As Empty As a Con Dem’s Promise

by Sean McGovern

In the summer of 2011 when the damning Sayce Report on ‘Disability Employment Support for the Future’ was published Sayce and Marie Miller (Minister for Disabled People) sounded the death knell of all Remploy factories, consigning thousands of disabled Remploy workers to a future without work, ultimately leading to poverty.

Last summer most of the remaining Remploy factories closed, leaving a rump, who learned their fate in December – that is the majority would close with the attendant loss of jobs.

Again promises were given by this government that all that could be done to secure work in mainstream employment would be done by the agencies set up by the DWP.

While not actually promising to place ex-Remploy workers into employment, Miller promised: “Any disabled member of [Remploy] staff who is made redundant will receive an offer of individualised support for up to 18 months to help with the transition from government-funded sheltered employment to mainstream employment.” Indeed, the government stated they would put ringfence £8 million for specialist employment support for the group.

Well, as we all know, a Tory promise is only binding up until the next policy crisis they create for themselves. Of the 1,000 Remploy workers sacked last year 35 have found new jobs. For the number crunchers among you, that’s 0.035% in work!

Yes Duncan Smith, Miller and McVey – we did tell you so; over and over again, we told you that a combination of discriminatory employers and lack of jobs, due to your austerity fuelled triple-dip recession, militates against disabled people in the field of employment.

Recently a group of Remploy workers met in Barking. To the horror of an ex-Remploy shop steward (currently on ESA) and a Unite organiser the overwhelming majority of those ex-Remploy workers were not only unemployed, but almost all were on JSA, and none was in receipt of the individualised support promised by the ConDems.

What makes this neglect so damning is this. When an unemployed person signs up to JSA they sign a contract stating they are prepared to work at least 40 hours per week and travel up to a radius of 90 minutes to and from work. Many disabled people can’t manage these times. While most Remploy workers were contracted to a 35-hour week; some worked shorter weeks; and few would have had three hours per day added for travelling.

Given that this group has not been properly advised there is a risk that if a job becomes available that they are not able to take up due to length of week and distance to travel they would be in breach of JSA and liable to benefit sanction.

Being denied proper advice could also mean that many of this group are not receiving the correct levels of benefit to which they are entitled. Thus, rather than receiving individualised help after being thrown out of their jobs; this group has been shafted from pretty much every direction possible.

43 comments on “As Empty As a Con Dem’s Promise

  1. I was on TV with Peter Hain in Wales, he stated Robert I can assure you every single person made redundant in Wales from Remploy will be found work.

    I know for a fact that not one single disabled person from the nine Remploy factories has found work, he stated I will give £3 million to the local council to get extra advisers to ensure all these people are working in main stream employment, none of them did and none of the three million reached us the disabled.

    Yes the evil Tories are doing the same sadly as I have stated before I cannot tell the differences between Labour now and the Tories now, listening to Cruddas to day telling us food banks are a good idea what next soups kitchens here to stay.

    we need a two tier welfare state and we know private companies which can do better then the state, people who have worked will get higher welfare benefits then those that have not.

    So not the more disabled will get the money they need, but the people who have been lucky enough to have found work.

    labour the word is slowly becoming an insult to the working class.

    Surely a child born with brain damage, or a child born with spina bifida should have the benefits they need to live a decent life.

    labour Tory the difference well I cannot see it anymore.

  2. treborc: labour Tory the difference well I cannot see it anymore.

    I totally agree with this, the two tier system we have in place is an illusion to make us all believe our vote counts and we get a say, DO WE FUCK!!! the political system in the UK is rotten to the core and is designed to benefit the rich and only them, As far as I’m concerned Labour is no longer a party for the poor and the working class, and the Tory’s never were, only option is to all vote for someone new with an open and transparent government…

  3. George Hallam on said:

    treborc: sadly I know of no party available at the moment

    That’s because you’ve never heard of Lewisham People Before Profit.

    http://www.peoplebeforeprofit.org.uk/

    Contrast what the other parties were saying with the economic programme LPBP put forward in the General Election of May 2010:

    “* Stop private companies milking the state – end all private contracts in the NHS, the prison services, police, army and civil service. This will allow public employees to concentrate on improving services

    * Protect our economy by managing our imports and the exchange rate of the pound – this is the only way we can create an environment for the rebuilding of British manufacturing

    * Take control of our core industries – renationalise energy, water, transport, telecommunications, steel and shipbuilding – and expand them.

