Posts Tagged ‘Curtis McLellan’

Progress are here to stay, get over it

16/07/2012, 01:32:14 PM

by Curtis McLellan

It’s been a strange few weeks to be a Progress member, a Unite member and a Labour party member.  It is almost like me and my kind are persona non grata.  Well, I am not ashamed.  My kind are part of a long proud lineage of revisionist thought in the Labour party.  My kind and our thought laid the philosophical foundations for an unprecedented 13 years of Labour government.

My kind bided our time whilst the other side had their 1983 manifesto, we fought against Trotskyist entryism, siding with the unions to remove that threat.  We had internal victories and internal defeats, but there was one thing for certain: we were in perpetual opposition.  And then, in 1996, many of my predecessors formed a think-tank to generate ideas for the fledgling New Labour project. A year later, well, the rest is history.

For all of you still pretending that it is simply an “organisational” spat, who still believe in the platitudes that we are a broad church, be under no illusion.  This is an ideological attack on Progress and the philosophy of New Labour, cloak and dagger.

In all honesty, anyone on the centre should have seen it coming.  We were in the ascendancy for too long, and now we are in decline.  That is the cyclical nature of internal Labour party politics, and it is now time for revenge.  They’ve got their party back.  For those of you who disliked Luke Akehurst’s Niemoller analogy, look away now: prepare for a period of Stalin-like rewriting of history.  Unite call the last Labour government “a bitter disappointment”.

Why?  Was there too much employment?  Too high a quality of life (certainly better than before and now)?  Did the minimum wage grind their gears?  Perhaps the low number of strikes annoyed them.  Or maybe there were too many hospitals and schools built, or the top tax rate was too low.  I don’t know, but it certainly wasn’t what some union leaders had wanted.  But it’s not just the past, and how bad New Labour was that draws union leaders’ ire. It’s the influence of New Labour now.

I should hope that Ed Miliband and Ed Balls, two members of New Labour government, feel quite insulted that they are not thought to be able to think for themselves.  The times that they adopt centrist policy, it is claimed by Unite, is only at the times that those nasty Blairites lean on them:

“‘it was Progress who argued that Labour’s front bench needed to support cuts and wage restraint. Congress regrets that Ed Miliband caved into this pressure. Congress notes with concern the support by Ed Balls and Ed Miliband for public sector pay restraint, thus giving credibility to Tory arguments about the deficit”.

For the record, Progress did not argue that.


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