‘People are pissed off with us.’

More from New Labour here.

 I once did a Red Pepper Labour Party conference fringe meeting in Brighton, I am not quite sure why I was asked I have never been a Labour Party member or had much connection with the Party.

The audience confessed how they had been variously demoted from positions as councillors and carved up in various ways by the Blairites but admitted that mostly because New Labour had put the party in power, they would stick with the project.  Given Labour’s long years of defeat in the 1980s they had a point perhaps.

Neo-liberalism has never been about power for ‘labour’ and now it has run out of steam for the ‘third way’ supporters and no longer even provides electoral success for career politicians.

What happens next?

My feeling is that Crudas and Compass will make the party just about acceptable to some on the left and to the unions to keep the show on the road, after election defeat, thus blocking the creation of any real left alternative.

Perhaps I am being pessimistic but may be we on the Left of the Greens, in Respect, the ideologically imaginative in Plaid,  etc, etc, etc, etc right down to Permanent Revolution and Workers Power…are going to have it tougher too.

Well how will we socialists in all our diversity react to the defeat of New Labour by recession and the right?

Perhaps the dog years of New Labour provided a window of opportunity which will close with Conservative success in the next General Election?

Or am I having a rare moment of undue worry….we certainly need to discuss all this and debate practical strategy for advancing beyond the present marker based madness.

92 comments on “‘People are pissed off with us.’

  1. Derak,
    Whatever you think of the Labour Party over the last 10 years, don’t you think the swastika cheapens anything else you have to say?

  2. I think the swastika is apt. New Labour have ethnically cleansed and legislated the English out of existence.
    One of the leaves should have BBC on it too.

  3. Bennett on said:

    Can we leave swastikas out of the debate. There’s enough ways to criticise New labour without resorting to such an offensive analogy.

  4. Mark P on said:


    We all make mistakes from time to time. I’ve made plenty myself. But the mark of political judgement is to own up when you make an error.

    Labelling Labour nazi and fascist does your green politics absolutely no favours it all, its a serious political misjudgement.

    Either you thought it a classy bit of political rhetoric, why? What possible good does it do to put a swastika on a Labour red rose?

    Or you seriously believe this, that Labour is social-fascist. Not only is that politically delusional, it makes it rather hard to explain why London’s mayoral candidate, and Green Left member, Sian Berry correctly called for a second preference vote for Ken Livingstone. Ken may be an occasional maverick but in this instance he was the official Labour Party candidate.

    I hold no broef for Labour. I don’t vote for them, mostly Green or Respect, and like you I disagree with almost all their current policies. But to depict Labour as nazi or fascist is really stupid. Please either remove the silly illustration and quote, or if you really believe Labour deserves to be labelled fascist then at least explain why.

    Mark P

  5. Halshall on said:

    I echo Mark P’s comment in #4. I voted for SB first pref and KL second pref, with grave reservations re KL* but without hesitation. I also joined the ‘united front’ leafleting for KL along with Labour Party members and others. [I’m in Respect.] IMO this was the right thing to do, even though the result did make it a waste’ no thanks to Ken.*
    To label (however ironically)the LP and myself and others as ‘nazi collaborators because we preferred KL to the Tory is self-evidently crass, and does nothing to enhance your cred (in fact quite the reverse).
    It really is the silliest thing to suggest that Labour (even New Labour) is somehow ‘social–fascist’; not to mention deeply offensive.
    Do you really think that there are no lessons to be learnt from history?
    In this case the obvious one of the united front, but historically the calamitous decision of Joe Stalin to adopt the crazy strategy of the so-called ‘third period’ and divide the opppositon to the Nazis allowing them to come to power.

    *[The fact that that KL lost the election for us despite our combined efforts to re-elect him, by identifying himself as strongly as he could with the rotten Labour government and their anti W/C neo-liberalism is another (but still relevant) matter]

  6. C.O.T. on said:

    Agreed that the use of the swastika is of debatable taste.

    However, if the quote from Mussolini is applied as a benchmark measurement to gauge the percentage taken by the corporate claw from the income of the average household…

    How much of that income goes to the “corporate tills”.

    Electricity, gas, food, nearly all supplied by the corporate state.

    Every high street fashion store an identical clone of the next, all the so-called “choice” supplied by the same half dozen “Big names”.
    A state-owned television service, that services the state.

    Then there are the cctv cameras, the `phone taps, the stop and search, the border and immigration checks, the armed forces and their never-ending wars, detention without trial, internet surveillance and censorship, and…… `allo…`allo…

  7. George T on said:

    Darling’s statement about the toughest economic situation in 60 years would suggest that he thinks the economic crisis may be worse than that in the 80s – an appalling situation. At present, Brown seems to be in hiding – unable to bring himself to even the most meagre reforms in an attempt to appease Labour’s base. The Government seems obsessed with its borrowing and the reaction of the bosses to any initiative. Forecasters suggest unemployment will rise to officially 1 million in the next few months and this impacts on New Labour’s green paper on welfare. The reactionary proposals in the Green paper demonstrate Brown is set to following a path to defeat. The odds are shortening on him going even before an election and I cant help thinking darling’s statement was partly directed at Brown. Thus we face the potential of another leadership election, but can we really see Cruddas coming out of it favourably. Socialists should seek to build an alternative to Labour in the current climate – orientating to pay disputes etc..

  8. Mark P on said:

    Look don’t get sidetracked.

    Is it acceptable to slap a swastika on the Labour Party red rose and append a quote from Mussolini?

    Its both politically wrong-headed and deeply offensive. Doesn’t matter how much you detest Blair and Borown they’re not Hitler and Mussolini. Its really as simple as that.

    In due course I do hope Derek will come on here and explain why he’s removing this stupid illustration and quote, and if not, why.

    Mark P

  9. The graphic is bizarre juvenile sloganeering and no sensible discussion is possible about any piece which it illustrates. It should be removed. Maybe the fairly late hour on a Friday night at which it was posted has something to do with it.

    Fascism has a very specific meaning. It involves the physical destruction of the organisations of the working class and a particular type of regime running the state. Implying that New Labour is drifting towards fascism is just wrong and puts a pointless, silly barrier to any conversation with Labour supporters.

  10. You often see that quote attributed to Mussolini – but never with a reliable source attached to it. Sometimes the claim is that Giovanni Gentile said it, and Mussolini later took the credit for it, but I haven’t ever seen that claim reliably sourced either.

    In any case, even if either of them said it, or wrote it (which seems to me to be unlikely), what the Italian Fascists meant by the Corporate State, or Corporativism, or whatever, has almost nothing at all to do with the way in which the term is used in politics today, where it tends to refer mainly to large commercial enterprises. That’s not what the Fascists were talking about at all.

