Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Labour's Conference 2011

Next week is the Labour Party conference. I must confess that for the first time last year, I watched some of it live on telly - mainly to see the outcome of the leadership contest. But I was struck by one thing as I watched: the complete isolation of the conference from the forces it represents in society.

Now, I'm not a Labour supporter but a Labour voter by lack of choice, so maybe the Conference wasn't aimed at me. However, even I could see that among my staunchly Labour section at work, last year's conference did little to inspire. The contrast was sharp with the earlier TUC conference - an event that was the topic of much debate on my shop floor.

Ahead of this year, Labour look like they are going to commit the same errors. Already, what passes for their intellectuals in the Guardian are arguing that the key task facing Milliband is to confront the Blair legacy, while the right wing nutjobs of Blue 'Labour' shout about their Purple Book.

But all this is rubbish. Working people are hurting and they want someone who expresses and opposes that hurt. That means Labour setting itself against the false cuts consensus and saying that they oppose all cuts. Their obsession of out-torying the Tories means that they are to the right of the IMF on this question.

It also means backing the only real force that can oppose the government and stop the cuts - the workers who will strike on 30 November. These are natural Labour supporters but they're angry about the lack of support from 'their' Party - the rage on 30 June was apparent on the picket lines and the marches.

If Labour doesn't change tack it will flounder - something that will offer long term opportunity but that will, over the next three months at least, hold us back.

No comments:

Post a Comment