News from Nowhere

The campaign blog for Socialists in Scotland campaigning in the Livingston by-election - uniting for world socialism.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

The Annual Labour Party Show

According to the media, the Labour Party conference is being held in Brighton this week. And these days all it is is a media event at which the various party leaders vie with each other to see who gets the biggest applause. No policy is made, so all the talk by the delegates is just that. Mind you, even in the days when it was ostensibly a democratic policy-making event, the leaders never felt bound by what the delegates voted for, arguing, especially when they were in government, that they must have a free hand to do what the circumstances demanded.
This year is likely be the year that the Scottish windbag, Gordon Brown, consolidates his claim to be Blair's successor -- as if that will make any difference except that the cry at anti-war and other demonstrations as in London yesterday will change from "Blair, out, out, out" to "Brown, out, out, out". But Brown has now realised that his luck has run out and, after claiming the credit for when things happened to go right for him as chancellor, is now not accepting responsibility when things happen to be going wrong but is blaming hurricane Katrina and the gnomes of Europe. Actually he isn't responsible either for his "success" or for his failure, since governments don't govern how the capitalist economy works, neither at national and certainly not at world level, but can only react to the ups and downs of the world market.
The one good thing about the Labour Party these days is that it no longer pretends to have anything to do with socialism. Perhaps they realise that if they did people wouldn't believe them anyway. They are not even the left-of-centre "labour" party they once were, but are an openly illiberal and populist party that has stolen all the Tories's clothes. Not that "Old Labour" was any better when in government, imposing wage freezes, cutting benefits, opposing strikes just like all governments of capitalism as an economic system that imposes that profits must come before people.
Socialism meant, and still means, the common ownership and democratic control of the means of production, where goods and services are produced directly for use and not for profit and where every member of society has access as of right to the things they need to live and enjoy life. Nobody who wants such a society would dream of voting for the Labour Party.


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