There’s no place in politics for Blairites who are disgruntled by their abrupt loss of influence

Telling it as it is: Michael Meacher has more to say about the current Labour Party than yesterday's man, Tony Blair.

Telling it as it is: Michael Meacher has more to say about the current Labour Party than yesterday’s man, Tony Blair.

Michael Meacher has it right (as usual). In the same Guardian article that publicises Tony Blair’s latest attack on Jeremy Corbyn, he explained why the former Prime Minister and his followers are so disgruntled by the return to real Labour Party values he represents:

“Understandably,” he said, “the Blairite faction is disconcerted by their abrupt loss of power.”

That is the meaning of everything that has been said by these people – by Tony Blair, by Alastair Campbell, by Simon Danczuk, by John Mann, and by all the others who are bleating that the democratic system of electing a new leader – that they all supported – should be halted because it might mean they’ll have to follow a real socialist instead of a Tory in a red tie.

Blair’s comments aren’t worth repeating because they contain nothing of substance at all. “The party is walking eyes shut, arms outstretched over the cliff’s edge to the jagged rocks below,” is it, Tony? What makes you say that? What particular policies of Corbyn’s will cause the catastrophe you have made up inside your mind? You don’t say, so we shouldn’t pay any attention.

Blair appears to support calls for New Labour hangers-on to split from the party in the event of a Corbyn win: “This is not a moment to refrain from disturbing the serenity of the walk on the basis it causes ‘disunity’.”

This, of course, runs against party discipline and Mr Meacher was right to counter it: “They have a duty to remain loyal to the Labour party as the left has always done.”

Again, Meacher is right; Blair is wrong.

Let’s have a bit more of Meacher. Referring to the rise of Corbyn, he said: “It is the biggest non-revolutionary upturning of the social order in modern British politics.

“The Blairite coup of the mid-1990s hijacked the party to the Tory ideology of ‘leave it all to the markets and let the state get out of the way’, and when asked what was her greatest achievement, Mrs Thatcher triumphantly replied, ‘New Labour.’

“After 20 years of swashbuckling capitalism, the people of Britain have said enough, and Labour is finally regaining its real principles and values.”

Blairites in the Parliamentary Labour Party have a stark choice, if Corbyn is elected by the party membership they claim to serve: They can knuckle under and toe the party’s new line, as the left-wingers have been forced to do – in the name of party unity, Tony Blair – for the last 20 years…

Or they can sling their hook.

That doesn’t mean resigning the Labour whip and sloping off to the Liberal Democrats (or wherever), as Shirley Williams has suggested.

It means resigning their position as MPs and making way for the election of somebody who will support Labour’s new direction.

The behaviour of men like Danczuk and Mann is nothing less than treachery against their party – meaning the people who voted them into Parliament, a majority of whom – it seems – want Jeremy Corbyn to be the new Labour leader.

The people are speaking. They want the New Labour dinosaur to go into extinction. Let us hope the hangers-on get the message.

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  1. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl) August 13, 2015 at 12:13 pm - Reply

    As well pointed out these anti-Corbynites are wealthy Tories in red ties.

    • Mike Sivier August 13, 2015 at 12:14 pm - Reply

      I do so in the article, in fact.

  2. Mr.Angry August 13, 2015 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    Only wish we had more Mr.Meachers, tells it as it really is every respect for this man.

  3. daijohn August 13, 2015 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    Shame on the Grauniad for giving Blair the Front page on the day voting begins. Sorry but my subscription has ended.

    • Gary Rudd August 13, 2015 at 11:40 pm - Reply

      Disagree, it’s a massive own-goal. They’d have done better asking David Cameron or George Osborne to give their recommendation. Blair is poison and has tarnished everyone he didn’t criticise.

  4. Neilth August 13, 2015 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    Why does having money disqualify people from having opinions or supporting socialist policies? Mindless attacks on Champagne Socialists detract from the debate.
    Having said that the anti democratic posturing of Blair, Danzuc et al is what is damaging the party.
    Their preferred candidate Kendall is going to come last for very good reasons. New Labour is a spent force and its pro austerity stance doesn’t chime with todays Labour members.
    The interventions of Blair and co are encouraging people to move further left because so many are hostile to him and his coterie that if they don’t like it it must be a good thing.

    After this election we will have to get behind the winner and fight for a labour victory.

    We have to take on all the organs of the right and hammer our message home.

    What we can’t be is openly fighting and disunited.

