work and build up their employer’s profitability and prospects of expansion.

That’s not all that Labour can do. The party should be much bolder in its aims. For example:

The party should be promoting employee-ownership to more and more firms – the advantages of becoming co-operatives. Look at the success of John Lewis, whose employees receive a bonus equal to around four months’ extra pay – every year – because of the way that company is set up. John Lewis is going from strength to strength and so is its workforce. There is no valid argument against it.

Yes, there are some within the Labour Party who continue to push timid concepts about “strengthening” the minimum wage, but like Lords Myners and Mandelson, they might as well be Tories and it is time they were purged from the party. Neil Kinnock got rid of the Militant Tendency left-wingers; why shouldn’t Ed Miliband similarly divest himself of the right-wing fifth-columnist parasites who have held Labour back for his entire term as leader (including, of course, his idiot advisors)?

The Conservative Party’s idea of helping business has failed completely. It could never have done otherwise; starving the economy of money during a downturn makes it next-to-impossible for any but the largest firms to turn a profit.

Labour must present a vibrant alternative.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

Vox Political needs your help!
This independent blog’s only funding comes from readers’ contributions.
Without YOUR help, we cannot keep going.
You can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Alternatively, you can buy Vox Political books!
The second – Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook
The first, Strong Words and Hard Times
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

8 thoughts on “Why can’t Labour support working people AND be pro-business?

  1. jeffrey davies

    yet will they blairites are running this party far far to right enen posting on mm blog emails seems to go missing but then truth hurts jeff3

  2. Joanna

    I am trying to figure out what possible potential gains this coalition would achieve, by running this country to the ground?! The economy is getting worse, helped by IDS’s crazy punishment policy.
    Are they trying to cull the population? If so why? If the country is so full, why not crack down on illegal immigration! If you have watched an episode of border force UK, when they have caught illegal immigrants working, they are arrested, then they are released, then they disappear. In some cases this arrest and release cycle is never ending.

    This would a perfect time to bring in a basic income guarantee, but make use of the technology we have to make sure it is given to legal migrants or immigrants along with everyone else, as you have said before, if businesses need workers, they would be forced to pay a fair wage or no workers.

    I hope I am making sense, I sometimes babble

  3. Chris K

    It’s just grinding water. It has taken more than a year for the National Museum of Scotland to start paying it’s sales staff a living wage ( the sales staff had to join a union , which the management still don’t recognise) and they still don’t feel valued – to suggest that one naturally leads to another is tosh.

    1. Mike Sivier

      Well of course it helps if managers can at least make it look as though they’re doing it of their own free will.

      The principle is sound; if what you’re saying is accurate, you are making a mountain out of an exception.

  4. Guy Ropes

    One idea which Micheal Meacher proposed last night at Westminster (committee room) was that the richest 1% in the Country should be obliged to openly declare their total assets. This was received with a little bemusement and it was quickly agreed by most present that it was an idea that wouldn’t fly. That’s strange, as those at the other end of the scale – like people applying for a Council care place for their ailing parents – have to disclose every single item about their parent’s finances and additionally full disclosure of the applicant’s finances are also required. Who knows – it could be an idea whose time has come.

  5. Pingback: Why can’t Labour support working people AND be pro-business? | Britain Isn't Eating

Comments are closed.