Last night, someone sent me an email containing a shocking image; a Labour Party mug, for sale on their website, priced £5.
As if the notion of buying one of those isn’t horrible enough, the slogan on it takes the cake. It reads “Controls On Immigration; I’m Voting Labour.”
This, my friends, is how far the party has fallen. They now advertise their right-wing political outlook and lack of a social conscience, and they sell it as a cheap gimmick.
I am beyond disgusted.
If I were still in the party I would have burned my membership card at the mere sight of that despicable object.
If I were a voter who still clung to the belief that this party had even part of its soul intact, this would have dissuaded me from that notion in a heartbeat.
Labour has nothing left. It is not a shadow of what it was once was, it is a wraith. It is a spectre from beyond the grave that wears Labour’s clothes, its name, its logo but is warped and evil and has not one iota left in it that is worthy of being redeemed.
I remember when at least some sections of it cared.
Its party members once sang The Red Flag with gusto. On election night in 1997, I gave the audience in the local Labour Club a drunken rendition of all six stanzas when the last Tory MP was ousted from Scotland.
Yet Labour itself is now a bizarre shade of deep purple, as it morphs into another Tory Party right in front of our eyes.
In years to come, this mug may well become a collector’s item, but not amongst Labour members. It will, instead, be a symbol for the rest of us, a measure of how much the party changed. It will stand as a fittingly tacky memorial of everything that destroyed it.
I had a look at the website, and what was on there. This is not the only mug they are selling, but as there were only 68 of them left when I checked it’s obviously selling well.
In contrast, there were over 400 “A Better Plan, A Better Future” ones. The one that bears the slogan “The Country Where The Next Generation Can Do Better Than The Last” has over 300 remaining. There were 288 “A Strong Economic Foundation” mugs, 341 “Higher Living Standards For Hard Working Families” ones and the one that had the somewhat odd slogan “An NHS With The Time To Care” on it had just under 100 left to sell.
Labour Party members, it seems, are all for getting tough on Romanians.
That’s hardly a shock in a party whose northern office elected Jim Murphy as leader.
The whole of the organisation is now shockingly, irredeemably right wing, committed to renewing Trident, to charging English students for education and, of course, to austerity.
Instead of making a commitment to end private companies chewing up public services, most notably the NHS, they propose only a 5% cap on the profits.
So money continues to flow in the direction of shareholders and all the while real stakeholders – that would be you, me and everyone else who pays tax – get the shaft. As it was, so it shall be under the current leadership.
The party certainly changed for the worst under Blair and Brown, and when it looked set to elect David Miliband as leader that would have sealed the deal. Ed Miliband had a chance to chart a different path, but he showed his own colours when he appointed Ed Balls as shadow chancellor.
This guy is a pure product of the establishment system, a man who as a student was a Tory and once wore a Nazi uniform to a social event “for a laugh”. He wound up a writer for the Financial Times before joining Brown at the Treasury.
Miliband also appointed Rachel Reeves to the Work and Pensions brief, and she has offended the sensibilities of left of centre Britain to a truly staggering degree with her rants about benefit recipients and her promise to be “tougher (on them) than the Tories.” She recently got a lot of ink by tweeting that Labour had no wish to represent people who were not in work.
None of that should be a surprise. She, too, is a right-winger par excellance, with degrees from Oxford and the London School of Economics. She’s worked for the Bank of England, HBOS and Lloyds. She was offered a job at Goldman Sachs. Who do you reckon gets those kind of offers? Socialists? Finally, horror of horrors, she did a spell at the US Embassy in London.
That should have alarm bells ringing in every progressive’s head.
Then there’s Chuka Umunna, one of the darlings of the London media, who have taken to dubbing him the “British Obama”, merely because he’s high profile and black. Before being elected as a Labour MP, and being fast-tracked into the shadow cabinet brief for Business, Innovation and Skills he worked as an employment law solicitor …. representing the bosses.
His morals can best be surmised from his campaign to limit the number of betting shops in his local constituency, which was forgotten after he accepted a £20,000 “gift” from the former CEO, Managing Director and Chairman of the Gala Coral group.
These are the people the so-called “left wing” leader of Labour has surrounded himself with.
Why do you reckon the party continues its relentless drift to the right?
Its economic policy, from its business strategy to how it deals with social security, is hard-core blue-blood through and through.
It was Ed Miliband who hinted at putting “troops on the border” during the referendum campaign, in a bid to stop immigrants “flooding England.” It was Miliband who talked tough about changing the welfare system to stop people getting “something for nothing”, and he did it in June 2014, two years after Johann Lamont was pilloried for saying the same thing.
Labour members really do have short, and selective, memory’s.
Ed Miliband formally committed Labour to supporting the welfare cap in 2013. In the same year, he backed Ed Balls call for scrapping winter fuel benefits after means testing 600,000 pensioners, which shattered, forever, the concept of the universal welfare state.
Whilst some “progressives” applauded that move, some of us warned of dire consequences somewhere down the line and it didn’t take long for Miliband himself to reveal what they would be.
Last year, he committed a future Labour government to the policy of ending Job Seekers Allowance claims for 18 – 21 year olds.
There’s another aspect of Labour’s proposed “reforms” which ought to horrify everyone of a progressive persuasion, and that is his proposal to change the benefits system to the “contribution based” one of old. It means that if you are one of the uncounted Britons who are too sick to work but healthy enough not to qualify for disability benefits – and these include thousands with mental illnesses and degenerative conditions – you are pretty much condemned to a lifetime of poverty with no exit route and very little help from the state.
It will save less than a fraction of the tax receipts we lose every year to “creative avoidance.”
But the sick and the voiceless, those who can’t afford PR firms and good lawyers, are a much easier target.
This is the party that founded the welfare state. It’s hard to believe now, right?
Yet theirs was, until recently, the best deal we were ever going to get from the Westminster system.
Of course, that’s now changed with the SNP promise to stop further benefit reform in its tracks and to cut back on the austerity measures as well as opposing the renewal of a nuclear weapon system we cannot possibly use, and which sees drastic cuts in other areas of national defence where some of that money could be far better spent.
I understand why a lot of Labour Party members spend theirs on cheap party tat. It helps them to sleep at night, maybe.
In spite of the slogan, the People’s Mug is deepest red, after all.
It’s the only thing left in Labour that is.
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