    * Tame the City – the current financial system is so unstable and capricious that it is a threat, not just to itself, but to everyone. We need to: reinstate controls on the movement of capital; provide small businesses with a reliable source of finance through local authority banks; use the Post Offices for ordinary bank accounts.

    * Stand up to the EU – just about everything we need to do both locally and nationally is against some EU law or directive.”

    You might also compare it with what Miliband is saying today:
    http://liberalconspiracy.org/2013/02/14/ed-miliband-key-extracts-from-his-important-speech-on-labours-political-economy/

    For Lewisham People Before Profit’s manifesto see:

    http://www.peoplebeforeprofit.org.uk/attachments/LPBPManifesto.pdf

  4. uncle albert on said:

    George Hallam: Lewisham People Before Profit.

    Looks interesting – do you know if the group is intending to contest council and/or parliamentary seats?

  5. robert paul williams on said:

    A future government should commit to re-opening the Remploy factories closed by the ConDems… and also the ones closed by ‘Labour’. All the main parties have acted disgracefully over this.
    Time for something new I would say.

    We need a new workers party with a socialist program.

    The issue is debated with Owen Jones (author of ‘Chavs’) here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eze6gJsiF34

    and continued here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iHntZNHXLk

  6. George Hallam on said:

    uncle albert: Looks interesting – do you know if the group is intending to contest council and/or parliamentary seats?

    Yes, I do know.
    I expect you would also like to know if LPBP will contest council and parliamentary seats. Fundamentally we are a campaigning organisation, but we take elections seriously.

    So, yes, we will be putting up candidates in the local elections in May next year; we have a good chance of winning some seats.

    In a closely-fought byelection in Whitefoot ward last October, People Before Profit’s share of the vote was 10.9%, up from 4.4% in the GLA election in May 2012 and 3.2% in 2010.

    In a three vote contest we would expect do lot better.

    In May 2012 we stood in the GLA election. The constituency was large. It covered two boroughs, Greenwich and Lewisham; that is, six parliamentary constituencies. There was no free delivery of the election address. We delivered 50,000, targeting 6 wards for close to every household. We also gave out election addresses at stations and schools.

    Despite our material not getting to the majority of people, our candidate, Barbara Raymond, won 6873 votes from (5.2 percent) beating UKIP, BNP and NF and saving our deposit of £1000.

    In our target wards we got between 13.6 and 7.3 percent. We came second in two wards.

    It’s highly probable that we will contest one or more of the three parliamentary seats in the borough at the next general election. The exact number will depend on who else is standing.

  7. robert paul williams on said:

    George Hallam,

    There used to be a labour party that could be pushed from below by its trade union and working class members and affiliated bodies etc. The ideology -AND- the organisational/democratic structure of the LP has changed to such an extent that it is not possible any more.

    I don’t idealise the old Labour party, but it at least had the potential to be significantly moved… That is simply not the case anymore. Or at least as the SP put forward in the debate, it would take a civil war within the LP to change the situation.

    The videos that I posted #6 are actually quite balanced and worth watching, whatever side of the debate you agree with.

  8. George Hallam on said:

    robert paul williams: There used to be a labour party that could be pushed from below by its trade union and working class members and affiliated bodies etc.

    Do you have any evidence for this view?

  9. This depends on what you mean by a “workers’ party”. Presumably it refers to a party based around the political representation of a perceived common working-class interest.

    If that doesn’t describe the early Labour Party, what does?

    But does it really matter? If Labour was a workers’ party, it either ceased to be one, or it still is(!) – either way, given the state of things, it’s a bankrupt concept that no one should be championing.

  10. robert paul williams on said:

    Manzil: it’s a bankrupt concept that no one should be championing.

    Perhaps if the Labour party was still capable of being moved from below to act in the interests of ordinary working people instead of bowing down to big capital… perhaps then we would have a platform to fight back against this mad austerity and the current “state of things” as you put it.

  11. George Hallam on said:

    Manzil: This depends on what you mean by a “workers’ party”. Presumably it refers to a party based around the political representation of a perceived common working-class interest.
    If that doesn’t describe the early Labour Party, what does?

    Of course it depends on how you use the words.

    Even so, I can’t see how the early Labour Party was ever “based around the political representation of a perceived common working-class interest”.

    I don’t think any of it’s leaders perceived the existance of a “working class” that had any interests separate from that of society in general.