  11. non partisan on said:

    8* Borown they’re not Hitler and Mussolini. Its really as simple as that.

    yes that is simple, no disagreements. But does the graphic draw an equal sign between NU lab and facism? NO

    so firstly calm down, it does show a progression, an evolution a metamorphosis if you like. OK now discuss,
    are there elements in NULAB policies, agenda, economics that could open the door to the popularisation of fascist ideas? bit more of a discussion here I think

    Brown “British Jobs for British Workers” as one example.
    Blears on Housing and immigration. I could go on, but you get the point.

    Liam is right fascism is a specific form that the r/c may turn to in a polarised crises, no where near there yet by a long run.

    But…. this is not an overnight process, and despite the ‘coups’ march on rome, munich, reichstag fire etc etc, it is a genuine question to ask, does reformism, social democracy politically pave the the way and open the door to much more sinister poltics? ‘political suicide’ if you like because fascism does mean the destruction of the workers movement.

    This is a real discussion, and those whose target is a renewed social democracy, will obviously balk at this.

    However much Scargill promoted class struggle methods, his consistent call for immigration controls was a real block in the political development of class struggle politics during the miners strike.

    Strange that it has to be a green to point out this political point, while so many ‘socialists’ gasp in horror.

  12. Its silly, its a bit ultra-left also to stick a Swastika on Blair’s Red Rose.

    But I dont find it ‘offensive’. And the analogies with calling old-style social democracy ‘social-fascist’ dont really wash. New Labour is not ‘social’ hyphen anything.

    Its no worse that those who misguidedly called Thatcher a fascist. Its wrong, its silly, it could be politically disarming.

    I remember in the miners strike some miners carrying a picture of Hitler on a placard captioned ‘Maggie’s Dad’. That was funny. It certainly wasn’t offensive. It was also politically wrong, at many levels. You can point that out politically without getting all prissy on Thatchers’ behalf.

    Ditto in this case.

  13. I think you have it right. What New Labour has done is truly frightening. And we must always remember that New Labour are not LABOUR. Nor even socialists.

  14. Mark P on said:

    Gawd. You just don’t get it do you.

    Labour are not Nazis or fascists. To pretend otherwise for the sake of rhetorical flourish betrays an extraordinary lack of depth of politics.

    Mark P

  15. non partisan on said:

    Mark you don’t get it do you? no one is saying they are!

    can’t be a bit nuanced and deal with the point?

  16. It seems to me likely that the world elite are planning fascism for the time at which ecological and climate chaos threatens their security, and the first groundwork in terms of legislation has faithfully been put in place for them by New Labour MPs in parliament, as led by TB & GB.

    Doesn’t make them swastika-saluting Nazis as such, but it should be a source of a bit of worry to us all.

    I mean, on what rational basis would Brown have put every last piece of political capital he had left into, of all things, forcing through 42 days detention without charge?

    PS By the way, by all means remove the swastika from the flower-head, but do leave Sky, BAe and Esso on the wilted petals. Those do sum up the world that New Labour has made. In fact a rose with no flower at all but twisted barbed wire supporting those corporate parasites would be quite a good visual analogy for what New Labour has built.

  17. Halshall on said:

    I am reminded of a occaision when I was about 11 and sat very bored at the back of Jewish relgious class one winter sunday back in the 50s.
    The windows were all steamed up and I drew a large swastika on one just to gain the attention of the Rabbi who was teaching.
    He was understandably very upset and quickly wiped it, but rather wisely refused to make too much fuss and let the matter go. He never told my parents and never mentioned it to me again. I never repeated it.
    The bitter memory of the holucaust was still very raw then and it doesn’t hurt too be reminded what our parents had to go through during the Blitz.
    Mine were in the heart of it in the East End and lost relatives and friends. The psychological damage was long lasting and deep, they never got over it.
    My father was a firefighter, one of thousands who saved London but not without personal cost.
    Using imagery like the swastika as a jibe at a Labour government that truly stinks however is hardly comparable to fighting fascism.
    What about the thousands of LP supporters who fought to stop Mosley at Cable Street? Were they unwitting Fascist collaborators? Was I stupid to begin my political life in the LP forty years ago? Was I an unwitting fascist collaborator then because I was then a member of a social-democratic party in which ‘Red’ Barbara proposed ‘In place of Strife’?
    Or is it the stupidity of that adolescent boy drawing swastikas that really warrants our attention?
    That Rabbi was a wise man!

  18. If you voted Labour in 1997 what did you get… Hyper Thatcherism.

    Neo Conservative policies abroad, the Iraq catastrophe, a Labour War costing 1000, 000 Iraqi civilian deaths and some people still think Labour is worth supporting!
    The Afghan tragedy, the Kosovo two step and Milliband threatening Russia.
    Arms sales booming whilst the rich loot Africa, again.

    Neo liberalism at home, Corporate regulation a complete farce,privatisation,looting and assett stripping unleashed.Public bad Private good. The scandal of Quinetiq sums up the Labour Party.

    Murdoch in the Cabinet and Digby Jones in the Government.Adonis unelected, destroys Comprehensive Education and allows rich evangelical creationists to run poor peoples Schools.

    Milburne, Hewitt and Johnsons privatisation and break up of the NHS.

    Attacks on asylum seekers, the unemployed,the disabled and the poor.
    Attacks on Union reps and victimisation of any NHS staff prepared to speak out against privatisation.

    Attacks on good pensions to be replaced by no or poor pensions

    Bail out of the rich Bankers

    Bail out of the Motgage market

    Arming the Saudi tyrants

    Nuclear Weapons upgraded and Trident replacement

    University tuition fees

    Lebanon invaded and destroyed from the air whilst ZaNuLabour looks the other way. See the reaction to Georgia for a lesson in hypocrisy

    Labours internal democracy is destroyed completely.

    Labour Conference, reduced to a Corporate sponsorship event and media training opportunity for Murdoch owned wannabe Labour MPs and Ministers.

    Labour MPs, a bigger bunch of useless self satisfied, nose in the trough, gutless, spineless, fatuous, wankers you will go a long way to find.

    My ZaNuLabour MP voted twice against the Government since 1997, once in favour of increasing his travel expenses and once to keep his expenses secret.

    When asked about Mental Health Foundation Trusts victimising Unison stewards he turns into Pontius Pilate, says its a local decision nothing to do with him, the Minister or Labour.

    As for Labour Party members in the past they would have put up a fight against the War. There would have been activism and outrage with direct action and meetings. Now they are incapable of producing a meeting, leaflet, campaign, resolution, whelk stall or telephone help line.
    Labours new catchy slogan should be

    “1000,000 Iraqi civilian dead. Nothing said.

    The Labour Party

    Proud to be Neo Con ”

    Labour is now a wholly owned subsidiary of News International. Its mission staement and unique selling point as measured by the FTSE key performance indicators is

    “To provide marketisation opportunities to the Wealthy few who want to privatise public services, make big profits, provide shit services to the many and all at no risk”

    The Labour Party is not worth a vote
    I hope it is destroyed.
    Fuck the Labour Party

  19. #17 >>>What about the thousands of LP supporters who fought to stop Mosley at Cable Street? Were they unwitting Fascist collaborators? Was I stupid to begin my political life in the LP forty years ago? Was I an unwitting fascist collaborator then because I was then a member of a social-democratic party in which ‘Red’ Barbara proposed ‘In place of Strife’?

