Tuesday 19 April 2011

The new Rainbow Alliance.

"Red and Yellow and Pink and Blue, Orange and Purple and Green
I can form a think tank, form a think tank, form a think tank screen."

Come on LGBT - step up!! We only need a "Pink" now and we've got a whole rainbow of ridiculous, out of touch, dis-connected nonsense to pontificate over while real people suffer.

"Blue Labour" "Purple Labour" "Orange Bookers" Shall I translate?

"I am so supremely arrogant that I think I know better than the millions of people who vote for existing parties."
"I am so intelligent and well educated, that I believe I ought to tell people what they should be thinking."
"I am so fashionable that only I know that purple is the new red or orange is the new yellow"
"I am so cosseted by the Westminster bubble that I believe people give the tiniest damn about "direction" or "factionalism" or "in-fighting" or "re-branding"
"I have totally forgotten that ordinary, non-politics-geeks are worrying about their mortgages and their jobs and their wage packs, not the self-indulgent labels I want to spend the next few years agonising over"
"I think I can invent a brave new ideology to shape the world in my own image."
"I am so disingenuous that I believe I can create and implement a new political model without consulting the very people who will have no choice but to vote for it or be dis-enfranchised. (I might even keep it all a bit quiet til it's too late for the voters to "out" me.)

Labour would do very well to kick anyone very hard, who tries to use yet another colour to fix something that isn't broken. Should this prove impossible, then I wonder if they'd mind leaving their membership cards at the door on the way out? you see, Labour is Labour. If you want purple/blue/right/next or Timbuk-flippin-tu Labour, then I hate to say it, but you've infiltrated the wrong party.

I imagine there are more than a few Lib Dems who wish their very own colour blind Orange bookers would do the same thing. Libs who might be muttering "Leave our damn party alone a jog off to form a nice, muddled, misguided, navel-gazing, macho-liberal party of your own.

I have a great idea. How about they all set up a new party of their own and leave ours alone? It could be "The Rainbow Party" an elite alliance of colour fetishists. They can tout their new and improved paternalistic policies about the place, appealing directly to voters on a manifesto of watered-down blandism.

I have some suggestions for them :

"Free markets for all"
"Race to the Bottom Economics"
"Increasing the Poverty Gap"
"Protecting  the Status Quo
"Focus Group Democracy"
"The New Media Alliance"
"Policies by the privileged, for the privileged."
"Statistics and how to twist them"

Oh!! Hang on a minute! They don't need their own party! What was I thinking??? There is already a perfectly Blue party waiting with open arms to receive their gut based, knee-jerk, philanthropic vision. 

It's called the Conservative Party. 

When they suggest that "Purple" Labour must mix Red and Blue (Labour and Conservative) values, or that "Orange" liberalism leaves no room for disillusioned Labour voters, they can set up their own street stalls, deliver their own leaflets, knock on their own constituency doors and see just how much public support their ideas will attract. Just like UKIP have to. Or the BNP. I fail to see why they get to leap-frog over the poor Greens and use my Red or the Lib Dem's yellow to create their royalist/ecclesiastical purple or fake-tanned/incendiary Orange.

You know what actually happens when you mix all the colours together? You end up with a very unattractive, sludgy, un-transparent, muddy colour. It doesn't really know what it is any more and nobody but nobody would choose to wear it.


  1. "Oh!! Hang on a minute! They don't need their own party! What was I thinking??? There is already a perfectly Blue party waiting with open arms to receive their gut based, knee-jerk, philanthropic vision. It's called the Conservative Party."

    Not really. The Conservative Party is the party of neoliberalism, Thatcherism, open markets, narrow economic 'rationalism', and the subservience of the state and society to the demands of finance capital.

    Contrast Glasman's "core definition" of Blue Labour here: http://s.coop/glasman - it appears to me to be the precise opposite of the contemporary Conservative Party.

    "In everything I have ever written or done I have criticised the domination of capital and argued for the democratic renewal of the Labour movement to resist its power. That is all I stand for really. Resistance to commodification through democratic organisation. That's the position. Labour as a radical tradition that pursues the common good. That is Blue Labour, and the rest is commentary.

    The work I did with London Citizens – living wage, interest rate cap, community land trusts – was built on this idea. Renewing relationships, institutions, the practices of reciprocity, mutuality and solidarity, organising people to resist the power of money.

    Labour is not the liberal party. It resisted that fate. It understands finance capital as a power and promotes the democratic resistance to its domination. That is why it is Labour, and it is Labour alone that can once again generate a politics of the common good."