  12. robert paul williams,

    The issue is, though, why such a party does not exist now. If you believe Labour was a workers’ party, and no longer is, the question is: why this this happen? What’s to stop it happening again?

    Even if we accept that Labour was until relatively recently far more susceptible to pressure from below than is today the case, nevertheless it abandoned the idea of being an exclusively “workers’” party a long, long time ago. Sure didn’t Gaitskell want to rename it the “People’s Party”?

    George Hallam,

    If that’s the case, it begs the question why they founded the LRC in the first place!

    A significant stream, probably the bulk, of early “Labourites” obviously considered workers’ interests compatible with the maintenance of society as broadly constituted. But equally they recognised a distinct working-class interest, and felt that it was not being adequately represented.

    In 1906 their platform said, “This election is to decide whether or not Labour is to be fairly represented in Parliament. The House of Commons is supposed to be the people’s House, and yet the people are not there. Landlords, employers, lawyers, brewers, and financiers are there in force. Why not Labour? The Trade Unions ask the same liberty as capital enjoys. They are refused.”

    Throughout that period, Labour agitated for basic economic improvement in the lives of the of the masses. I think the proposition Labour was “based around the political representation of a perceived common working-class interest” is incontestable. (The problem being, that isn’t/wasn’t enough.)

  13. robert paul williams: act in the interests of ordinary working people instead of bowing down to big capital… perhaps then we would have a platform to fight back against this mad austerity and the current “state of things” as you put it.

    What i find interesting here is the lack of any ambition from most of the far left in advocating any concrete alternative economic policies that labour could do.

    You blame Labour for not articulating an alternative, but then neither do you, beyond puerile slogans.

  14. Andy Newman,

    That’s not fair.

    There seems to be a broad agreement that the bailout model of bribing the capitalist class to invest, particularly in infrastructure and other construction projects, have dismally failed. The private-sector investment strike continues and they refuse to cooperate, even to support a right-wing government that could use the help to smooth the wider structural attacks on the working class. The FT reported late last year that major funds had met only a third of the government’s expectations.

    We need direct state investment in the economy, geared towards social needs and long-term economic realignment. State control of banking and the use of a national bank to direct investment, funded if possible through the lower borrowing costs even now available to governments, but preferably through taxes on wealth, inheritance, financial speculation etc. Construction, development, a crash house-building programme, whatever. The more ‘public’, the more redistributive, the better. Likely including the state taking control of key sectors of the economy in order to better influence its direction.

    Saying Labour won’t accept these proposals is not the same as saying there aren’t any proposals.

  15. robert paul williams on said:

    Why not put a 50% levy on the £750 billion of corporate reserves sitting stagnant in the bank accounts of big business in the uk. Use that money to improve public services and provide council homes and jobs.

    Maybe you could put a motion through from your branch and get a debate going at the next party conference Andy and change party policy… … Oops… sorry.. forgot that the LP doesn’t really allow that sort of thing anymore.

  16. history tells us things on said:

    New Labour began the process of closing down Remploy..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEA6BCF5-s8&feature=player_embedded

    sussex-university-occupation-escalates
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/mortarboard/2013/feb/13/sussex-university-occupation-escalates

    Massive anti-privatisation student protest, fighting for the lowest paid at Sussex Uni,

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices…-as-a-market-but-students-do-not-8488719.html

    Anyway its not all gloom, this week hundreds of students are occupying parts of Sussex univesity not about fees, etc but in defence of the lowest paid workers on the campus as the University attempts to to outsource over 10% of the workforce including catering staff and cleaners. Its a pure act of solidarity and altruism and tbh, in these days of 30’000 for fees quite suprising as they are undoubtedly taking risks, being kicked out, etc…

    worth a SU article in its own right imo…

  17. George Hallam on said:

    Manzil: Trade Unions ask the same liberty as capital enjoys.

    Is this all you mean by the “a perceived common working-class interest”?

    If so, then I can see the logic of your position.

  18. ‘… we [the working-class movement] were all fighting for different aims; there was no common policy or common strategy.
    I now began consciously to feel the need for a working-class political party which could unite these gigantic struggles and give common leadership to them. We revolutionaries, as we called ourselves, not only lacked experience; we were also eaten up with rival jealousies and sectarianism. Each little group … thought itself right and everybody else wrong. Not only that, but amongst them all was the deepest suspicion of each other’s motives. The workers were begging for leadership, which we could not give. I look upon this period of golden opportunities, when we failed to provide the workers with real leadership, as one of the blackest and most tragic in the whole of my experience.’