    Sorry Halshall but this won’t do. The red rose is specifically the symbol of New Labour and this visual attack on it has nothing to do with the Labour Party you may have previously been involved with. This debate should focus on the appropriateness or otherwise of using the swastika to sum up the corporate takeover of the state, over which New Labour has presided.

    There is no way the New Labour of today can claim credit for being at Cable Street, nor indeed even the memory of Barbara Castle.

  20. The use of the swastika in relation to New Labour shows a lack of political clarity. Many sections of the working class still identify themselves as being ‘Labour’. This therefore alienates the very people that should be connecting with and sends a very confusing message.

    Linking fascism to the Labour Party has the danger of leading activists in the wrong direction. In order to defeat fascism, it must first be understood what it is. If people seriously think that New Labour are a fascist organisation then we are in real trouble.

    This isn’t even ultra left posturing. It is poor politics and extremely misguided. Hopefully this is just restricted to blog land and not used as a campaigning method. I have a lot of time and respect for Derek – I think he is way off the mark here though and hope it is merely an abberation

  21. Mark P and Liam are absolutely right (you don’t get SWP members saying that too often…) Using fascism as a generic equivalent for ‘right-wing unpleasantness’ takes away what’s distinctive about fascism.#2 illustrates why this is a really stupid and offensive image – it looks like one of the ding-bat right-wing attacks on the Labour Party that you get at Harry’s Place, on a par with the (even more offensive and racist) ZaNuLabour tag.

  22. Barry Kade on said:

    If Labour were a fascist party we would be in concentration camps! It reminds me of childish attempts in the 1980’s to describe Thatcher as a Fascist.

    Instead new Labour and Thatcher = right wing capitalists who rule via bourgeois democracy.

    We have more in our theoretical repertoire and vocabulary than denouncing what we don’t like as ‘facism’.

    The term Fascism should be used as a tool of analysis, not as a swear word.

    Using it this way also undermines its power to be used to label the real fascists like the BNP.

    I also think Derek sometimes has quite weak and confused politics – he is obviously no great Marxist theoretician or leader! Just someone with crude gut feeling anti-capitalism. And I say this as a fellow member of the Green Party!

    Please Andy – remove this stupid graphic.

  23. Okhotnik za fashistami ha ha ha on said:

    I am not sure asylum seekers persecuted under this government which panders to BNP-type prejudice would be so shocked to see Labour associated with fascist symbols. For all we know, they’re preparing the way for the fash even if they are not themselves.

  24. The graphic from schnews may be a bit much for some of you who are not imprisoned in campsfield…however my argument is that the Tories will win the next General Election, Labour will move a little to the compass/Crudas left and the space for the left outside labour to progress will be reduced.

    Am I worrying unduly, I don’t think so.

  25. non partisan on said:

    chjh and Barry, to use Mark’s words You just don’t get it do you?

    No one is saying nu lab = fascism. Nowhere on this thread does it say that.

    New Labour is not fascist. 10 out of 10 for pointing out the blindingly obvious.

    Now- a discussion about whther social democracy politically prepares the ground for fascism?

    is this a real discussion or not?

    The national chauvinism. The pro imperialism?
    The immigration controls? The whole ayslum seeker agenda?
    politically preparing the ground for attacks on the right to organise?
    attacks on civil rights?

    no one is saying these measures are fascist- but do these measures and thier political justification- make it easier for fascists to organise?

    There were battles in germany to, street battles against the facsists, and in Italy, were many social democratic supporting workers shed blood in the struggle to stop the fascists-but it is no less true that the fascists were aided into power by the social democratic leaderships refusal to effectively fight the politics of, and the fascists themselves.

    in both Germany and Italy the fascists had wings that saw itself as socialist,
    (Obviously duping those workers involved) but the question remains how could they do so, if the workers movement were not infected with the chauvinism and
    ‘we as a nation’ nationalism of the social democrats.

    it is noticeable that those who see a renewel of social democracy as thier target, actually refuse to engage with this discussion, and instead say any connection graphicly or otherwise between the LP and the swastika is offensive.

    what is offensive is allowing the politics of national chauvinism and racism to hide under the fig leaf of social democracy and ‘the workers movement’

    ok just so you know- I am not saying NULAb is fascist ok? and yes a campaign using the material above would I think be wrong, because thier is a very real fascist organisation on the streets of Britain that needs defeating with as much support from Lan and Nulab as it is possible to garner. But please respond to the political points.

    This is a site for socialists, who should be able to handle this discussion without fainting in shock, or being reduced to Mark P’s patronising ‘Oh my gawd you just don’t get it do you’ ( subtext- how stupid are the posters on here, that need me to explain this to them)

  26. Derek – as far as I am aware, trade unionists, Gypsies, socialists and Jewish people are not being forcibly rounded up and taken to Campsfield to be gassed. Maybe I am wrong?

    I am not in agreement with Campsfield, but to compare it with Nazi concentration camps is way off the mark.

    On the other point, I am not entirely sure that New Labour will move to the left, even of the Compass/Cruddas variety of centre-left. History doesn’t show that this necessarily follows and if anything could lead them to turn further to the right.

  27. I don’t remember mentioning anything about ‘Nazi concentration camps’ but thanks for your thoughts on New Labour moving further to the right or not which is what I wanted to open a discussion about.

  28. The opening line of 24 implies that you are equating Campsfield to the Nazi’s which seems to mean that Campsfield = Nazi concentration camp. It is not, and we need to move away from the analogy that New Labour are a fascist organisation. Right wing bourgeois democratic yes, but fascist they aren’t.

    Labour started their lurch further to the right whilst in opposition in the 80’s. It was during this period that socialists were purged and expelled, most infamously was the treatment of Militant. Kinnock et al laid the foundations for New Labour and I think after defeat by the Tories, NL will shift again. They will maintain that the reason for the defeat was that they weren’t right-wing enough IMHO.

  29. Mark P on said:

    “The graphic from schnews may be a bit much for some of you who are not imprisoned in campsfield…however my argument is that the Tories will win the next General Election, Labour will move a little to the compass/Crudas left and the space for the left outside labour to progress will be reduced.’ Derek Wall

    I’m sorry you choose to entirely miss the point. Is Labour a nazi or fascist party? Is it appropriate to attach the swastika and a quote from Mussolini in depicting Labour as a fascist party.

    The answer to both should be a resounding no. You are dabbling in rhetorical flourish and never mind the consequences. You don’t even attempt to justify the choice of these noxious symbols. This isn’t politics its posturing for effect. And you’re lucky you’re doing it on a (relatively) obscure leftwing website. If this is genuinely what you believe then have the guts to go public with this. ‘Green Party Principal Speaker says Labour Party is on verge of fascism. Brown as bad as Hitler Derek Wall claims….’ Mmm, lets see your standing rise in the Green Party on the basis of that kind of level of stupidity.