  2. @ Old Politics

    "Not really. The Conservative Party is the party of neoliberalism, Thatcherism, open markets, narrow economic 'rationalism', and the subservience of the state and society to the demands of finance capital. "

    So was Blairism ... and is the underlying philosophy of the EU and its legislation. Real or true Labour is not neo-liberalism but 'purple' or 'blue' sounds just like it, whatever Glasman says.

  3. @Syzgy What about Blue Labour makes you think that? Here are Cruddas and Rutherford, clearly in the Blue Camp, talking about the failings of Blairism;

    "For all the good Labour did in government, it presided over the leaching away of the common meanings that bind the English in society. It did not build a common good which is the basis of an ethical life. It chose liberal market freedoms for the price of our liberty and our sense of belonging.

    The open economy is England's historic legacy. Trade is in our national DNA. But the economy has become an engine of inequality, division and dispossession. A financialised model of capitalism has redistributed wealth on a massive scale from the country to the City, from the people to the financial elite, and from the common ownership of the public sector to private business.

    We do not own our utilities, nor do we have control of our vital energy market. The overseas supply chains of business located here are the chief beneficiaries of our economic upswings. A flexible employment market has stripped workers of rights and security. Our soft-touch approach on corporate tax has encouraged tax evasion and transfer pricing as business relocates its profits to tax havens. It is as if we do not live in a country so much as an economic system that is owned elsewhere and over which we have no control."

  4. Lol. For once I can but quote Keynes:

    "ideas of economists and political philosophers, whether right or wrong, are more powerful than is commonly under-stood. In reality, the world is ruled by little else. Practical men (and women), who believe themselves quite untouched by any such intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some dead economist."

    Sadly political parties are always in the grip of some ridiculous pie-in-the-sky theories. The least one can do is try to actually have an open discussion about which one it's going to be.

  5. Stephen - lol. Am reading Ragged Trousered Philanthropists at the moment - you'd hate it.

    I agree with the discussion bit though.

    Seriously though, if someone had said to the Tories - "We need to go all Red Tory" in the early 00s it wouldn't have gone down very well.

  6. Sue Marsh - Your post demonstrates exactly why Labour has a long time in opposition ahead. A long time.

    Elections in this country are won in middle England - Worcester Woman - call it what you will. Labour's most successful leader ever, Tony Blair, knew that.

    Despite his obvious limitations and a lifetime of privilege, even Ed Miliband understands it but for some reason Labour activists can't or won't see it.

    The whole of Europe has moved to the right - Britain always does after an economic crisis and unless Labour start getting real there will be no opposition to this government...

  7. Haham Anon E Mouse - You know sometimes it seems that way. It seems that the world has "moved right" because every now and then, usually during times of economic uncertainty, people get a little more selfish, a little less compassionate.

    However, slower but surely, the world has in fact shifted more and more to the left. If you use a wider prism, say 150 years, the aims and work of the left have slowly but steadily created a progressive majority that has achieved vast social change.

    The real mistake would be to join a shabby little race to the bottom that is clearly just a blip.

  8. Quite right Sue. In the early 00's it would have gone down like a lead shot.

    And that was the period of time when the Conservatives were losing and on a hiding to losing more.

    The same point where we actually became open to that kind of guff was the same time we actually started winning again. As I said before about excepting some of what the other party had been doing.

    In Labour's own best interest I certainly wouldn't suggest taking Conservative strategy circa 1999-2003 as a guide.

  9. Excellent read I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile so let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch! Nice information, many thanks to the author. It is incomprehensible to me now, but in general, the usefulness and significance is overwhelming.

  10. There are certainly a lot of details like that to take into consideration. That is a great point to bring up. I offer the thoughts above as general inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you bring up where the most important thing will be working in honest good faith. I don’t know if best practices have emerged around things like that, but I am sure that your job is clearly identified as a fair game.

  11. Sue Marsh - You mistake the left with being compassionate.

    I seem to remember who introduced the free market into the NHS in 2004, removed the 10p tax band, claiming it wouldn't hurt the low paid, went mad on knighting the bankers and wasting the taxpayers money on PFI, doubled Inheritance Tax for the rich, introduced tuition fees to be paid up front and proposed wasting billions on an ID Card scheme and a third runway at Heathrow.

    This government has reversed ID Cards, scrapped the third runway, put a massive tax on the banks every year, increased the personal allowance to take millions of the low paid out of tax altogether and are bringing our troops home from Afghanistan in 2014.

    These are the actions of of a caring government and it is wrong to suggest for example taking poor people out of tax whilst Labour increased their payments is not that.