    The Blairites have lost and whoever of the 3 win the party has shifted towards socialism and the membership will have the right to demand that the leadership reflect this. It used to be that the membership drove policy until New Labour shifted the power to the leadership. It’s time there was a rebalancing of democracy within the party.
    Personally I will be looking for this in the utterances of the candidates.
    Which of them trusts the membership?

    • Mike Sivier August 13, 2015 at 2:01 pm - Reply

      I know of a few extremely rich people who also have real socialist values. It is the Blairs, Danczuks and their colleagues who are attacked by the article.
      I agree with you wholeheartedly about the need to shift power away from an elite leader-class and back to the party as a whole.

    • John Gaines August 14, 2015 at 9:50 am - Reply

      I don’t believe we will have to try awfully hard to WIN the next Election….even the Tories are sick to death of Reich Party in office now and Goebbels Gideon is constantly been exposed as nothing but an idealogical thick head, he will need to find another £5BN in Blackmail to the stonking EU to continue his Mickey Mouse financial Stats re the failed Economy, double last year’s Blackmail which was a giveaway of £2.5BN money we cannot afford;
      THE POOREST face the biggest tax burden in the UK, a lobby group said today.

      Families on the lowest incomes pay 45 per cent of their gross income in tax – more than any other income group, according to analysis from the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

      • Mike Sivier August 14, 2015 at 11:39 am - Reply

        Yeah, and matters have come to a pretty pass when the Taxpayers’ Alliance is attacking the Tories.

  5. Nick Fourbanks August 13, 2015 at 4:29 pm - Reply

    I’m behind Mr.Meacher and his views and have just been speaking to the Corbyn team wishing them well as i know in my heart that if Corbyn is anything like myself he will pull this off and then go on to create a united kimdom where equility come shining through

  6. Ian August 13, 2015 at 5:37 pm - Reply

    Shows what The guardian really is when it gives free run to a murderous, narcissist war criminal like Blair but hasn’t got a good word to say about a fundamentally decent and principled man like Jeremy Corbyn.

    Not only is the media owned by and used as a mouthpiece for the 1% it is now tryinf to limit democracy to whatever suits news proprietors best interests. Yje Times and Torygraph obviously take the line Corbyn would be bad for business and by extension, everyone else. The Guardian will tell you Corbyn cannot win an election so the Tories would be in oower for yet another five years.

    Both arguments are tripe, obviously, but you’ll keep on hearing them anyway. The 1% will not let the people have a genuine say without a massive struggle. That’s why New Labour were invented; to limit genuine choice.

    Ironic considering one of the buzzwords of 90s politics and business was ‘choice’.

  7. daijohn August 13, 2015 at 6:10 pm - Reply

    In fairness the Grauniad did give Corbyn equal space in a comprehensive (?) article recently. But the battle between the people’s views and the media interpretation of reality goes on.

  8. Vic Martin August 13, 2015 at 10:03 pm - Reply

    Jeremy Corbyn is an Honorable man. A good man.

  9. David Horton August 14, 2015 at 5:32 am - Reply

    I met Michael Meacher around 20 years ago and he presented as a man who was simply seeing out his dotage…boy has he got his mojo back!

  10. Sohail B Khawaja August 14, 2015 at 11:12 am - Reply

    I like Jeremy Corbyn and agree to every word and sentence he says about equality and justice, I support him to be party leader, under his leadership we will have a real Labour Party. For him I have re-joined Labour Party as member; I withdrew my membership when Tony took over party leadership.

  11. sasson1 August 14, 2015 at 11:16 am - Reply

    I feel exactly the same Mike about the Blairites who say they won’t support Corbyn as leader; give up their seats then, and make room for people who really embody the idea of what a Labour party should be.

    • fathomie August 14, 2015 at 5:36 pm - Reply

      Agree totally with Mikes comment, it’s something I discussed with the rest of the family the other day. If they aren’t prepared to support Corbyn should he win, I don’t want to see ‘disgruntled Labour MP’s’ with the knives out, or crossing the house to the Blairites natural home on the govt benches, no, I want them to do the decent thing and resign their seats allowing the public to pass their verdict on their self serving treachery. Fat chance of that happening though.