    I’m sorry, you’re a tireless and respected campaigner, solid internationalist and rigorously non-sectarian but on this you’ve got it badly wrong. Theres absolutely nothing to be criticised in admitting when one makes a mistake, why not do precisely that and we can have a measured debate on Labour’s forward march to the right and deadly embrace of corporate power.

    Mark P

    PS “However much Scargill promoted class struggle methods, his consistent call for immigration controls was a real block in the political development of class struggle politics during the miners strike” Non partisan.

    ‘Non partisan’ If you want to be taken seriously get your head out of student union politics mode. ‘NUM lose miners strike ‘cos Scargill fails to oppose all immigration controls’ , yes got a real ring of revolutionary truth that one!

  30. Halshall on said:

    ‘the Red Rose is specifically the symbol of New Labour’

    Actually it was introduced under Kinnock’s leadership years before New Labour.

    The point is to see these things with a sense of proportionality.
    Kinnock’s long march to the right took 10 years from 83 to the election lost uneccessarily in 93, before Blair appeared and set up New labour. Kinnock himself took over from Foot’s (limited) witchunt of some of the ‘extra-parliamentary’ Left after the rapid decline of Bennism in 81.
    During this period you had a series of major defeats for the W/C, most notably the Miners in 84/85 during which Kinnock played a scabbing role whilst many rank and file LP members were active in supporting the miners defence committees.

    One could say that the LP in government has always betrayed the W/C because it believes that you have to prop up the system in exchange for a few concessions. In oppositon it used to turn left, but the left is now so weak that this doesn’t seem at all likely to happen anymore. When Labour is in government it becomes ‘ There is no alternative’ TINA, the mantra of Blair and Brown.
    The TU bureaucracy with a very few exceptions go along with this and keep down struggle as best (or worst)as they can.
    So I’m not just talking about the ‘good old days’ of ‘Old’Labour (there weren’t any), only about the low level of struggle that has enabled the Labour Party, both ‘Old’ and ‘New’, to sell out workers for as long as I know.
    As to comparing this with fascism, it’s a quite different beast (however rotten and unpleasant) otherwise as someone else said we as trade unionists would have been in concentration camps long ago, including the very same TU bureaucrats and social-democrats.

  31. Mark P on said:

    Er. It doesn’t matter what it is, you have approvingly used a graphic that affixes a swastika to a Labour Party badge and then appended a quote from Mussolini just to drive home the point.

    Cartoonists don’t always use satire to the wisest effect, Danish cartoons of Mohammed for example?

    A political activist like yourself with a well worked -out analysis of corporate power (which I largely agree with incidentally) can surely recognise that Labour however loathsome is neither Nazi nor fascist. To give any hint that you think this simply distorts the valuable points you are seeking to make. Just have the good sense to remove the image and recognise the error made. Is that really too much to ask? If you leave it up you’re just digging a deeper and deeper hole for yourself.

    Mark P

  32. Pardon me,
    didn’t New Labour (Blair Brown, Straw et al) commit the same crime as Hitler of ‘unprovoked aggression’ against both Afghanistan and Iraq?

    So what’s the problem of equating the war crimes of New Labour with other war criminal regimes, I don’t know.

    Ask our victims what they think of Derek’s poetic licence?

    I’m sure it won’t be difficult to find Iraqis will who agree there is more than a passing resemblence to our own government’s illegal crimes and genocide in Iraq (which is what some people are refering to it as) and the crimes of other notorious regimes who attacked, invaded and illegaly occupied innocent defenceless countries and people not too long ago.

    Yes, we really do love to think the best of ourselves don’t we. Us noble westerners who have been pillaging and plundering the Global South for the past 500 years.

    How easily our crimes escape our memory – how easy their largley non-existent crimes are retold day after day in screaming western corporate headlines.

    As for the English Red Rose as a symbol of Labour/New Labour – says it all really.

    Same with the Tory English Oak Tree as their party symbol.

    all the best from Porridge-Land Derek!

  33. Mark P on said:

    “didn’t New Labour (Blair Brown, Straw et al) commit the same crime as Hitler of ‘unprovoked aggression’ against both Afghanistan and Iraq?’ joe90

    This is precisely the slippery slop this slack use of the swastika leads to. It is apolitical rhetoric taking the place of analysis. Blair and Brown are not Hitler and Mussolini, to suggest otherwise betrays a bewildering lack of understanding of fascism from those who normally wear their anti-fascist credentials as badge of honour.

    This is nothing to do with being ‘soft’ on new Labour, its about not indulging in juvenile posturing in the cause of the futile race towards being lefter than thou.

    Mark P

  34. I understand what you’re saying Mark P mate,
    a point I would make though is at least fascists who wear their colours as a badge of pride are honest about what their dirty buisness is about.

    It’s the mealy-mouthed lies, dishonesty and hypocrisy of the likes of Blair and Brown I object to – they say one thing and do another.

    At least you know where you stand with the like of Alan Clark, for instance – he was honest enough to say he didn’t care about what one bunch of foreigners did to another.

    If they aren’t war criminals then what are they?

    3 totalitarian regimes spawned by the 20th century – bolshevism, fascism and corporatism.
    Derek’s imagery conveys the corrupting influence of the last. A dead end.

    The politics at the Westmidden parliament are a joke – a single party with a two factions.
    Meaningless empty elections – meaningless empty debates – meaningless empty rhetoric.

    The fact that there are no real political alternatives must mean something. I’m sure even fascism learns from its mistakes not to make things too obvious.

    all the best!

    I’ve got your book on order!

  35. It’s a stupid picture. It shouldn’t be up. The Labour Party is not fascist or on the road to fascism. It’s a wildly ultra-left cartoon that makes this site look childish. At the risk of sounding prissy, I am actually quite shocked to see it displayed here.

  36. Barry Kade on said:

    Derek pleads that he only wants a discussion of Labours move to the right. So – has labour moved so far to the right it is embracing fascism? Yes or no?


    The quote from Mussolini is misleading – fascism is more than the merger of state and corporate power. It is the crushing of any independent form of civil society.

    Capitalism has two main form of rule – democracy and fascism – the carrot and the stick.

    At the moment capitalism rule through bourgeois democracy. It rules through constructing hegemony over civil society – using the consent and participation of organs of civil society such as the Trade Union leaders, etc.

    When capitalism switches to fascist rule it dispenses with the carrot and resorts to the stick – it no longer relies on the betrayals of the Trade Union leaders but instead locks up these leaders and the rest of civil society.

    Under fascism Derek and the rest of the Green party would be locked up or killed, along with the Labour leaders, etc.

    This Labour government is pro-capitalist and anti-working class. It is racist and authoritarian. It is impreialist and has lead to the deaths of hundreds of thousands in Iraq. But that is just ‘normal’ everyday democratic capitalist rule. It is not the fascist form of capitalist rule.

