The threat to the Labour party Tom (Tom Watson on Labour’s rift, G2 interview by Decca Aitkenhead, 10 08 2016), is not a handful of ‘Totskyite entryists’, but the wedge of aggressive, recalcitrant neoliberals in the PLP, clinging to an economic orthodoxy that cannot ever deliver economic or social Labour values and purposes (see Stiglitz, The Guardian 06 08 2016).
To admit this fact at this stage in their political careers is no doubt difficult, as it would be tantamount to admitting incompetence, not just political irresponsibility. But, even at this late stage, if they would listen and learn from the victims of systematic Tory cruelty and pillage; if they would listen and learn from the economists and commentators who have documented and analysed the current crisis and Labour’s potential role in returning society to some degree of humanity, via a progressive politics and new economics that could deliver social and cultural benefits, along with an effective economy rooted in environmental as well as social justice values, they could perhaps re-invent their own ‘expertise’ with dignity, and redefine their role, as part of the solution, not the problem.
Post the EU referendum vote, and Thatcher’s would-be ‘reincarnation’ at the head of government, there is no virtuous or safe fence for Labour MPs to sit on. Nor should they seek that safety for themselves. This is a moment for Labour MPs to answer that old call: ‘Which side are you on? Which side are you on?’
val walsh / 11 08 2016