Unite to fight the Tories

Statement from Jon Trickett, Shadow Business Secretary and Labour Election Co-ordinator:

“It now looks likely that we are about to have the coronation of a new Conservative Prime Minister.
“It is crucial, given the instability caused by the Brexit vote, that the country has a democratically elected Prime Minister. I am now putting the whole of the party on a General Election footing. It is time for the Labour Party to unite and ensure the millions of people in the country left behind by the Tories’ failed economic policies, have the opportunity to elect a Labour government”.

97 comments on “Unite to fight the Tories

  1. John on said:

    Surely a call for unity within the Labour Party at the present time, along with the declaration that the party is being put on a “General Election footing,’ is on a par with Comical Ali demanding the surrender of US military forces as they entered Baghdad in 2003.

  2. Marxist Lennonist on said:

    Breaking news – Corbyn will be on the ballot. A great victory for common sense and natural justice, achieved against all the machinations of the General Secretary. Will be interesting to see what the Brutus tendency does now…

  3. John Grimshaw on said:

    Marxist Lennonist,

    Although I believe the NEC has also unilaterally changed the rules on who can vote. I believe they are saying you have to have been a member for at least a year or a supporter who pays £25 at least. In other words if you a member of less than a year it would be better if you left and paid £25 to join as a (middle class?) supporter. How strange.

  4. George Hallam on said:

    John Grimshaw:
    Marxist Lennonist,

    Although I believe the NEC has also unilaterally changed the rules on who can vote. I believe they are saying you have to have been a member for at least a year or a supporter who pays £25 at least.

    It’s complicated.
    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2016/07/will-labours-new-leadership-rules-really-help-rebels

    As the author of Waverley said:

    Oh, what a tangled web we weave
    When first we practice to deceive!

    Though on second thoughts you’d think that the Labour Party NEC had enough practice at gerrymandering to do a better job.

  5. John Grimshaw on said:

    George Hallam,

    Ahh! Six months not twelve months. And yes I did know about the so called trades union “loophole” if only because I know of activists who are actively telling people to do just that.

  6. John Grimshaw on said:

    Andy Newman,

    But Andy I don’t see the mechanism for that to happen. Unless the government chooses to do so maybe in order to legitimise the position of the new prime minister? They are only going to do that if they feel like they are in an overwhelming position to win. Gordon Brown shows this surely? He didn’t have the bottle to go to the country and then subsequently lost the election, whereas if he have done what he said he was going to do…who knows?

  7. jack on said:

    Marco: This is not a time for unity but is clearly a time of civil war, a bitter battle for the soul of the party.

    Yes, quite. Angela Eagle voted for the invasion of Iraq and voted against any inquiry. In the week that the inquiry is finally published and makes it clear that the invasion was morally, ethically and probably legally unjustified she has the gall to announce that she should lead the Labour Party. These people have no shame, and absolutely no compunction about tearing Labour apart in order to defeat the left. The stakes are obviously very high and any blithering nonsense to the effect that there can be unity or appeasement with them is delusional and dangerous. It’s a pity that Corbyn didn’t kick bomber Benn out of his shadow cabinet when he publicly and deliberately stabbed him in the back over Syria.

    There have, of course, always been divisions between left and right in the Labour Party and it has always been an uneasy alliance between people who have very different views about virtually everything. It is clear, though, that this is a co-ordinated attempt by the Blairite cabal to expunge any notion of socialism or social democracy for good. A serious rupture in this organisation is inevitable and, I would add, long overdue.

  8. John Grimshaw on said:

    Seriously George. Tory means scum. Always has and always will. Anyway outside of the vitriol May may (?) say some centrist things but she won’t go too far the mainstream of the Tories won’t allow it, logically, otherwise they wouldn’t be Tories they’d be something else. In any case her appointments so far are actually relatively right leaning and what happened to our large number of females?