    Derek sometimes proclaims he is a Marxist. Evidently he is not – instead he merely has a moralistic rejection of capitalism, but little class analysis of the dynamics of it rule.

  37. The Labour Party is not fascist or on the road to fascism.
    – Only because, if anything, it hasn’t work. It has nothing to do with morality.
    Look for the red rose New Labour careerists switching over and joining the oak tree Conservatives.

    Under fascism Derek and the rest of the Green party would be locked up or killed, along with the Labour leaders, etc.
    – Yes, but that’s the point.
    Fascism has learned its lessons and moved on – and western corporatism doesn’t need to put anybody in jail.

    Much like the BBC, having a ‘liberal’ sheen is far more effective propaganda than just being avowedly and recognisably authoritarian.

    They don’t need to put us in jail or bomb us into submission – they just remove any democratic alternitives to their one-party state and call it British politics.

  38. And it’s pretty dangerous to suggest that ‘fascism has learned its lessons and moved on’ – as if concentration camps and right wing terror could never return. If there really were fascists in charge you’d bloody know about it. In fact the equation of liberal democracy (or capitalist democracy if you prefer) with fascism is an old canard with a very unpleasant history.

  39. – as if concentration camps and right wing terror could never return.
    – As long as you aren’t Muslim and living in Britian then everything in the garden of British politics is peachy.

    British folk in Guantanamo?

    Scottish airports used to ferry CIA Muslim victims between American torture chambers and concentration camps and certain death?

    Current Islamophobia = Yesteryear antisemitism

    What planet have you been living on since 2001?

    I can see why my fellow Scottish Muslim sisters and brothers couldn’t give a toss about British New Labour and its apologists.

  40. I did mean to say,
    the fact that there is no real political alternatives anymore in Britian, might go some way to explain the treatment of ‘foreigners’, ‘asylum seekers’ and ‘refugees’.

    This is a traditional fascist-like device deployed in order to deflect attention from real problems.

    New Labour, of all parties, must have known what it was doing when it began its Islamophobic campaign of villification, and carried on with the former Tory campaign of targeting immigrants, and the like, as some kind of danger to British civilisation as we know it.

    How many years is it now that New Labour has been carrying on its various high-profile racist campaigns now?

  41. Mark P on said:

    Nobody here has stood up for Labour, nobody has suggested it is anything but a warmongering, pandering to racism, popular authoritarian party.

    But that is entirely different to suggest it is a nazi or fascist party, that a swastika is a suitable addition to its party badge, Mussolini apprropriate to quote as representing its political trajectory.

    Marxists used to pride themselves on being able to understand the ideological features that underpin fascism. For leftists, including ‘ecosocialist’ , ones to idly chuck away that political tradition in order to indulge in a cartoon cut-out posturing rhetoric which is in fact all too revealing of their apolitical standpoint is rather depressing.

    Do the decent thing, condemn this deeply offensive cartoon, apologise for posting it and take it down. Anything else is just bluster.

    Mark P

  42. Commemorate our 1,000,0000+ victims in Iraq
    and beyond.

    Acknowledge the emptiness of New Labour’s domestic politics and its deployment of internal scapegoats, such as our British Islamic sisters and brothers, in order that it further its empty vacuous reign of handing over vast amounts of public wealth to its corporate owners.

    Acknowledge the steps that lead from fascism to corporatism and back again – the merry-go-round of the Westmidden Parliament.

  43. Barry Kade on said:

    1)Sticking with the classical Marxist analysis of fascism:

    “Liberals and even most of those who consider themselves Marxists are guilty of using the world fascist very loosely today. They fling it around as an epithet or political swearword against right-wing figures whom they particularly despise, or against reactionaries in general…..

    Read on at:


    Now, I’m not a Trotkyist, but I reckon that Trotsky’s writings from the 1930’s are still the best analysis we have as a guide to action.

    Even if you disagree with this pamphlets analysis, everyone who considers themselves part of the left should at least have read it sometime or other, as its a classic, alongside Marx’s Communist Manifesto, etc. It called having a basic socialist education, like.

    2)How do we analyse the world today…the world joe90 describes, – two pro-capitalist parties competing to be the most right wing, scapegoating Muslims, launching murderous imperialist wars, privatising and plundering the planet, robbing the working people, rendering the ecosystem unable to sustain human society…while its not accurate to call it fascism…what can we call it?

    Maybe the epoch of ‘Savage Capitalism’?

    any other ideas people?

    P.S …it saturday night…I’m off to a party!!!!! Bye!

  44. Eddie Truman on said:

    Joe 90,
    Agree with everything you say but the Westminster regime, elected as it is using an anti democratic first past the post system, real power in reality concentrated in the upper echelons of the Civil Service, the Bank of England, the boardrooms of multi national companies, despite all of these attributes, and an almost unending catalogue of more;
    despite all of these things, the British State does not equal the fascist regime of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi’s.
    We should tear down and burn the Union flag everywhere and anywhere we can but i does not equal the swastika.
    Now the Stars and Stripes ??
    That’s a differnt discussion 😉
    All the best

  45. Karl Stewart on said:

    Well, thankfully, the discussion finally seems to have moved on from the unbelievably self-obsessive shite about that obscure and irrelevant posting to that obscure and irrelevant website and people seem to be talking politics again now.
    On this subject, I agree with those who take issue with Derek’s use of nazi images with regard to the Labour Party. Of course Labour’s not fascist, but it’s clearly not a party that’s going to lead the working class to power. Do people think that the Convention of the Left is going to start to help shape the new direction for the left? And does anyone know why the Socialist Party – who are calling for a workers’ party – don’t seem to be involved?

  46. An SNP-er described the union jack as the butcher’s apron.

    All I’m just saying Eddie Truman is
    Derek’s imagery, maybe a bit brutal for our sophisticated western palettes, holds some truths for the traditional victims of our western altruism who know only too well the results of when the likes of New Labour decide to ‘abandon their traditional roots’ –
    ..and remember that Zionists find it very offensive when they are compared to Nazis:
    Palestinian Beaten Near Death
    26 Aug 2008

    I can assure you Eddie Truman, I am SU’s No.1 fan!

    all the best!

  47. As a Labour Party member since 1976, I think it’s abhorrent to equate Labour with Nazism. And as others have said, stupid.
    At the Convention Of The Left, which I’m doing the press for, Derek Wall will be sharing a platform with his comrade John McDonnell MP. Jeremy Corbyn and Tony Benn are also taking part. Labour Party members all – and tirless campaigners against fascism along with thousands of Labour supporters. Frankly, it’s this kind of ultra-left nonsense which dissuades socialists in the Labour Party from having anything to do with lefts on the outside.

