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New Labour: The Worst Thing That Ever Happened to Liberalism?

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posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 04:29 PM
I liked Tony Blair. I thought he was a revolutionary wanting to change the labour party for the better and throw out the old tat. That was until I saw the way his plan of New Labour has affected this country; what I've seen has led me to believe that New Labour is the worst thing that has ever happened to liberalism and left-wing politics in the UK in a very long time.

I believe in far-left ideologies; anti-privatisation, effective public spending, trade unions. Therefore I'm opposed to steps that New Labour seems to be taking, Blair wants to privatise the NHS, he wants to privatise Britains education system, its looking disatrous to me.

Starting with the education system, I've always been against private education but Blairs "city academy" scheme is expanding on rogue schools in this country. City academies are almost unregulated by the government, and transforming standard state schools into academies is taking schools off the radar and allowing them to do whatever they want. Add to this the fact that alot of city academies are funded by strict religious bodies and it means that devout Christian and Muslim doctrine is being dished out to kids. Education should be secular.

Moving onto the NHS, new plans revealed by the Labour party outline plans to privatise out doctors and GPs to companies such as Tesco and ASDA. These companies are only out for profit and will clearly lead to a worse public health service than the one we currently have.

The political radicals of the 60s and 70s that used to be so strongly opposed to these things have now mellowed into the routine of labour voting. These people who used to be so strongly behind the left wing red party have continued voting for them through their swing towards the right. The labour party are no longer left wing, the are cenralist at best and some of their policies are down right right wing. Add to this an already disallusioned young voting demographic and we have a party who are in power for no good reason. They are seemingly left-wing and have tricked the actual left-wing into voting for them.


posted on Apr, 6 2007 @ 06:20 PM
It's an interesting, if age old, topic gfad.

The conflict between ideology and pragmatism.

I can understand why anyone preferring the old Labour party of 'Clause 4' and common ownership would find today's Labour party disappointing to some degree.
I can even see why some on the left are so hostile to it.

(but who's kidding who here, I have known people on the left in British politics - particularly trades union politics - who have claimed every era of the Labour party were all just right-wing torys in disguise)

But whilst I can go along with the idea that there is an interesting ideological debate to be had about that I just can't accept it when one looks at the practical results.

There may well remain a large gap between the most well off and the least well off in our society but it is IMO sheer pretence to claim that this Labour Gov have (a) not done a lot for the majority, including the least well off or that (b) it would have made no difference to either the majority or those least well of if there had been a tory Gov in power during the last 10 years.

I do not accept that 'they are all just the same'.

It's my view that the British Labour party needed to embrace change and adopt a more 'Social Democrat' stance of the European model.
I am pleased that they have done this and when I was a member of the party I voted as an ordinary member for those changes.

I think I got what I wanted, a party that in gov is unquestionably identifiable with genuine social justice along with a willingness for the state to intervene to promote various preferable outcomes but one that was not so ideologically focused that it lost sight of the need to foster business and commerce to pay for the costs of much of that intervention.

That's not to say this Gov is flawless, of course not.
But on balance it is my view that they remain and are immeasurably better than the only credible alternative on offer to us.

Like I always say, I'd far rather see a Labour party in power and making the compromises (and yes even sometimes the mistakes) that real power can demand than they sit on the side-lines as an impotent and powerless bunch of critics to ever on-going tory rule.

I'd also just add that 'liberalism' (in the true sense of the term) has been extended by this Gov. It may be timid in places, it may even be compromised by other measures but IMO there have been serious, significant and meaningful improvements and extensions to democracy within the British state.
For example -

Devolution is probably the single and most obvious example.

The power of established privilege has been reduced in the UK with the abolition of most, if not quite all of, the Lords.

However limited or imperfect the Freedom of Information Act may be it is still greatly progressive on what had been before it.

Equally the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights (something the UK helped design & draft long ago and which was long overdue IMO) is yet more substantive progress over how things were before.

Ditto the de facto extension of Parliamentary democracy over matters of Royal Prerogative (deferred to the PM) such as whether this country goes to war - people may not have liked the outcome of the Parliamentary free vote last time but all the main political parties have now said they will allow Parliament a vote on the subject should it arise in future.

Similarly the retention of the British nuclear deterrent is to be subject to Parliamentary debate and vote (a first).

The job is never done and I agree the risk of disappointment haunts all political endeavors but to say there has been no progress under this Gov and in fact that all they have done is to have made things worse in every instance is IMO to be incredibly partial and selective about the record of this Gov.

[edit on 13-4-2007 by sminkeypinkey]

posted on Apr, 27 2007 @ 09:10 PM
Hopefully these might change your mind, .... In each clip, Listen out for the Keywords!!
(I bet you didn`t/couldn`t watch the whole thing...point made?)

THIS IS JUST VERY BIZARRE!! (I reckon some incompetent Tory may have posted this!!? forget 1st thirty seconds...LOL! FunnyAs F!! : )

(God knows the rest of it`s just totally vapid.))

[edit on 27-4-2007 by MistahBear]

[edit on 27-4-2007 by MistahBear]

posted on Apr, 28 2007 @ 07:34 AM
Mistahbear are you serious?

A couple of clips of Hazel Blears has what, exactly, to do with the topic of this thread, Labour's 10yr Gov record on British 'liberalism'?

Do you honestly think a politician (any politician) as they launch their campaign, for whatever, has much of anything anything to do with the specifics of, nevermind validate or invalidate, the 10 yrs of the party's record in Gov on things like Devolution, Freedom of Information, the incorporation of the ECHR etc etc?

No offense to you but it's precisely that kind of 'point missing' vacuous nonsense and today's (usually media inspired - such are the delights of a 24hr 'rolling news' society) insistence on concentrating on the almost wholly superficial in politics that has bred the very approach you are holding up to criticise.

The record of this Gov in terms of "liberalism" (in the actual sense of the word, not the current American right's abusive distortion of the term) is neither addressed nor represented by some pointless and idiotic questions put in a TV show about the Labour party's own leadership and deputy leadership matters.

(What on earth did anyone expect she could possibly possibly have said anyways?
The truth is as she said, Gordon Brown will be elected by a landslide in the Labour party.
And what? No point wishing it were different, it isn't.

BTW.....yes I did watch the 1st clip all the way through (it's only courteous if you post links etc to actually look at them if you expect debate or comment about them) and actually she was absolutely correct about the contrast between this Gov'rs record & the appalling 20yr record of the last tory Gov and how little they have actually changed since then

By all means debate the shortcomings or otherwise of Labour's record and whether and where they have extended democracy and 'liberalised' our political life but simply saying 'I thought s/he looked poor at *whatever*' when speaking about something unrelated really isn't much of a point at all, IMO.

[edit on 28-4-2007 by sminkeypinkey]

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