  9. John Grimshaw on said:

    Marco: This must rank as one of the most delusional articles this site has produced.

    I am not clear whether Andy is actually supporting this or merely quoting something he thinks is important. I don’t think that there will be an election any time soon but maybe…who knows?

    Marco: This is not a time for unity but is clearly a time of civil war, a bitter battle for the soul of the party.

    I agree.

  10. John Grimshaw on said:

    George Hallam: Angela Eagle, Heidi Alexander and Yvette Cooper?

    Ones got to be really old, ones got to be middle-aged and ones got to be young. Do these three cover that?

  11. John Grimshaw on said:

    Michael Foster is launching a legal challenge to Corbyn automatically being on the ballot paper. Obviously he feels that he can do this because he and his family have donated lots of money to Labour in the past. Tells you much about the entitlement this class has.

  12. John Grimshaw on said:

    Marco: When the title of the article is in bold and says unite to fight the Tories I assume

    Well yes. It’s possible but the headlines for articles on this blog are usually in bold. Let’s see what Andy says eh?

  13. George Hallam on said:

    Marco,

    “Our object is the elevation of the poor, of the masses of the people – a levelling up of them by which we shall do something to remove the excessive inequality in social life. Which is now one of the greatest dangers as well as a great injury to the State.”
    Sound familiar?

  14. John Grimshaw on said:

    Marco: in my time share villa. Just give me £10k and the keys are yours.

    Have you got one? Seems a bit expensive though. I need a good holiday. 🙂

  15. George Hallam on said:

    Marco:
    Yes sounds familiar. And?

    since you ask.

    “We have to account for and to grapple with the mass of misery and destitution in our midst, coexistent as it is with the evidence of abundant wealth and teeming prosperity.
    It is a problem that some men would put aside by references to the eternal laws of supply and demand, to the necessity of freedom of contract, and and to the sanctity of every private right of property.
    But, gentlemen, these phrases are the convenient cant of selfish wealth. They are no answers to our question. I quite understand the reason for timidity in dealing with this matter so long as the government was merely the expression of of the will and prejudice of a limited few. Under such circumstances there might be good reason for not intrusting it with larger powers, even for the relief of this misery and destitution.
    But now that we have a Government of the people by the people, we will go on and make it the Government for the people, in which all shall co-operate in order to secure to every man his natural rights, his right to existence, and to a fair enjoyment of it. I shall be told to-morrow that this is Socialism. I have learnt not to be afraid of words that are flung in my face instead of argument. Of course it is Socialism! “

  16. Vanya on said:

    #30 But Chamberlain was a Radical Liberal when he wrote that (or so I thought ) and when he was mayor of Birmingham he carried out a number of reforms that were referred to as municipal socialism. He became a Tory due to his opposition to Irish home rule and support for imperialism.

  17. George Hallam on said:

    Vanya:
    #30 But Chamberlain was a Radical Liberal when he wrote that (or so I thought ) and when he was mayor of Birmingham he carried out a number of reforms that were referred to as municipal socialism.

    Well spotted.
    I’m sorry I can offer you a prize on the scale of Maro’s time share.
    I would be happy to buy you a pint, though.

    Vanya: He became a Tory due to his opposition to Irish home rule and support for imperialism.

    Yes, but don’t forget that Chamberlain broke with free trade; a clear breach with liberalism.

  18. George Hallam on said:

    Marco:
    What a 19th century imperialist has to do with anything happening now I confess I am struggling to work out.

    One more quote, so your can get the full flavour of Chamberlain’s argument, then I’ll explain.

    “But then, I ask, what ransom will property pay for the security it enjoys, what substitute will it find for the natural rights which have ceased to be recognized? Society is banded together in order to protect itself against the instincts of those of its members who would make very short work of private ownership if left alone”

  19. John Grimshaw on said:

    The Birmingham Gas Company and the Birmingham and Staffordshire Gas Company were locked in constant competition, in which the city’s streets were continually dug up to lay mains. Chamberlain forcibly purchased the two companies on behalf of the borough for £1,953,050, even offering to purchase the companies himself if the ratepayers refused. In its first year of operations the new municipal gas scheme made a profit of £34,000.