  48. Paul C on said:

    To be honest it would be more accurate to describe new labour’s methods (if not policy) as Stalinist. Just look at the witch hunt of real socialists/communists in the TU’s, the way candidates are selected and the way policy is formulated by an over sized, over powerful bureaucracy with no power at all given to grass roots members or the annual conference. Then take a look at the backgrounds of many of these bureaucrats like Peter Mandelson or John Reid and you’ll find that the old CPGB features fairly heavily. So apart from the fact that to equate New Labour with Nazism cheapens the memory with of it’s victims the facts actually add up to something quite different. New Labour should be regarded as ideologically Neo-liberal and Stalinist in method.

  49. optimistic Larry Nugent on said:

    The very english rose logo/emblem of new labour smacks of narrow nationalism as it can be argued that it excludes the rest of the union and strengthens the concept of the mother country mentality.

    This is not nazism, however it does smacks of the last vestiges of power and control that in part was enjoyed by fascism in the 1920’s

  50. The red rose has been used as a symbol by the parties of the Socialist International for decades (usually a red rose in a clenched fist). The Labour Party was using the red rose (without the fist) long before New Labour. There’s nothing ‘English’ about it.

  51. optimistic Larry Nugent on said:

    I am well aware that the rose can be seen as a socialist/revolutionary symbol. in Blair case, it was not just a new image, it was chiefly a commercial emblem/logo. I belonged to a traditional labour party constituency in Glasgow that was opposed to the New labour banner and in most cases it was not just the there was opposition to the erasing of old logos.

    Ken, thanks for your worldly internationalist view. It has always been my belief, its narrow nationalist

  52. David Ellis on said:

    Bring back the Red Flag I say.

    I don’t think the above illustration is an example of third-periodism. It is just trying to make a point about the wasted years of NL. As the pettles fall off the rose and NL potentially leaves office what is left but a state that panders to the corporations. All the promises about regulation, the opportunity society, tough on the causes of crime, education education education and reducing the gap between rich and poor have led to nought.

    If the Tories get in they will inherit a state dominated by the corporations and unfettered in its actions by it and they will use it to attack the working class most vigorously. Even that wont be a fascist government but it will divide the nation and give rise to the emergence of a confident fascist movement to counter working class resistance and eager to get its hands on state power.

    I’m sure Derek does not think of ordinary members of the labour party as fascists or even that the villainous Brown and Blair are and will be doing everything he can to win the best of them over to a radical socialist and anti-imperialist programme. So chill pills all round I think.

  53. Mr Wall wrote “Perhaps I am being pessimistic but may be we on the Left of the Greens, in Respect, the ideologically imaginative in Plaid, etc, etc, etc, etc right down to Permanent Revolution and Workers Power…are going to have it tougher too.”

    Really who gives a damn if the left “has it tougher”? It will do the left a bit of good in my opinion.After all we are not talking about state repression here. More importantly the working class will have it tougher but I would not expect a green to give a damn about the only force capable of changing society for the better.

  54. Well the way this blog works is that Derek has complete editorial control over his own articles.

    But I don’t like the cartoon, and think it is a political mistake.

  55. Fuck Labour, Ron Suskind has a damning book on the Bush administration and it’s getting investigated Tony and Gordon get a mention…

    The there’s the “Manning memo”: Bush and Blair expressed their doubts that any weapons of mass destruction would ever be found in Iraq. Bush talked about ways to “provoke a confrontation with Hussein,” one was to, “fly U2 aircraft, reconnaissance aircraft, over Iraq, falsely painted in United Nations colours,” hoping that the Iraqis would fire at them, this will be a breach of UN resolutions and so would be justification of war.

    …and finally one of my own on the BBC and free speech a podcast featuring Vanessa Feltz singing Coca-Cola and saying that it represents an idyllic world!

  56. Karl Stewart on said:

    Good point about ultra-leftism Susan (49).
    Labour is obviously not fascist, but it is certainly an overwhelmingly pro-capitalist and pro-big business party and, although there are, no doubt, many such as yourself who are determined to remain and try to win the party for socialism, I can’t see any new people actively deciding to join Labour from a socialist perspective.
    This is why my view is more towards the idea of building a new party of socialists and communists.
    I’m hoping to get to some of the Manchester Convention and I’m looking forward to hearing some thought-provoking debates.

  57. friendly lefty on said:

    Moving beyond the cartoon to the substance of the article;

    I think it is a bit of an undue worry. The right may be doing well but they are not talking particularly right. The tories have attacked labour for not doing enough to end inequality in education (a good left wing reason to attack labour if from anyone else). They have made various other slightly left of Brown attacks. Whilst this does not mean anything for how they will actually act in office it does show their weekness. This is not 1979 when the tories were moving to the right under Thatcher. They will find it harder to use a general election victory to move on to attack the working class.

    I think in this situation the left needs to look to extra parliamentary political struggle as well as electoral work. Industrial action seems to be on the increase as people are striking back against Browns pay limit. Whilst by historic standards industrial action is very low people are being to forget the defeats of the 80s and 90s. The war is also not going to disappear as an issue, the rising death toll in Afganistan and the lack of any clear plan of what to do about it will mean that it will remain a political issue for a while to come.

    This summers ISJ had an interesting comparison. It looked at the situation in Greece where the tories won but have faced a massive wave of struggle over privatisation of higher education, public sector pay and many other things. This has stopped them implementing many of their policies. It then compared this too Italy where the right also won but on the back of large scale racism and attacks on gypsies. I think if the tories win we will be in a situation more similar to Greece or France then Italy as the Tories are not using any hardcore right wing arguments.

  58. I propose that the left still within it abandon the Labour Party in favour for merging with that that has to form “The Derek Wall Party”.

    They shall all gather around fires to heat up brands which they will then press against the foreheads of David Cameron look-a-likes, that will then be sent around the country to spread the good word.

  59. Anonymous on said:

    #60 Fair comment, Karl, with which I wouldn’t disagree

    But I would take issue rather more strongly with Susan at #49 and “Frankly, it’s this kind of ultra-left nonsense which dissuades socialists in the Labour Party from having anything to do with lefts on the outside.”

    I’m not actually defending the swastika on the red rose stem, but if that symbol was replaced with a stars & stripes or a Republican elephant on the wilted rose, then it would be exactly right.

    Susan should be a bit more careful about her attitude to people on the left who are outside today’s New Labour party, and a bit more humble about “socialists in the Labour Party”. Everybody who remains in possession of a New Labour party card post-Iraq bears some kind of shared responsibility for failing to hold the war criminals in its leadership properly to account. I’m not saying they shouldn’t remain in the party and fight to bring Blair to The Hague and so on. But they should excuse the rest of us if occasionally we wonder whether they are doing enough inside the party to campaign for this point of view.

    Three million cluster bomblets are scattered over South Lebanon today because New Labour rushed replacement cluster munitions to the Israelis after a ceasefire had been called for. And so on and so forth. We in the West had better be careful that just because a racist foreign policy isn’t Nazi per se, doen’t mean it isn’t criminal, brutal and vicious.