    Harry Pollitt’s description of the situation in 1918/19, from ch. 6 of his autobiography, Serving My Time.

    Nice to see how, a century on, things have changed. History repeats itself, first as…?

  19. Andy Newman: What i find interesting here is the lack of any ambition from most of the far left in advocating any concrete alternative economic policies that labour could do.

    You blame Labour for not articulating an alternative, but then neither do you, beyond puerile slogans.

    That’s unfair Andy. SP policy is to do the time-warp: i.e., to return to a pre-Thatcher Britain.

    I guess it’s a neo-traditionalism, akin to the original socialist traditionalism espoused by the likes of Tawney.

  20. George Hallam: Is this all you mean by the“a perceived common working-class interest”?

    If so, then I can see the logic of your position.

    No, that is what they meant by it.

    Labourism was designed as a parliamentary platform for the workers’ movement, but subordinate to the existing national and social structure and with no intention of transcending it.

    That we did not have a consciously, officially socialist party like most European states is not in dispute.

    But if there is no difference between that and what you call a workers’ party, why use different terms? A workers’ party as a separate entity from a socialist party will obviously be less politically developed.

  21. Feodor: Nice to see how, a century on, things have changed. History repeats itself, first as…?

    Nothing wrong with a bit of tragedy… 1918/19? Then this isn’t a depressing excerpt after all! Those buggers got their act together shortly thereafter, even if it did take a lot of Russian haranguing.

    Anyone for a do-over?

  22. George Hallam on said:

    Manzil: Labourism was designed as a parliamentary platform for the workers’ movement, but subordinate to the existing national and social structure and with no intention of transcending it.
    That we did not have a consciously, officially socialist party like most European states is not in dispute.
    But if there is no difference between that and what you call a workers’ party, why use different terms? A workers’ party as a separate entity from a socialist party will obviously be less politically developed.

    Now you’ve confused me.

  23. George Hallam: Now you’ve confused me.

    Well, you either you think a socialist party and a workers’ party must be the same thing; or else, a party can be a workers’ party (e.g. the early Labour Party) yet still have crap, liberal ideas.

    The early Labour leadership certainly envisioned themselves as a workers’ party, but not as an explicitly socialist one. I don’t see what’s confusing. I disagree with the position, but it’s consistent.

  24. Jimmy Haddow on said:

    On Sunday 14 February 1993, 20 years ago today, I was officially expelled, after almost 13 years membership, from the Labour Party for bring the said Labour party into disrepute because I actively opposed the Poll Tax which ended in my jailing. They also added into the charge that being involved in the Militant Tendency also brought the Labour party into disrepute, but the local Labour Parties I had been involved in all knew that and it did not cause them any hassle.

    Just thought I would let you know that because it was during the culmination process of the Labour Party ending its association as a workers’ party with a pro-capitalist leadership into capitalist political party with the accession of Tony Blair in 1994 and his mission to eradicate clause 4, part 4 of the constitution.

    I wonder how many of the contributors were in the Labour Party when it was a workers’ party albeit with a pro-capitalist leadership to make the judgement calls to say it was not a political party of workers’ representation. I also have to say despite the fact that I was no longer a member of the Labour Party, I, and Militant, still continued to advocate a fight for the retention of clause 4, part 4 because it was the cornerstone of the Labour Party surviving as a party of working class political representation. That is no longer the case and the past is a different epoch compared to today and the Labour Party is no different to the Tories and Lib Dems; a thorough capitalist party.

  25. Andrew Grace on said:

    Foreword to the 1947 Labour Party edition of the Communist Manifesto. By Chairman Harold Laski

    In presenting this centenary volume of the Communist Manifesto, with the valuable Historical Introduction by Professor Laski, the Labour Party acknowledges its indebtedness to Marx and Engels as two men who have been the inspiration of the whole working class movement.

    The British Labour Party has its roots in the history of Britain. The Levellers, Chartists, Christian Socialists, the Fabians and many other bodies, all made it possible to carry theory into practice. John Ball, Robert Owen, William Morris, Keir Hardie, John Burns, Sydney Webb, and many more British men and women have played outstanding parts in the development of socialist thought and organisation. But British socialists have never isolated themselves from their fellows on the continent of Europe. Our own ideas have been different from those of continental socialism which stemmed more directly from Marx, but we, too, have been influenced in a hundred ways by European thinkers and fighters, and, above all, by the authors of the Manifesto.

