That British Labour Party 1983 Election Manifesto March 25, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in British Labour Party, British Politics, The Left.
Tony Collins on Socialist Unity has posted up the 1983 Labour Manifesto – the supposed ‘longest suicide note in history’. Well, yes, but one wonders absent the Falklands conflict and the rupture of the LP with the departure of the SDP whether history would look much more kindly upon it than is currently the case.
I can’t say I necessarily agree with all of it, but there was a lot of good radical material in there, though I was half-amused by this…
Indeed, the logic of the case for the nuclear deterrent, presented by British Conservative Ministers, is that all peace-loving countries should equip themselves with the same protection. It is a logic which would intensify the race and destroy the universe.
The whole universe?
Britain and Europe… January 22, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in British Labour Party, British Politics, European Politics, The Left, Uncategorized.
I was listening to the Guardian podcast on the issue of Europe and the Tories from last week and was surprised to hear some of those commenting suggesting that on a straight stay or go referendum public opinion would tend to swing to the former. But then, checking out the always interesting ukpollingreport, run by Anthony Wells of YouGov (which has information about individual polls and a poll aggregator) and what do I read about new data on voting intentions in a referendum on EU membership. For the last number of months the figures were solidly enough in the OUT camp, as Wells notes:
At the start of the month YouGov was showing people would vote to leave the EU in a referendum by 46% to 31% who would vote to stay in – figures that were pretty typical of YouGov’s polling on EU referendums for the last year.
But, lo and behold, as the prospect of an actual referendum has become more concrete those figures have shifted, and bloody radically too…
Last week those figures had shifted to 42% get out to 36% stay in. This week they have moved even further and now 40% of people say they would vote to stay in compared to 34% who say they would vote to leave.
Wells explains this as being the result of the following:
What appears to have happened is that normally people use an EU referendum question to express general disatisfaction with the EU, with the European Court of Human Rights (I know its different from the EU – most people don’t!), Eastern European immigration, bureaucracy, bans on straight bananas & bent cumcumbers and all the general media perception of the EU. In the last fortnight some will obviously have thought a little more about it as a referendum becomes a more likely possibility, as people like Richard Branson, the US Embassy, Ed Miliband, Vince Cable and David Cameron have all spoken of the importance of Britain being in Europe… and it has changed views.
And he makes an interesting point which is that it’s not that euroscepticism has decreased – as such, but rather that support ‘for leaving’ has reduced. That’s a very very important distinction to make because while the latter is the harder edged position, the former is much less so and much more contingent.
Haven’t we seem something of this in our own polity over the years, although here the more regular use of referendums has offered examples of decisions being made and the state returning to them again in order to overturn them. But the underlying dynamic is not unfamiliar, of a broader disquiet which is trumped, usually – but not exclusively, by the orthodoxy. http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/6886
BTW, ukpollingreport is a good site for an overview of the situation, for example, they currently project the LP on 41, Tories on 31 and LDs on 10 – by polling averages, and they found nothing in yesterday’s Guardian/ICM poll ‘to get excited about’, despite that showing Con 33, LAB 38, LD 15 and UKIP 6. And there’s a projection for an LP majority of 112. All moonshine of course in the sense that there almost certainly won’t be an election for a couple of years, but… not at all moonshine in the sense that that the dynamics are well embedded currently and this allows us an insight into them.
Full details in attached file – please click on link.Conference Programme
Looks like it would be of significant interest to many of us.
“Equality of Sacrifice” January 8, 2013Posted by irishelectionliterature in British Labour Party.
1 comment so far
Great poster tweeted by David Miliband
1929 Labour poster demonstrated the Tory understanding of “equality of sacrifice”
Left Archive: Northern Ireland – The Unsolved Problem, Alistair Graham, From Civil Rights to Sectarianism, Independent Labour Publications (formerly the Independent Labour Party), UK c. 1976 September 10, 2012Posted by WorldbyStorm in British Labour Party, Independent Labour Publications, Irish Left Online Document Archive.
To download the above file please click on the following link: ILP UK DOC NI GO
This document is of particular interest because it comes from the Independent Labour Publications which is what the Independent Labour Party became when it merged with the British Labour Party in 1975. The ILP had a long and at times illustrious history positioned to the left of the BLP and once it was within the Labour Party it sought a role as a sort of lobbying group.
This document states that:
‘Nothern Ireland, The Unsolved Problem’ by Alistair Graham provides a descriptive introduction to the present risks in the province. Its purpose is to supply background information on the situation. It is not a statement of the collective view of the Independent Labour Party.
The Introduction argues that:
However it is hoped that any views expressed in it will be shared by many on the left who wish for a peaceful, and progressive, solution to the conflict; and that it will help towards an understanding of the complexity of the problem. There are no clear-cut answers to what has been happening in Northern Ireland. Confused or simplistic analysis is no less wrong when it is cloaked in Marxist jargon.
There is an overview of the ‘Road to Partition’ and later it provides an overview of the political forces extant in the North during that period. One notable aspect is the analysis of the Provisional IRA is as follows:
The Provisionals split away from the official wing of the republican movement at the end of 1969. Ostensibly, the cause of the split was disagreement over the Socialist, and increasingly Marxist, philosophy being adopted by the republican movement, together with its abandonment of physical force tactics in favour of political involvement. But, in fact, the split has its origins within Fianna Fáil (which was at the time Ireland’s governing party).
Alarmed at the direction in which SF (the republican party) was moving during the sixties, elements within FF made contact with republicans, particularly in the Six Counties. An offer of money and arms was made, on doncidtion that activity was concentrated in the North, and that there was an abandonment of any political activity.