  60. A bizarre, bizarre article which is a shame as Derek usually speaks a lot of sense.

    Firstly, New Labour is not Fascist or on the way to becoming a Fascist Party, Government or whatever. Also, as others have mentioned, the drawing and quote (and why do we allow our enemies to define the terms of our debate?) at the top of the article, do not follow a particularly auspicious precedent being reminiscent of the disastrous Stalinist Third Period when social-democrats were labelled social-fascists. You’d have thought we would have all learnt lessons from that time (in case it needs to be said – Germany prior to the coming to power of the Nazis).

    Putting that aside (& it’s a lot to put aside), the election of the Conservatives will be very bad news. Believe it or not, a Conservative Government will be much more right-wing than this New Labour Government.

    Saying Cruddas and Compass will make the Labour Party acceptable to some on the left doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. Even assuming Cruddas would be elected, which is assuming an awful lot, there has to be question marks about the viability of Cruddas’s (& Compass’s) policies. These policies are not significantly different to the current Government’s. Look at the number of Ministers that attend Compass’s Conferences for example. So I don’t see how that would block the development of a left alternative, particularly in the Labour Party itself. There will, of course, be a change in emphasis, whoever is the new leader, which will be welcomed by Labour’s core working-class vote. But there is likely to be a debate in the Labour Party following the next General Election, whatever the result of the leadership elections.

    Perhaps what Derek means is that someone like him would feel happier supporting Labour with Cruddas as leader. I’m not sure that’s the best reason in and of itself to support Labour, but if that is true then surely what that demonstrates is that the Left in Britain, whether we like it or not, revolves around the Labour Party. In my opinion, this has been the situation for a long time, but perhaps the situation is not so stark and obvious as it will be after the election of the Conservatives. Presumably this is what Derek means when he says that a window of opportunity (i.e. outside the Labour Party) will be closed – the real choice only now becomes apparent to him.

    A left alternative to neo-liberalism (why not just call it capitalism?) can only be built in the Labour Party and not outside – during a Conservative Government this appears clear to Derek, but isn’t this therefore also the case now?

    If Derek’s piece means he’s realising this (I know this is my interpretation and it’s not at all clear what he does mean) then so much the better. Come and join us in the Labour Party, Derek. There’s a lot to do and the sooner we get on with it the better.

  61. Dustin the Turkey on said:

    I think it’s OK. Look, we all did stuff like this when we were Derek’s age. No point embarrassing the kid.


    What do you mean, he’s not 12?

  62. Duff Miller College motto: "Who Pays Gets In" on said:

    What kind of radical socialist teaches at a private school? That’s what I want to know Del Boy!

  63. Halshall on said:

    #65 Julian

    ‘the left in Britain, whether we like it or not, revolves around the Labour party’.

    Does it ? It would be more accurate to say that the reformist left in the Labour party has never been weaker.
    Not that the revolutionary left outside it is up to much, especially since the blown best chance offered by the anti-war movement of five years ago.
    However if we are to look at your proposition seriously Julian, pray tell us how you envisage the Labour Left will rise to the ascendency now that New Labour has removed the means to do so via conference ?

    Not that Labour goverments ever took any notice of conference decisions they didn’t like.

    And as the old sad story of the Labour Left is so strewn with the wreckage of false hopes dashed over the last fifty years, what is this mirage that socialism can come through parliament ?
    Mass W/C action is what is needed, and what sadly has been lacking for so long.
    Hopefully if workers do take mass action and are successful in the coming period we can move on and build something better and to the Left of Labour that will pose a real alternative.
    If LP members want to join in those struggles, as I hope many will, I will be there with them as best as my health will allow; but please no more illusions in the Labour party being the vehicle for socialism.

  64. I do find it quite extraordinary that Derek hasn’t removed a graphic attaching a swastika and a quote from Mussolini to the Labour Party. It really does his politics and standing absolutely no favours to indulge in this kind of stuff.

    Mark P

  65. john nic on said:

    the very fact of this discussion underlines derek’s point that the left is weak. we have been repeatedly defeated.

    while i dont think cruddas will get elected to anything, i do think that he (and compass) will find yet more excuses to back whatever further retreats labour’s leaders (past and future) come up with.

    and i also think that we are all faced with (up to) two years of electioneering by the two main parties which consists of them both saying “we’re not [the other one]”. labour’s election campaign is already based on saying “labour isnt the tories” and the danger for all of us on the left is that we succumb to the idea that a vote for labour is the only alternative – just as londoners got into the line that “livingstone isnt johnson”.

    but that doesnt mean that we should be too pessimistic (self-analytical is one thing, pessimism another). the one (only?) advantage of our weakness is that the situation on the left is remarkably fluid. we could just find ways of working together that act as the spur for the creation of a left alternative – in or out of elections – and we should just start developing these – anyway. the real danger remains that labour creates a vacuum that the far right aspires to fill – and so the real challenge to labour must come from the left.

  66. Broadly speaking I agree with Julian ie that the fight should be fought in the Labour Party.I don’t see “mass working-class struggle” outside the electoral system happening anytime soon – nor do i think it fruitful to form yet another left Party which will go pear-shaped while the Tories laugh all the way to the ballot box. But I also agree the Labour Left must work with those who profoundly disagree with that view . There are ways of finding common ground on issues – the Convention Of The Left is one such way. Broad campaigns are another. But Derek Wall’s graphic does not help his case – it is a profound insult to the thousands of decent socialists inside the Labour Party. Those outside should recognise that.

  67. ex Derek Wall fan on said:

    Derek Wall’s reputation has been completely destroyed. It is unacceptable, offensive and wrong.

  68. ex Derek Wall fan on said:

    Susan you are right, its offensive to decent socialists in the Labour Party, but more to the point it is offensive to one of the absolute priority causes of the left: anti-fascism.

  69. David Ellis on said:

    `it is a profound insult to the thousands of decent socialists inside the Labour Party’.

    Surely not as profound an insult as all those dead iraqi and afghani civilians?

    Get over it. I’m sure Derek works with Labour members all the time.

  70. Duff Miller College motto: "Who Pays Gets In" on said:

    I’m sure Derek comes across lots of members of the working-class in the private sixth form college he is employed at. The proles will, of course, be cooks, janitors, etc, as it is highly unlikely they’ll be able to afford the £4k per annum fees.

  71. I think this is hugely disappointing judgement call by Derek in using the image. It doesn’t reflect the views of most Greens. The swastika is not an image to be used lightly.

    As people have said earlier, Derek usually writes good provocative pieces. This is unfortunate.

  72. Okhotnik za fashistami ha ha ha on said:

    I am a bit surprised how desperate with rage people are at Nu Lab being associated with a swastika, after its wars of aggression, rampant attacks on left-wing policies and appeasement of everything right-wing. While a swastika is over the top, this has been a truly vile government, and any socialists within the LP are powerless, silent or both.

    Or do people think the Labour government has not been vile? Because it is from where I’m standing.

  73. Anonymous on said:

    #68 Halshall

    I agree with an awful lot of what you say.