    Britain played a large part in the lives and work of both Marx and Engels. Marx spent most of his adult life here and is buried in Highgate cemetery. Engels was a child of Manchester, the very symbol of capitalist industrialism. When they wrote of bourgeois exploitation they were drawing mainly on English experience.

    The authors were the first to admit that principles must be applied in the light of existing conditions, but even the detailed programme they put forward is of great interest to us. Abolition of private property in land has long been a demand of the Labour movement. A heavy progressive income tax is being enforced by the present Labour government as a means of achieving social justice. We have gone far towards the abolition of the right of inheritance by our heavy death duties. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the state is partially attained in the Bank of England and other measures. We have largely nationalised the means of communication while extending public ownership of the factories and instruments of production. We have declared the equal obligation of all to work. We are engaged in redressing the balance between town and country, between industry and agriculture. Finally, we have largely established free education for all children in publicly-owned schools. Who, remembering that these were the demands of the Manifesto, can doubt our common inspiration.

    Finally, a word about the introduction. in his preface to the 1922 Russian edition of the Manifesto, Riazanov pointed out that a commentary would need to do three things:

    To give the history of the social and revolutionary movement which called the Manifesto into life as the programme of the first international communist organisation.
    To trace the genesis, the source, of the basic ideas contained in the Manifesto, to show their place in the history of thought, to bring out what was new in the philosophy of Marx and Engels, what differentiates them from earlier thinkers.
    To indicate to what extent the Manifesto stands the test of historical criticism and how far it needs amplification and correction in certain points.
    Riazanov did not produce such a massive work; Professor Laski has gone far towards it, and we look forward to the further material he promises. Since his publication of Communism, twenty years ago, he has been the foremost English authority on the subject. It is unnecessary to do more than command to all the present scholarly Introduction which he has presented to the Labour Party for this special centenary edition of the Manifesto.

    November 1947

  26. George Hallam on said:

    Manzil: Well, you either you think a socialist party and a workers’ party must be the same thing; or else, a party can be a workers’ party (e.g. the early Labour Party) yet still have crap, liberal ideas.

    There are many usages than the two you mention,

    Could you accept that for some people might not regard ‘socialist’ as a term of approbation and therefore might think that a party might be a socialist party yet still have risible ideas?

    Similarly, it is possible that some might bridle at the prospect of classifying all parties that purport to represent the interests of workers as “workers’ parties”.

  27. George Hallam on said:

    Andrew Grace: Foreword to the 1947 Labour Party edition of the Communist Manifesto.

    There was a Punch cartoon in the 1950s (?) showing a smartly dressed woman outside a church talking earnestly to a perplexed-looking vicar.

    The caption read “What you said about the meek inheriting the Earth is so right. We must guard against that.”

  28. George Hallam:
    Could you accept that for some people might not regard ‘socialist’ as a term of approbation and therefore might think that a party might be a socialist party yet still have risible ideas?

    Similarly, it is possible that some might bridle at the prospect of classifying all parties that purport to represent the interests of workers as “workers’ parties”.

    Never mind some, there’s probably loads of such people, but I can’t be bothered to defer to their prejudices on a sight called Socialist Unity. They can think what they like, but I’m talking from my political perspective, as each of us only can, so why should I tiptoe around it?

    Anyway, that has very little to do with the point at hand. Which is that the idea that Labour’s leaders didn’t accept “the existence of a ‘working class’ that had any interests separate from that of society in general”, and that it didn’t aim to offer “political representation of a perceived common working-class interest” is just incorrect. The very justification of the party was as a sectional voice for the working class.

  29. George Hallam on said:

    Manzil: the idea that Labour’s leaders didn’t accept “the existence of a ‘working class’ that had any interests separate from that of society in general”, and that it didn’t aim to offer “political representation of a perceived common working-class interest” is just incorrect. The very justification of the party was as a sectional voice for the working class.

    Let us split hairs.

    You are using the term ‘working class’ as if it was unproblematic. I beg to differ.

    In the text you quoted the words used were ‘Labour’ and the ‘Trade Unions’ which I assume you regard as synonyms for ‘working class’.

    Try this experiment.

    For ‘Labour’, substitute the terms ‘trade unionists’, ‘the lower orders’, ‘the people’ (as in ‘the People’) and ‘the proletariat’ into the 1906 statement. Does this change the meaning?

    I would say it does. The terms ‘the lower orders’ and ‘the people’ lump together all sorts of groups and interests.