  20. John Grimshaw on said:

    Marco:
    What a 19th century imperialist has to do with anything happening now I confess I am struggling to work out. Maybe if you cut the analogy and come straight to the point.

    Marco I must confess to also not entirely understanding George’s point but bear in mind he Is very playful! I had assumed he was quoting Chamberlain (I haven’t studied him since A level history) because he was using it as proof that not all radical programmes come from “socialism”. Or that not all reactionaries are reactionary if you see what I mean? But then in his last quote he undermines it all by showing that Chamberlain was still a man of property (he was a self made millionaire who despised at least at first the aristocracy – an Alan Sugar figure maybe?) who was only making these reforms of his in Birmingham to prevent the working people from rising up to expropriate/smash up rich people’s property. Maybe his point is that Theresa May is a “Chamberlain” figure? And hey presto! After a bit of research it turns out that Chamberlain is indeed one of May’s heroes!!

    George I claim my prize also.

  21. John Grimshaw on said:

    Joseph Chamberlain was an extremely divisive figure although very important in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He split the Liberal party in the name of unionism hence the reason why since 1906 I think the Tory party is still officially called the “Conservative and Unionist Party”. His crossing of the house etc. was the reason why the Liberals lost the election to the Tories. Chamberlain was also partly responsible for the Boer War.

    Maybe George has identified that this is an analogy for the state of modern Labour. If Corbyn wins maybe a right wing figure in Labour will move to take his/her MPs across the house to join the Lib-Dems thus saving them from complete anonymity?

  22. John Grimshaw on said:

    Back to the substantive issue though George et al. I understand that the NEC has now moved to close the TU “loophole” by applying the same voting proscriptions as they have for full membership and supportership. Following the majority of the 6000 membership of the Brighton and Hove LP voting for Corbyn supporting officers the NEC has annulled the results and suspended the CLP. CLPs, as you know, have been told that they may no longer meet to discuss any issues etc. until September.

    Divisive I should say so. Unite for a snap election. Not a cat in hell’s chance I would say.

  23. George Hallam on said:

    Marco: Maybe if you cut the analogy and come straight to the point.

    From the quotes I’ve post one can see that Chamberlain is making four points:

    1. Society is more than a collection of individuals. Society is a structure based on institutions e.g. private property.

    2. Society has a history. The key institutions are not eternal. Private property has not always existed and could be overthrown in the future.

    3. Inequality and poverty have become unsustainable. Unless the lot of the mass of ordinary people is improved then a popular revolt will threaten the existing social order.

    4. Social reform will cost money. To maintain the social hierarchy the rich must pay.

    In other words Chamberlain is spelling out in a detailed way the argument behind the otherwise enigmatic statement: ‘if we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.’

  24. George Hallam on said:

    John Grimshaw: I had assumed he was quoting Chamberlain .. because he was using it as proof that not all radical programmes come from “socialism”. Or that not all reactionaries are reactionary if you see what I mean?

    Very close.

    Balfour made a distinction between social reform and socialism.

    Social legislation, as I conceive it, is not merely to be distinguished from Socialist legislation, but it is its most direct direct opposite and its most effective antidote. Socialism will never get possession of the great body of public opinion in this country among the working classes or any other classes, if those who wield the collective force of the community show themselves desirous to ameliorate every legitimate grievance and to put Society upon a proper and more solid basis.

    Manchester speech, Jan. 16, 1895

  25. John Grimshaw on said:

    George Hallam: if those who wield the collective force of the community show themselves desirous to ameliorate every legitimate

    If…? Interesting film but not my cup of tea really. Question. who are “those”? And how and why do they “wield” this collective force?