  12. enlightened August 14, 2015 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    It’s really, really important that Labour loses elections to protect it’s ideological purity. We can then claim the mantle of authenticity. That’s what matters more than anything. Of course we did things like the minimum wage, civil partnerships, doubled real-terms investment in the NHS, reduced waiting times from 18 months to 18 weeks, cut crime by over 40%, slashed anti-social behaviour in the poorest communities, created sure start, re-built our great cities, helped to bring peace to northern Ireland, raised education standards for kids from every background, revolutionised mortality rates for cancer and heart disease and the list goes on. I know this made a massive difference to ordinary, hard-working, aspirational families but that’s missing the point. We have to protect an ideology that in 1983, 1987, 1992, 2010 and then again in 2015 was roundly rejected by voters. Eventually though (despite 5 crushing electoral defeats), fall consciousness will give way to Socialist enlightenment (even though none of the conditions that Marx specified exist). It is obvious that we need a hard shift to the left.

    You guys are hilarious but tragically wrong for the people who really need a Labour Government.

    • Mike Sivier August 14, 2015 at 5:41 pm - Reply

      Nobody is discounting the genuine achievements of the 1997-2010 Labour government.
      Its adherence to Tory neoliberal economics is a disaster, though – and the behaviour of right-wing, Blairite, neoliberals in the Parliamentary party has been inexcusable.
      The fact that you felt the need to write this comment, under a pseudonym and using a fake “corbynwilllosein2020” email address says more about you than the words themselves.

    • daijohn August 14, 2015 at 6:17 pm - Reply

      Read Paul Mason’s ‘Post Capital’ or think about JJ Rousseau and the idea that those who resist the majority should be ‘ forced to be free’ – should wind up a few! Politically things have to change – open your mind and think!

    • Neilth August 14, 2015 at 7:48 pm - Reply

      It’s even more important that we win elections. We can be as politically pure as we want in the wilderness so long as we want to stay in the wilderness.
      We can’t effect change or protect the vulnerable if we are out of power.
      Whenever we lose the Tories pillage the National wealth for the benefit of their capitalist cronies and to the detriment of the general population. They destroy the industrial base in favour of financial service industries largely because constructive engineering type industry was the heart of the Union Movement which was the mainstays of the Labour movement.

      • Ian August 15, 2015 at 8:06 pm - Reply

        “We can’t effect change or protect the vulnerable if we are out of power.”

        But that won’t happen under a government led by Burnham, Cooper or Kendall.

        Reind me, who was it that introduced the WCA and Atos, introduced us to Lord Freud and ramped up the whole persecution of the sick and unemployed? Blair, is who.

        I live in an unemployment blackspot yet the Blair government had the front to tell me I wasn’t trying hard enough to find work (that didn’t exist) and sent me on an utterly pointless course to apply for these jobs that weren’t there. This had nothing to do scroungers or whatever term they used and everything about trying to appease the professional victim hard-working-British-taxpayer Daily Mail readership. A foul example of triangulation and dog whistle politics and they knew it.

        Also, see Miliband’s £8 an hour by 2020? Trumped by the likes of bloody Osborne, of all people. And y local hospital was run down to almost closing to make way for a shiny new PFI one, this leaves me spending £40 a month on taxis to see my dialysis nurse at the massive, centralised and *entirely* PFI James Cook hospital. That was Blair’s doing, too.

        Who do you think is going to be bearing the brunt of Labour’s austerity light? Not the rich. Who among Bunham, Kendall and Cooper are challenging the need for austerity? None.

        Don’t be fooled by this ‘we need to be in government to help’ tripe. It’s not you and me they’ll help. Tory economics helps the rich. Long and short.

        • Mike Sivier August 16, 2015 at 3:02 pm - Reply

          There are a few misapprehensions in there. The WCA/Atos were part of a programme that was started by the Tories, but you’d be right to criticise Labour for not halting and scrapping it.
          Your local hospital would have been run down by the Conservatives, who didn’t leave any money available for restoration of the National Health Service (what’s that about fixing the roof while the sun is shining, again?) so Labour was advised to resort to PFI in order to have any cash at all with which to modernise healthcare.
          Apart from that, though, I think you’re absolutely right about Burnham, Kendall and Cooper, and your last paragraph is right on the button.

      • wildswimmerpete August 15, 2015 at 8:07 pm - Reply

        We need to have JC elected as leader then a Shadow Cabinet strong enough to force a vote of co confidence that will bring the Tory house of cards crashing down.

  13. Janet Green August 17, 2015 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    O for goodness sake. Just remind me how many houses the public school- and Oxbridge-educated Michael Meacher currently owns.

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