    In contrast, ‘trade unionists’ and ‘the proletariat’ are much more tightly defined. However, they are not identical; typically, only a minority of the proletariat are members of trade unions. More importantly, the interests of ‘trade unionists’ are not identical to these of the class of proletarians.

    For me there is a big differnce between ‘a sectional voice’ and the interests of a fundemantal socio-economic grouping (aka ‘class’).

    The LRC and, from 1906, the Labour Party had no intention of representing the interests of a class. Had the Labour Party done so I doubt that the Liberal party (and later the Conservative party) would have been so solicitous about helping to consolidate it as part of the British political establishment.

  30. George Hallam: Let us split hairs.

    No, George. Let’s really not.

    Because words can mean different things, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t mean anything.

    No one is suggesting the founders of the Labour Party were militant class-fighters. It’s not even a question of organised versus unorganised workers. Their relation to unskilled trade unionists was also problematic. Women, the unemployed, colonised peoples in the empire etc. barely got a look in.

    But to suggest the Labour Party did not envision itself as representing the working class as it understood the term is just flat-out wrong, however much it appears to offend your sensibilities.

    Additionally, we have to cover some old ground: No, I do not believe ‘Labour’ or the ‘Trade Union’ interest is synonymous with the working class. Just as I did not believe ‘political representation’ was all a workers’ party should be. Or what constituted a ‘common workers’ interest’.

    As I said in response to you in these other matters, the identity of the trade union and the workers’ interest is what they thought. Because of the lack of a wider political analysis. Thus the quotation marks. Merely quoting something does not constitute agreement.

    “George Hallam,” said the hypothetical man, “is right to ‘pick hairs’ over absolutely nothing.”

    See? I quoted that despite vehemently disagreeing with it.

  31. George Hallam on said:

    Manzil: Because words can mean different things, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t mean anything.

    It is just because words can mean anything that we need to be sensitive about the meaning intended.

    “Words are wise men’s counters, they do but reckon by them; but they are the money of fools”.
    Hobbs Leviathan Pt. I, Ch. 4.

  32. George Hallam on said:

    Manzil: But to suggest the Labour Party did not envision itself as representing the working class as it understood the term is just flat-out wrong

    I think that “flat-out wrong” is too strong. However your previous paragraph gives an indication of what many in the Labour Party might have understood by the term ‘working class’.

    Manzil: It’s not even a question of organised versus unorganised workers. Their relation to unskilled trade unionists was also problematic. Women, the unemployed, colonised peoples in the empire etc. barely got a look in.

    I think that drawing attention to this meaning has been useful, however much it appears to “offend your sensibilities”.

  33. Karl Stewart on said:

    George Hallam,

    Hi George, are you arguing the use of terms like “socialist” or “workers” in a party’s name or within a party’s “mission statement” of key “aims and objects” should be avoided on the grounds that some might be put off by them?

  34. The important question is whether what the newly formed Labour Party in fact did represent in class terms was significantly different to what had existed previously.

    I would argue that it did, and that this was confirmed by the adoption of clause 4 part 4 in 1918. It was confirmed (negatively) even further by Blair’s stated goal of getting rid of that distinction which he attempted achieve by means of the abolition of clause 4, and removing the link with the unions.

  35. George Hallam on said:

    Karl Stewart: Hi George, are you arguing the use of terms like “socialist” or “workers” in a party’s name or within a party’s “mission statement” of key “aims and objects” should be avoided on the grounds that some might be put off by them?

    Hello Karl.

    No.

    I’m just trying to get some clarity over the meaning of terms like these.

  36. George Hallam on said:

    Vanya: The important question is whether what the newly formed Labour Party in fact did represent in class terms was significantly different to what had existed previously.
    I would argue that it did,

    I suppose it was to be expected that you would ignore the evidence and argue this.

  37. George Hallam: It is just because words can mean anything that we need to be sensitive about the meaning intended.

    “Words are wise men’s counters, they do but reckon by them; but they are the money of fools”.
    Hobbs Leviathan Pt. I, Ch. 4.

    But that’s the point: you’re not being ‘sensitive’. You’re saying your definitional understandings are the only ones. So Labourism was predicated on a crude, minimalist – even reactionary – understanding of the working class and its interests. Your point being, what, exactly?

    “Water, fire, air and dirt / Fucking magnets, how do they work?”
    The Insane Clown Posse, Collected Works, Vol. 3