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.
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