  26. George Hallam on said:

    #45 the fact that I can’t give you detailed answers also helps the explain the drink and the location. 🙂

  27. George Hallam on said:

    This digression into the life and works of Joseph Chamberlain was occasioned by Marco’s comment.

    Marco: Now in reality Tory does mean scum and centre left means scum lite.

    Anyone who actually believes the Tories will not focus on the interests of the middle and upper classes may be interested in my time share villa.

    The quotes I gave were intended to show that while establishment politicians might well be seeking to serve the long-term interests of the upper classes does not mean that they won’t be interested in improving the conditions of those lower down the social scale.
    Or to put it more clearly: far-sighted establishment politicians will be concerned to protect the worst off in order to preserve the long-term interests of their classes.

    I try to avoid using the label ‘Tory’ because, even in the context of late 17th century, it has reactionary connotations.

    ‘Conservative’ is more accurate as it describes the aim of conserving the main features of the existing order.

    Of course some Conservatives are stupid and reactionary but if they were all like that they would never have lasted so long.

    I believe Teresa May could turn out to be an intelligent and strategically-minded politician in the same mould as Chamberlain, Lloyd George and Macmillan.

    Don’t underestimate these people, they aren’t all fools.

  28. Vanya on said:

    #

    George Hallam: if those who wield the collective force of the community show themselves desirous to ameliorate every legitimate grievance

    If we disect this a bit,

    1) The collective force of the “community” clearly means state power, and I suspect that the author understood probably better than many socialists at the time that this is wielded by and in the interests of the ruling class.

    2)The important thing is to “show” themselves to be “desirous”. Clearly the most effective way to do so is to actually do a bit of ameliorating.

    3) In the late 19th Century there was probably more scope for ameliorating than there is now.

  29. John Grimshaw on said:

    3) In the late 19th Century there was probably more scope for ameliorating than there is now.

    I think this is true Vanya for a number of reasons. British capital was near to its peak. There was plenty of surplus cash sloshing around. As we have seen Chamberlain was in a position to buy the two gas companies if the tax payer refused to do so. On the other hand the condition of the British working class was so poor that to make only minor improvements in their living conditions which in fact cost relatively little was an easy task for someone like chamberlain.

  30. John Grimshaw on said:

    try to avoid using the label ‘Tory’ because, even in the context of late 17th century, it has reactionary connotatio

    Tory I believe was a Whig insult which I think meant Irish Catholic bandit or some such. Whig on the other hand was also an insult which was something to do with Scottish cattle drovers.

  31. George Hallam on said:

    #52 plenty of cash sloshing about?

    Britain was in the middle of “The Great Depression”, as it was called at the time, of 1873 – 1896.

    In 1887 Alfred Marshall gave evidence to the “Royal Commission on the Value of Gold and Silver” .

    “[Henry Chaplin, MP:] Do you share the general opinion that during the last few years we have been passing through a period of severe depression? …

    [Marshall]: 9823. Yes, of severe depression of profits

    Growth was down (negative in some years), unemployment ( a novel concept) was up. See
    http://socialdemocracy21stcentury.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/alfred-marshalls-judgement-on.html

    I agree on your other points.

  32. John Grimshaw: try to avoid using the label ‘Tory’ because, even in the context of late 17th century, it has reactionary connotation

    I’m not sure I see the problem with calling the Tories the name by which they are popularly known, and which has connotations that are in fact correct and which derive far more from very recent history. If “Tory” has negative connotations today it’s because the Tory Party has earned them. See also “Blairite”.

  33. Left Lambeth Lawyer on said:

    George Hallam,

    This is possible. She could be so. But on his own rhetoric so could Major. Remember his stated goal of a classless society?

    Tories will make concessions to preserve their positions and their system. They are more likely to do so, perhaps will only do so, if they are put under pressure. Our movement’s job is to put them under pressure.