As a result, the Provisional ‘Army Council’ was organised, its first press statement appearing on December 29, 1969. In January 1970, at Sinn Féin’s annual conference, Provisional supporters walked out and the break was complete.
The document dismisses approaches grounded in ‘British Imperialism’ as a means of explaining the conflict though it notes:
This is not to deny the continuing economic control exercised by British capitalism in Ireland, North and South, or the growing influence of British and multinational firms, but this hardly necessitates direct political or military control.
And it sets out a series of demands which include the following;
A Bill of Rights, on the lines suggested by the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association
A reconstituted police force, to replace the R.U.C. to eradicate the sectarian image of the police
A drastic reappraisal of the Army’s role in NI, and its withdrawal from patrolling duties which have provoked much of the violence.
These demands are quite similar to those of Official Sinn Féin at that time. It would be interesting to assess how influential this document and those from other formations both external and internal to it were on Labour Party policy during this period.
Stumbled across this recently. Thought it might be of interest.
The blurb about the documentary…
Documentary on Liverpool’s Militant Tendency, following former Labour party MP and Militant member Terry Fields on his general election campaign. Militant members encountered are Mick Daley (who runs their creche), Julie McCann (the Housing Benefit Officer) and Mike Morris (organiser of the Anti-Poll Tax Federation). Labour MP Frank Dunne, who investigates Militant infiltration into the Labour Party, and sends incriminating photographs to Labour’s National Exectutive, states that Militant is a dangerous political influence in Liverpool. On the campaign trail for Terry Fields, Labour candidate Jane Kennedy’s campaign literature explains that she was partly responsible for ridding Liverpool of Militant, and Paddy Ashdown is seen getting a rough ride in a derelict housing estate when he accompanies Liberal Democrat candidate Rosemary Cooper. Fields comes third in the election behind the official Labour candidate. Militant members sing the Internationale at a rousing post-election party.
When it was originally uploaded youtube only allowed ten minutes, so its in six parts. Well worth watching though.
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Let’s start with the BNP…
However, the BNP’s campaign has been beset by problems, and it appears to be floundering in the polls. Internal criticism over Nick Griffin’s leadership came to a head earlier this month when publicity director Mark Collett was arrested on suspicion of threatening to kill him.
British Election – what to watch for… May 6, 2010Posted by WorldbyStorm in Britain, British Labour Party, British Politics, Uncategorized.
EamonnCork posted this comment earlier, and in the shameless tradition of the CLR I’m reposting it as a post proper!
For anyone who’s watching tonight, there are some early declaring constituencies which will give a good idea as to what’s happening (though, more than any other time since 1974, this time we’ll probably have to stay up through it all to see how it pans out, and it may actually be a bit like an Irish election where the swing is not completely uniform and is affected by local factors in some cases).
11.30pm: Sunderland Central: Last time out Labour 47%, Tory 25%, Libdem 21%, should stay Labour but will give an indication of the kind of swing against the government and who is benefiting. Slim Tory chance, if they get this they’ll win a majority and it’s time to go to bed already.
12.45: Birmingham Edgbaston: last time out Labour 43%, Tory 39%, Libdem13%. An almost cast iron Tory gain, if Labour hold this one then Brown will be the next PM.
12.45: Birmingham Ladywood: last time out Labour 51%, Libdem 31%, Tory 9%. Labour should hold on but if there was to be a significant Libdem breakthrough this is one they’d take. Labour since 1945 except for 1969 when the Libs won the seat in a by-election and lost it the following year.
1.00: Leeds North East: last time out Labour 45%, Tory 30%, Libdem 22%. Will be close and if the Tories take it they’ll get a majority.
1.00: Telford: last time out labour 48 Tory 34 libdem 14. predicted Tory gain, if they don’t take this they’ll be at least 40 short of a majority.
1.00: Tooting: last time out Labour 43%, Tory 30%, Libdem 19%. A nailbiter that could go either way, again a good indicator of whether the wind is at Cameron’s back or whether he’ll fall short. Slight fancy for the tories here. Labour have won every time since the constituency was founded in 1974.
Vale of Clwyd: last time out Labour 42%, Tory 29%, Libdem 12%. Same as above, very close and a must gain for the Tories.
Intriguing piece in New Scientist last week which noted that psychologists Rob Jenkins and Tony McCarthy from the University of Glasgow and Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire, have run a subliminal on-line experiment (whatever that may mean ) with New Scientist in a bid to predict the UK election results.
Liberal Democrats 70
They’ll explain their methodology in the May 15th issue. I don’t know, I have no feel for this election at all. I’d think the Tories might shade it, but then… the polls have stayed stubbornly stuck – if that’s the right term – within a given band that has seen both Liberal Democrats and Conservatives seemingly having reasonable levels of support, and of course, Labour plugging away in the background. I’d be very interested in what others think about what the likely outcome might be.
One thing that has struck me has been the level of bile directed at Gordon Brown. Now, who wouldn’t argue that he has been the architect of his own downfall in large part – and yet, some of the comment on sites such as the Guardian, various blogs and even in the mainstream media has been so corrosive that it has at times appeared unhinged. I mean, I’d be far from his biggest fan – take an illuminating article in the Observer at the weekend which forensically dissected the poverty level benefits available in the UK, a shocking indictment after three Labour terms – but it seems to me that he has become the focus of a near uniquely antagonistic discourse.
I’m curious about that as well.