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Is Ed red?

September 27, 2010

Labour has elected a new leader and the media seems to be obsessed about two things: How is his brother Dave surviving the shock of being beaten by his younger brother and Is Labour Lurching to the Left? 

The first question is one of those pointless media exercises. But I find the second question pretty pointless too.  For the 19th century definitions of left and right do not fit the realities fo the 21st century. A far more interstesting question would be: Will Labour become a progressive party again or not. 

Having only won the leadership battle with the support of the Unions isn’t a good start. I don’t consider the Unions to be a very progressive power in this country. They are rather conservative with a small c. They represent a relatively narrow  self interest and in  my own experience of the Unions in my own council they have never demonstrated the will to find  positive forward looking solutions but have a  rather destructive attitude for short term gain over long term sustainable alternatives.

I fear that although Ed says he is his own man the Unions will hold the new Labour leader over a barrel. We might return to old fashioned demos, picket lines and exhausitng walk outs.  But will that really get the country back on the route of recovery? Will we end up with a fairer society if the Unions have it their way? Will it actually help the really disadvantaged, the long term unemployed, the thousands of young people in NEET or those who are trapped in a revolving door of crime and prison? Will it really close the gap between rich and poor?  

I am not sure. I am not sure whether returning back to the old Union dominated Labour is more left or more right or more ‘red’.

 It is certainly not progressive.

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One comment

  1. I feel that strikes will be inevitable, not because they are all justified, but because the unions are the only organisation not being affected by efficiencies.
    How much are the unions worth? Even though we have witnessed better working… conditions and terms of employment, so much that we have now out priced ourselves, the unions have amassed a fortune over the last decade, the private and public sector are responding accordingly whilst the unions still flourish, even an F.O.I. will not reveal their true wealth.
    I only hope that the workers are astute enough not to be taken in by Miliband who is just a puppet for the unions.



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