    Your problem is Labour have no chance of winning any election with their current leader and everyone knows it - only 15% of his shadow cabinet voted for him and until the party put forward a positive message about themselves instead of running their opponents down they are doomed.

    I see the left as being run by a leader and deputy leader who are both unrepresentative toffs and therefore basically hypocrites. No offence...

    (The interest on the deficit alone could build a new school in this country every twenty minutes yet Labour want to give taxes to the financial markets instead - that is not the action of a caring government.)

  12. Sue Marsh - Censoring perfectly reasonable and certainly truthful remarks on your fine blog serve only to reinforce the points in the post I made.

    You are indeed a Labour Party supporter!

    Thank you....

  13. Anon E Mouse - I never sensor anything at all. Perhaps your comment went into spam. I'll take a look.

    For the record, I don't even have moderation on my comments as I believe all views are perfectly valid. I would only ever remove a comment that was abusive or which could severely upset my readers.

  14. There it is!! "Truth" is an odd word to use - especially when one is sharing opinion on a blog.

    1) Maggie introduced the free market long before Labour came to power.
    2)10p tax was replaced with tax credits, no-one lost out.
    3)Osborne has just announced a greatly increased PFI scheme
    4)Universities were going bankrupt by 97 - Labour had to do something - tripling them can hardly be seen as an improvement
    5)I (and many millions like me) think the ID card idea was an excellent one.
    6)As for extra runways, this has to be the biggest load of nimby nonsense. It always strikes me as ironic that the very peopple moaning about extra runways are usually the ones taking three or four cheap flights a year.....
    7) The bankers tax is merely an extension of Labour's (the same day Osborne announced extending it he gave a MASSIVE tax break ensuring the banks could write all their losses off against future profits, saving them tens of billions)
    8) The Afghanistan timetable is exactly what it was under Labour
    9)Taking the poor out of tax??? You have to be kidding me?? VAT alone wipes out the increased personal allowance, add to that the cost of high inflation, frozen pay, redundancies, housing benefit caps, reduced tax credits, soaring fuel prices etc etc and you seriously have to be wearing blinkers the size of Russia to think this is a caring government.
    10)As for the toffs comment, well that one had to be a joke surely? Miliband went to a comp, Balls went to a public school but hated it and got his arse kicked for having a stammer. In contrast, this coalition is the most elitist since the flipping Romans.

    Each to their own, but the reason I often don't reply to your comments in this much detail is because I read inaccuracies like htem all the time.

    I have another blue who comments and we get on just great - he's reasonable and tries to see both sides.

  15. Sue Marsh - I apologise for that remark - when I saw the comments had gone missing I just assumed you had censored them.

    1. I expect the free market from a Tory government. I do not expect a Labour government to continue those things - that's why I had voted Labour my whole life. To suggest that just because it was a continuation made it OK is even worse - especially with the majority Labour had.

    2. 10p Tax was only replaced with tax credits for those in receipt of benefits. I get paid minimum wage for my toils and can assure you it didn't help me jot since my children grown to adulthood by then.

    3. Osborne is wrong to do that but that again is not an excuse for Labour to behave as badly. Two wrongs don't make a right...

    4. Perhaps in 1997 Labour should have funded the Universities properly (they claimed they wouldn't introduce fees and did) but again Sue you are not addressing the issue of the left and it's "caring" attitude. You can't because it isn't btw...

    5. ID Cards - I hate nanny state control - I don't like but that's a personal choice.

    6. Runway 3 at the same time claiming to care about the climate? Dishonest hypocrisy..

    7. We are discussing Labour not Osborne - I expect it from the Tories...

    8. Afghanistan - when it comes to foreign wars I will never trust the Labour Party on anything I'm afraid (apart from their desire to slavishly follow George Bush).

    9. VAT no one notices. It's not on food, children's clothes or books and I haven't even noticed it's effect - neither has anyone else because the shops have just discounted their prices. Inflation is hardly a Tory invention but in any event it's coming down and the rest are more personal eg benefits which I don't claim being a net contributor to the state.

    10. Ed Miliband is a First Class travelling, tax avoiding property millionaire who has never done a single days work in his life - perhaps you'd like to redefine "toff". Harriet Harman is a countess's neice who was educated at the same school as George Osbourne and grew up with the same life of privilege. Balls had a stammer ah didums - I didn't notice his stammer when he was being photographed in his Nazi uniform with his other posh friends.

    Finally I don't have inaccuracies - just an opinion you disagree with. Tell you what though if more people were critical of Labour like I am they may just be electable instead of tanking in the polls as they currently are...

    Have a good one....