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scepticus

What Will Labour Do Now?

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A healthy opposition is obviously a good thing even when the ruling party runs sensible policy.

Also, obviously, Labour have been a complete shower the last few years.

Now, I've voted for both parties in the past and would vote for either again based on policy and how they comport themselves.

I think now's the time for a thread to think what we think Labour might do next, and what we'd like them to do next.

And also obviously, a healthy opposition cannot be predicated on them being HPCP.

Any party I'd vote for would need a foundational policy that defines a coherent and workable approach to the trilemma of:

* fiscal policy - tax and redistribution (and the ideal size of the state)

* monetary policy (rates, QE, macro-pru etc)

* a realistic vision of Britain's role in the world over the next 50 years.

What should they do? What will they do?...

Edited by scepticus

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What should they do - quit it with the authoritarian social engineering, actually try and focus on improving the lot in life of the proles. That's why they existed after all.

Edited by EUBanana

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What should they do - quit it with the authoritarian social engineering, actually try and focus on improving the lot in life of the proles. That's why they existed after all.

Yes but how?

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They are all busy at the moment saying how wrong and misguided Ed was - how come they weren't saying this before he lost them the election?

Even Polly Toynbee is saying he should have stood down a year before the election. One of the front runners for the leadership is now saying Labour sounded like the moaning man in the pub.

I know there was dissatisfaction with Ed among some backbenchers, but I don't recall much vocal protest from the higher echelons.

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> I know there was dissatisfaction with Ed among some backbenchers, but I don't recall much vocal protest from the higher echelons.

Well there wasn't going to be while they were trying to get elected and the dissenters were under the whip was there..?

Anyway my question was not about individual labour personalities but about what the platform of the party might or ought to be given the landscape re: the tories, SNP, economy, old vs young, foreign policy etc.

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What should they do - quit it with the authoritarian social engineering, actually try and focus on improving the lot in life of the proles. That's why they existed after all.

Perhaps they should get those who formulate that type of policy behind the scenes and typically influence Labour to incorporate the policies to put themselves and their policies up for the vote.

Edited by billybong

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Get rid of income tax.

Have a land value tax.

Just outright print next years budget deficit.

Remove fractional reserve banking.

Free health care.

Free tuition at all levels.

Have a points based system for our borders.

and

Keep left.

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1. small government with sameish social policy, eg sack the doll workers but keep the income support, that way they can move to a productive part of employment rather than offering the same zero hour contracts to the same rotation of unemployable people.

2. drastically raise rates whilst rising social entitlement to kill the zombie economy thats being proped up by zombie cash.

3. become a trade hub with zero income tax.

what labour will do

1. go to war.

2. go to war.

3. keep killing.

but seriously

1. more forced health care and bad schools.

2. sell wepons and qe.

3. the view being that we a giving nation through charety to the needy in the world (proping up dictatorships) while killing the populations to sell wepons to dictatorships.

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Sceppy!

Good to see you posting.

We'll get bounced off the main board chop-chop, so let's make hay whilst the sun shines.

Personally very discouraged to see Blair and Mandelson splashed on the front pages talking about how Ed Miliband was so wrong to recant their New Labour pursuit of the middle ground.

My personal perspective as a Labour member on the far right of the party is that Blair got elected at a time when a dead dog having as its only electoral asset the fact that it wasn't John Major leading a fractured and fractious parliamentary Conservative party could have got itself elected, even if it had been rabid and afflicted with fleas. Blair/Brown then ride/foster a bonkers credit bubble and call it occupying the centre ground, much as a crack dealer might call supplying crack "occupying the centre ground".

Crucially what Blair failed to do is pursue electoral reform that would have given us a more balanced and functioning politics.

What Labour should do now is set out a stall wherein they continue Miliband's disavowal of the New Labour BS - we have the Tories for that purpose - we don't need two Tory parties. Commit to a genuine PR system so that we get a functioning politics, even at the expense of the possibility of the Labour party having an electoral majority, and finally, but most importantly, beg Steve Baker (Cons, Wycombe) to tell them how banks work - and then bloody well listen to him.

Edited by bland unsight

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It needs a more considered assessment than back to the middle ground - whatever that might mean it's so typically vague and meaningless. That doesn't take into account the SNP whitewash for example. It needs proper assessment - not NuLabour spin, waffle, lies and soundbites.

Edited by billybong

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What Labour should do now is set out a stall wherein they continue Miliband's disavowal of the New Labour BS - we have the Tories for that purpose - we don't need two Tory parties. Commit to a genuine PR system so that we get a functioning politics, even at the expense of the possibility of the Labour party having an electoral majority, and finally, but most importantly, beg Steve Baker (Cons, Wycombe) to tell them how banks work - and then bloody well listen to him.

So a kind of scorched earth approach. I agree.

I think rejection of NL is required to move forward but that doesn't mean they can afford to alienate or also reject the swing voters who voted tory and snp.

I also doubt whether focussing on the details of our financial mechanisms is a good way to connect with those people in the first instance.

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It needs a more considered assessment than back to the middle ground - whatever that might mean it's so typically vague and meaningless. That doesn't take into account the SNP whitewash for example. It needs proper assessment - not NuLabour spin, waffle, lies and soundbites.

I agree. The whole focus on the middle ground - whether to take it or yield it, is what has broken Labour. It screams of a party with no actual vision.

At least the tories are unapologetic in their approach, likewise the SNP.

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Couldn't they just disband and do us all a favour. Seriously all this reinvention shows they are without any credibility whatsoever. Labour just f%@#!*g die already.

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Labour are now irrelevant, the new main opposition is the SNP. We have moved on, the new normal is that the UK is going to split up, whether the EZ project falters before this happens is hard to predict, but we have shifted big time IMO.

