Blairite columnists such as the laughably fanatical John Rentoul have been casting stones of supercilious pomposity at the current Labour leadership battle that pits Blair/Brown-spawn of different degrees, Candidate A, Candidate B, and Candidate C, against an older, more left wing career politician in the beardy, Dumbleborian form of Jeremy Corbyn.
Rentoul et al are dragging out the line that moving to the left of New Labour’s immense achievements would be to condemn Labour to either “years in the wilderness as a party of protest” or “catastrophic failure that would see the party destroyed in a schism the kind of which we’ve not experienced since the Reformation.
They don’t mean the reforms of the Labour Party under Neil Kinnock, John Smith and latterly Ed Milliband – the kind that have enabled the current election. They just claim those as their own.
They do mean the kind of Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) that have lead to massively in-debt healthcare facilities (previous called ‘Hospitals’), a lack of industrial infrastructure, and an inability to work with unions or other non-management level organisations.
There is a view among the New Labour trogs and spods and spads that their long-lost halcyon days in the 1990s as Blue Labour reflect a not only a workable image for today’s young politicians to follow but something less sleazy or problematic, something more worthy or even in a very Victorian sense morally decent way; making money is good. Not making profit is morally indefensible.
So, when the image at the top of this page popped up I thought the juxtaposition was amusing. If you’re not aware of John Sewel (aka Lord Sewer), then you don’t follow UK politics, so there’s no point going further. Basically, he’s a wealthy man who as “Baron Sewel of Gilcomstoun was one of Tony Blair’s most trusted lieutenants in the New Labour era* and he’s just been nabbed cheating on his wife using sex workers while he also snorted cocaine (illegal in this country).
Yup, Moving to the Left away from New Labour’s influence would lead to terrible role models, right?
Mhairi Black: SNP MP’s maiden speech