    The most important thing is not about how the Labour Left can rise to the ascendency of the Party or about how we can keep Labour Governments accountable to conference decisions – although these issues are not to be ignored.

    It’s about where we can best build the Left. Any yes, without mass working class action we are all lost. We will not be able to build the Left, wherever we are, without mass class action. Such action will build the Left especially, but not exclusively, in the Labour Party IMO.

    LP members will join these struggles. If it builds the Left outside the Labour Party all well and good, but these struggles will have their biggest impact inside the Labour Party.

    “I will be there with them as best as my health will allow; but please no more illusions in the Labour party being the vehicle for socialism.”

    I hope you’ll be there too comrade. I hope I’m not creating illusions in the Labour Party as being the vehicle for socialism, I don’t think I said such a thing, it’s just where we can grow.

  74. #68 Halshall

    I agree with an awful lot of what you say.

    The most important thing is not about how the Labour Left can rise to the ascendency of the Party or about how we can keep Labour Governments accountable to conference decisions – although these issues are not to be ignored.

    It’s about where we can best build the Left. Any yes, without mass working class action we are all lost. We will not be able to build the Left, wherever we are, without mass class action. Such action will build the Left especially, but not exclusively, in the Labour Party IMO.

    LP members will join these struggles. If it builds the Left outside the Labour Party all well and good, but these struggles will have their biggest impact inside the Labour Party.

    “I will be there with them as best as my health will allow; but please no more illusions in the Labour party being the vehicle for socialism.”

    I hope you’ll be there too comrade. I hope I’m not creating illusions in the Labour Party as being the vehicle for socialism, I don’t think I said such a thing, it’s just where we can grow.

  75. I heard Alistair Campbell say on Ken Livingstone?s LBC-love in that he thought that George Bush was an intelligent guy.
    I called in show earlier and to talk about this:


    “Red Ken” gave me, 30 seconds to outline this bombshell to the London listeners then the prick pulled the plug:

    Ken said he never heard of it Alistair Campbell later made some crass remark about the context of the time. The context during “that time.”
    The evidence to justify an illegal war by fabricating intelligence should be enough to jail Blair as a war criminal.
    Dustin the Turkey: How many dead does there have to be before this qualifies Labour as Nazis.
    Fuck Politics let’s have justice if you’re only worried about the Conservatives getting in you’re only worried about this piss-stain of a country not the lives of Arabs who have died in their hundreds of thousands.

  76. Halshall on said:

    #82 / 83

    The area for growth last time round during the height of class struggle in the late 60s / early 70s wasn’t in the Labour party, that came later during the Wilson/Callaghan government and the rise and fall of Bennism.
    Also more recently as you will remember during the Major years when it grew to well over 400k prior to the 97 elction. However neither of these periods reflected a rising level of class struggle, quite the reverse.
    This seems to indicate that the LP grows when workers are on the defensive and demoralised, and when there is rising struggle either the extra parliamentary left grows or there are mass movements which rapidly dissapate.
    Respect was meant to fill the enormous gap on the left created by NL’s total embrace of the market.
    It failed IMO for two main reasons.
    1. Not being given the space to develop an internal political life (most probably, primarily left reformist rather than revolutionary).
    2. The continuing very low level of struggle.

    You can add to this the effect of the demoralisation of Blair’s / Brown’s predominent theme of TINA (There is no alternative) and the general industrial defeats of the 80’s, and you have an atmosphere where the there’s an overwhelming feeling that nothing can be changed from below. Witness how the STW movement has declined since the 2003 mass demo that Blair could get away with ignoring because it wasn’t (and couldn’t be) backed up by mass industrial action.
    Asking the Labour party to be the vehicle of independent Left growth is not born out in practice, because all is sacrificed to get elected.

  77. I’ve only just seen this post and apols for being a bit Johnny-come -lately to the debate.

    But I agree with the various comrades such as Mark P, Susan Press, Halshall etc. that the image is offensive and it’s not just a cartoon. It is the political message what comes across.

    It also makes a mockery by diminishing and minimising the realities of fascism.

    I also take offence as well being a Labour leftie and an anti-racist and anti-fascist.

    The LP is many many things but to equate it with the swastika is politically offensive.

    Argue the politics of NL without resorting to include offensive images without thinking through the political meaning or consequences.

    Actually, the image sorely annoyed me that it put me off for a bit reading the rest of the piece.

  78. Still think the swastika should be removed
    its offensive
    if we put this against any party even the Tories it would be wrong

    Ted Heath actually supported the Republican cause in Spain

    great dangers in suggesting that any main stream party is Nazi as it offers credability to those who believe it is OK to be a Nazi

    always enjoy the sight and well debate, even when as a Labour supporter get the worst of the attacks

    but this picture is

    wrong wrong wrong comrades

  79. socialist party member on said:

    Hmmm, I’d be the first to agree that accusing the LP, or even the Tories as being Nazi was inaccurate and misleading. Not because of the dubious ‘anti-fascist’ credentials of certain liberal Tories, but because there is a fundamental difference between the MANNER in which Tories and New Labour seek to deprive workers of their liberties increase their exploitation, and that which genuine fascists do.

    However, I think that this cartoon, taken as a whole, is very clearly and correctly drawing the parrallel between the corporatist idealogy and function of the New Labour version of Free Market Liberalism, and Mussolini’s concept of the Corporate State. I think that it has an entirely proper use on a blog such as this, or in a theoretical article, precisely because it does not simply equate New Labour and Fascim. I would be reluctant to see it used on a leaflet for mass distribution, because of the risk of being seen to say this. But would expect anyone looking at it here to think about it for at least 2 minutes.

    Terry’s argument that there are ‘great dangers in suggesting that any main stream party is Nazi as it offers credability to those who believe it is OK to be a Nazi’ is codswollop. Do we not accuse New Labour of being racist or anti-union for the same reason? Come off iT!

  80. It does equate NL with fascism though, that’s the point. The quote underneath from Mussloni underlines the picture and it says that NL is in the first stage of fascism. It isn’t – we cannot afford to throw the word fascism around carelessly.

  81. However silly this cartton is, it needs to be put into perspective, when Alex Hilton, a prospective parliamentary candidate for the labour Party, and editor of labour Home descibes Jon Cruddas in this way:

    As an East Londoner, it worries me that he has a fake East London accent. It worries me that he opposes comprehensive education. It worries me that he says people who vote BNP do so primarily because of housing rather than because of race and it worries me that he voted for 42 day detention and a whole host of the Blairite reforms that the author clearly opposes.

    In fact, I think Cruddas is the Labour politician most reminiscent of Oswald Mosley, he is dangerous, and should be kept away from power at all costs.

  82. Simon King on said:

    Upto yet we’ve been generally shafted by who-ever was in power..so I’ve come to expect little more. Hence I s’pose I’ll just mosey on and bide my time as ever and wait for the imminent uprising!!.

  83. Anonymous on said:

    Quite right, New Labour are a vicious breed of scum-bags and Neo Puritans, who must all be purged.