  34. jock mctrousers on said:

    George Hallam: I believe Teresa May could turn out to be an intelligent and strategically-minded politician in the same mould as Chamberlain, Lloyd George and Macmillan.

    Don’t underestimate these people, they aren’t all fools.

    MY GOD! What’s going on here? Picture a leopard-skin court show stamping on the face of the proletariat FOREVER!

    Do I detect an over-eagerness to accept May at her own estimation, to say ” Oh well, we can go along with that (starve the disabled etc)” so no need for a troublesome Corbyn in the Labour Party?

    Talking of which: the RESISTANCE! MOMENTUM! I wonder if anyone here has ever tried to DONATE to Momentum? I’ve tried many times. It never works. Everywhere else works. This tells me that Momentum doesn’t need my money. Maybe that’s because it isn’t what it claims to be, like for instance it seems very hostile to deselecting…

  35. George Hallam on said:

    Left Lambeth Lawyer,

    I agree, broadly.

    Left Lambeth Lawyer:
    George Hallam,

    This is possible. She could be so. But on his own rhetoric so could Major. Remember his stated goal of a classless society?

    I agree: talk is cheap.

    However, some of May’s economic commitments are quite specific, notably on the need for an industrial policy and blocking the take-over of strategic firms. Brexit allows this to happen, in the EU these things would be illegal.

    May will meet some powerful opposition and she could will revoke but this would be obvious.

    Left Lambeth Lawyer:
    George Hallam,

    Tories will make concessions to preserve their positions and their system. They are more likely to do so, perhaps will only do so, if they are put under pressure. Our movement’s job is to put them under pressure.

    Okay … But,
    The Conservatives are already under pressure, at least three points.

    1. Despite an unprecedented effort they lost the referendum. The result is being interpreted as a ‘two-fingered salute’ by the plebs to their betters. That should worry anyone who thinks long-term.

    2. Electorally, UKIP and the possibility of a radicalised Labour Party could cash in on this disaffection.

    3. Scotland! Not so long ago this was a Conservative stronghold. Now they barely exist as party. Worse, from May’s point of view, they could leave the Union.

    I don’t think that these problems can’t be easily blagged away.

  36. George Hallam on said:

    jock mctrousers: Do I detect an over-eagerness to accept May at her own estimation, to say ” Oh well, we can go along with that (starve the disabled etc)” so no need for a troublesome Corbyn in the Labour Party?

    No.

    All I’m trying to do is work out what an intelligent adversary might try and do.

    Perhaps I’m wasting my time, as the Left are not thinking at all and the powers-that-be will win by default.

  37. George Hallam on said:

    JN: I’m not sure I see the problem with calling the Tories the name by which they are popularly known,

    As that other Brumie put it:

    What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet

    So long as we know who, or what, we are referring to names shouldn’t be a problem.

    JN: connotations that are in fact correct and which derive far more from very recent history. If “Tory” has negative connotations today it’s because the Tory Party has earned them.

    It’s the connotations that go with the term that are a problem. They aren’t just “negative” they are linked to specific policies.

    Okay, these do derive from “very recent history”, but that is only a limited time frame. This is blinkered view which has serious dangers. “Not to know what happened before you were born is to be a child forever.”

    Historically, Tories, if that’s what you want to call them, have been far flexible than recent experience suggests.
    Maybe they have always been nasty but one shouldn’t let one’s feeling of moral superiority blind one to the fact that they can be effective in gaining their ends.

    I think leftists underestimate Tories and there is a danger that Teresa May will blindside them.

    Perhaps an analogy might help. Mike Tyson has done some bad things in his life, however that shouldn’t lead one to conclude that he may have certain skills most of us on this site lack.

    Certainly A.J. Ayer could see this.
    https://www.papertrell.com/apps/preview/The-Handy-Philosophy-Answer-Book/Handy%20Answer%20book/How-did-A-J-Ayer-defeat-Mike-Tyson/001137013/content/SC/52cb01ff82fad14abfa5c2e0_cool_facts.html

  38. George Hallam,

    It’s not what I particularly want to call them; it’s what they are popularly known as, both by their opponents and supporters.

