Originally posted by infinite
But, its fair to say, that the public and the voter are starting to be interested in what you would call "left wing" policies, such as the
environment, Iraq war and "nuclear" subject.
- But there's the rub, infinite.
Whilst it is true one can look back and see those kinds of issues as previously being 'traditionally' one of 'right' or 'left' I don't think
that applies so clearly these days.
That being the case I can't agree with your proposition.
'Green' issues like the environment belong to neither 'right' or 'left' and I think that is how the public sees it as well nowadays.
Note the sceptic public with both major partys in their attempts to establish 'green credentials'.
I don't think the issue of nuclear power, or even keeping updating or renewing a nuclear deterrent, is so clearly a matter of 'left' or 'right'
(especially with the tory party flapping like a broken reed in the wind on these matters, so obviously saying whatever they think people want to
As for the war in Iraq?
Well ok, a lot of people keep talking as if the whole country is against British involvement now
but I'm not so sure that is as true as it
might first appear.
Being involved initially was deeply unpopular with a large section of the public, that is obviously true, I agree,
when asked if we should just pull-out and leave Iraq to whatever fate may come (despite British involvement now being on the basis of a proper UN
mandate) I don't think it is so cut and dried.
People may have been in a majority against the war starting and British involvement at the start but that is rather old history now and not quite the
relevant point anymore.
Plus, its fair to say, we are becoming more European and we are starting not to fear the EU (i have for one don't, heck, i support the idea
of a Federal European state), so the Left is starting to become more important again.
- I agree, but then I always did think that kind of myth based xenophobia was just being used to try and scare people.
I'd also say look at how the wheel has turned.
Pre the Euro-elections of 1986 (Thatch's anti-EU 'diet of Brussels'
, anyone?) it was the tory party that was pro-Europe and Labour that
wanted to leave it.
I do not agree with Tony Blair, that if Labour flirted with the Left, it would get voted out. I doubt it.
- OK, your POV and all that,
besides one fair result in the Scottish Parliament (Tommy Sheridan's Scottish Socialist party got 6 elected in the Scots Parliament), one result in
the Welsh Assembly (Mrs Law, wife of Peter who died after leaving Labour in protest at women only short-lists and who was supposedly offered a Peerage
to stand down from his Westminster seat) and perhaps George Galloway MP in the London east-end you can hardly point towards growing electoral success
in relation to 'anti-New Labour' left-wing national politics and the UK Parliament.......
....... whilst I can point to various 'real Labour'/'Socialist Labour' etc etc repeated general election and by-election failure.
Labour are lucky, because if in the general election, both Labour and Tories may have to go to their harden grass root voters to gain more
support and i think the Tories "chatting up" the right is going to cause more damage than Labour chatting to the Left.
- I don't think it is about luck.
I think it is about the record in government, and Labour's record has a wide, not narrow, appeal.
In any case I think the days of any political party specifically appealing to a core vote and expecting to win in the UK are gone.
I do agree that in trying to be 'all things to all men' the tory party simply invite the comment of 'why change to a group that wants us to believe
they would be a kind of 'Labour-lite' when we can have the real thing'?
..................without the worry about their right-wing nutter element?
Labour have the advantage of having neutralised their ideologically committed leftist nutters, those that remain are there to act as a conscience and
represent an element of Labour's support but they are not the majority and can't even claim majority support within the Labour party never-mind out
in the country.
Pragmatic government with a small 's' socialist home and social policy and a small 'c' commerce and foreign policy are the combination that
.....but having said all of that infinite it is also my belief that when Gordon Brown begins the process of taking over the Labour leadership in the
coming year or two the inference will all be about how he is 'a safe pair of hands' with those parts of the 'New labour' program that has worked
well and more 'left-leaning' leader offering change with what has not gone quite so well.
It's all relative of course, GB (co-author of 'New Labour) is no 'lefty' by any stretch of the imagination but IMO a large part of his initial
appeal will rest on 2 things
1) the most successful Chancellor in living memory (a huge achievement) and
2) whilst he is still 'New Labour' he is not Tony Blair.
The tory reliance on a tory version of TB may well look ill-judged by then, this aging country will have just had 'young' for a long run and someone
shouting 'new', young' and the 'future' every other word may well not have quite the appeal some thought.