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Labour is failing because they're pursuing a central policy that makes no sense and is entirely counter-productive, i.e. high welfare spending and high levels of immigration. These are fundamentally incompatible. It is simply not possible to be a successful party of the Left without being nationalistic.

Welfare spending is going to raise the wage bill for businesses and rich people who use a lot of services. For a lot of people, if they don't have to work, they won't, unless wages are high enough.

Immigration is going to lower the wage bill for businesses and rich people. It's simple supply and demand and the increase in the labour supply lowers the market clearing wage.

The UK, and specifically New Labour, have tried to combine immigration and welfare spending in order to appeal to all people and get themselves elected. Low income people think they're getting something out of the government, and the rich don't mind because the cost of employing people has gone down. And, to boot, the immigrants tend to vote Labour thanks to Labour's fostering of identity politics.

This has been a faustian bargain, and we are now seeing the after effects of this policy. Productivity has cratered, wages are miserably low, taxes are high and demand for services is impossible to satisfy.

I don't think the Labour Party will do anything to correct this situation. The leadership of the party is dominated by the technocratic middle-classes, many from migrant backgrounds, who are the winners from all of this as they gain state jobs, see the value of their houses go up, and have to spend less money on their high-service lifestyle. They'll be perfectly happy to maintain control of the party as that party goes from gaining 50% of the vote, to 35%, then to 25%. The urban ethnic enclaves that Labour has created will offer a ready source of votes to keep a small number of MPs from a rump party in Parliament.

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Labour are now irrelevant, the new main opposition is the SNP. We have moved on, the new normal is that the UK is going to split up, whether the EZ project falters before this happens is hard to predict, but we have shifted big time IMO.

labour will never be irrelevant whilst they fluoridate the water and offer "free stuff" to people, remember obama won an election based on giving away mobile phones...

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Does it really matter anyway?

The ability of the political class to actually influence events seems to be dwindling away- they handed that power to the 'markets' long ago. The main function of Politics now is more akin to a kind of PR service to the 1% as they explain to the great unwashed how their pathetic little lives must become even more pathetic in order to feed the great insatiable maw at the center of the financial sector that is sucking the life out of our economies.

In an alternate reality Labour would not have spent the last five years trying to pretend that the 2008 crash never happened- they would instead have placed that disaster at the very center of their campaign- they would have made reform of the financial sector the jewel in their crown, taken on the vested interests and made the connection between out of control bankers and high house prices, outsourced jobs and lower living standards both explicit and absolutely central to their world view.

Calling Milliband a socialist was laughable- he was little more than Cameron in a frock.

There are no more socialists- just a collection of well groomed wanabe's with half an eye on the lucrative position they hope to inherit post their next election defeat. To a man/woman the inhabitants of the house of commons have long ago internalized the neo liberal cosmology, to the point where they not only fail to see through it, they actually see through it.

I watched a labour grandee on TV the other day trying to articulate the reasons for their defeat and it was painful- like watching a child attempting to describe a traumatic event that was simply beyond their ability to understand. The idea that these people could even begin to coherently respond to the kinds of global forces that have been unleashed by decades of unconstrained and globalized neo liberal jihad is beyond funny- it's downright pathetic.

Not only do they not get it- they lack even the most basic intellectual framework within which such an insight could be gleaned.

Edited by wonderpup

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I haven't seen the British this disappointed since they heard the full version of Babylon Zoo's Spaceman

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labour will never be irrelevant whilst they fluoridate the water and offer "free stuff" to people, remember obama won an election based on giving away mobile phones...

They are already totally irrelevant in Scotland, they could give away free Thai brides, it wouldn`t make any difference. England will catch on eventually and go over to UKIP.

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They are already totally irrelevant in Scotland, they could give away free Thai brides, it wouldn`t make any difference. England will catch on eventually and go over to UKIP.

A free fried mars bar is a totally different proposition!

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A free fried mars bar is a totally different proposition!

They probably tried that one, they tried every other form of B.S., but seriously, the backlash against Labour in Scotland is totally out there, really never thought I would see something like this.

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Crucially what Blair failed to do is pursue electoral reform that would have given us a more balanced and functioning politics.

What Labour should do now is set out a stall wherein they continue Miliband's disavowal of the New Labour BS - we have the Tories for that purpose - we don't need two Tory parties. Commit to a genuine PR system so that we get a functioning politics, even at the expense of the possibility of the Labour party having an electoral majority, and finally, but most importantly, beg Steve Baker (Cons, Wycombe) to tell them how banks work - and then bloody well listen to him.

If they start advocating PR for the House of Commons they'll make themselves an irrelevance. FPTP is a good system for ensuring representation of the electorate as a whole, but it punishes issue based parties who will always struggle to get a plurality in a single seat unless the candidate has exceptional qualities such as Caroline Lucas. FPTP is the simplest system that maintains a direct link between every MP and their local electorate who can use their power to boot out individual politicians, no matter how prominent.

What they botched was House of Lords reform. That is where an elected upper chamber using PR would make perfect sense because that's where you want to get a balanced cross-section of opinion including all views and the direct link with the electorate is less important. Had Blair done this we would now be in much better shape to tackle the implications of offering Scotland a settlement based on federalism while the rest of the UK's institutions are not geared up for it.

If Labour want to make constitutional reform a central part of their platform, they need to be thinking much more deeply than simply changing the voting system.

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The main function of Politics now is more akin to a kind of PR service to the 1% as they explain to the great unwashed how their pathetic little lives must become even more pathetic in order to feed the great insatiable maw at the center of the financial sector that is sucking the life out of our economies.

People who use the vacuous phrase 'the 1%' should be obliged to declare just where in the spectrum they sit. Are you part of the 3%, the 5%, the 10%?

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