If Mr Harper’s question as to why Labour Party members standing for election in the
upcoming council ballot should “disguise” their allegiance is genuinely in search
of an answer, allow me: They are ashamed. And they have much to be ashamed of.
March 20, 2003, of course, marks the precise day that the life support machine -
which had been working flat-out for nine years - to pump breath into what had once
been a great political party devoted to the welfare of the majority and the care
of the needy, packed-up for good. Blair’s clarion call for war, however, was but
the final criminal act of a party which had spent almost a decade putting clear blue
water between itself and its history.
Letter: Labour members “ashamed” to declare party allegiance in council elections
From its very inception on July 21, 1994, the (New) Labour Party began the process
of divesting itself of the ideals and principles which informed its difficult and
hard-won entry, into the British political landscape over a century before.
Lest we forget, it may have been Thatcher who sold off the family silver when she
privatised the utilities, but it was Brown who sold the gold; introduced the insanity
of PFI, and who, most disgracefully, allowed the deregulated bankers to behave like
the deranged oligarchs they always were.
At a local level, of course, Labour Party members could pretend all was well. Young
people were, in numbers never seen before, “off to Uni,” working people on miserable
wages had them topped-up by the government’s tax-credit scheme and pensioners were
given a grant for winter fuel bills which they could quickly pass over to their “chosen”
private utility company.
But, like summer’s lease, it couldn’t last. The young students graduated with their
degree and a mortgage worth of debt. The value of tax-credits dwindled as the taxes
required to fund them dried-up. Local councils were left leasing badly-built schools
on eye-watering hire-purchase type arrangements (which will see them own the buildings
outright about the same time as humans will have developed wings). And the “winter
allowance” for pensioners could never have kept-up with the insatiable profiteering
urges of the privatised utilities.
So what now? Poverty action groups (talking shops), food banks (cf.16th century Europe),
and charities? If that’s the response of the Labour Party - and it seems to be –
who would blame their members for “disguising” their allegiance? It seems like a
long time since Labour Party members were promising to promote and protect the interests
of the majority of this country (especially those pensioners whose years of contributing
helped shape the nation) by a progressive tax system. And longer still since the
promise to wage war on the organised crime of non-tax paying big business (banks
and utilities would make a good start) rather than on the disorganised rabble of
poor people half a world away.
Mr Harper, therefore, may have a point. But it just as surely highlights why some
of us, really are independent!