    Of course the Tories have had some degree of flexibility over the years. However, they are highly unlikely to make any substantive move to the left unless there is a significant pressure for them to do so, one which outweighs the pressure to satisfy their base AND that of UKIP pulling them further to the right.

  39. George Hallam on said:

    JN:
    ,

    It’s not what I particularly want to call them; it’s what they are popularly known as, both by their opponents and supporters.

    Fine. We have both had our say on this issue so we can leave it at that.

    JN:

    Of course the Tories have had some degree of flexibility over the years.

    We agree.

    JN:
    However, they are highly unlikely to make any substantive move to the left unless there is a significant pressure for them to do so, one which outweighs thepressure to satisfy their base AND that of UKIP pulling them further to the right.

    Nicely put. It shows from where were our disagreement stems.

    We have different points view about the nature of politics.

    You see things in terms of a ‘right-left’ scale. This is a one-dimensional view so a party/group/individual can only have a single political ‘value’. Fair enough, that works in a lot of situations.

    I see politics as multi-dimensional. This allows me to evaluate a party’s / an individual’s political position in more than one way.

    To keep it simple let’s stick to two dimensions.

    I can say “x is left on issue A” and “x is actually quite right-wing on issue B” at the same time without the need to collapse the two into a single value.

    In fact, this way of talking is quite common , even on this site.

    As far as our new government is concerned I can’t see why it is inconceivable that they should spend £100 bn on infrastructure (so cutting unemployment), re-nationalise the railways, etc. and do some very nasty things at the same time.

  40. George Hallam,

    Obviously the right – left spectrum is too simplistic to describe the entirety of politics. It is however a generally understood short-hand and is useful as long as it’s limitations are borne in mind, is it not?

    As to what the Tories MIGHT do, no it’s not impossible that they would fundamentally reverse their economic policy of the last 40 years, but it is highly unlikely. Why would the Tory Party suddenly decide (to use your example) to renationalise the railways? What reason do you have to suggest that that is even remotely likely?

  41. Jock mctrousers on said:

    George Hallam: Historically, Tories, if that’s what you want to call them, have been far flexible than recent experience suggests.
    Maybe they have always been nasty but one shouldn’t let one’s feeling of moral superiority blind one to the fact that they can be effective in gaining their ends.

    I think leftists underestimate Tories and there is a danger that Teresa May will blindside them.

    Perhaps an analogy might help. Mike Tyson has done some bad things in his life, however that shouldn’t lead one to conclude that he may have certain skills most of us on this site lack.

    What’s your point, George? That Tories are not necessarily personally evil, that there are oft-forgot older threads of conservatism and unionism(as May reminds us) which have some arguable merits?

    But the Tory party now, like the Labour Party , is a globalising neoliberal party, servile to the USA, the centre of capital, the source of a relentless pressure to privatise, to dismantle welfare, public education and healthcare, and ultimately democracy, and of course the planet itself – let it burn if profit turn!

    I don’t dislike Theresa May. She’s the least worst, and she seems competent . Maybe she believes the stuff she comes out with – most people seem to need to believe they’re in the right (see Dale Carnegie: How to win friends.…)? But if she tries to swim against the neoliberal tide she’ll be swept away.

    And what does the neoliberal tide mean for UK? No more affordable healthcare, education and housing means no next generation of working-class Britons , to be replaced by guest/slave workers, like in the Gulf states… Some who claim to be on the left might call this a step forward to multiculturalism – Àngela or Owen?

    So get behind Jeremy or die , and all the future generations after you. Which brings me back to MOMENTUM!!!

    I am a Labour Party member now, but ill health has reduced my mobility such that I am unable to attend LP branch or Momentum meetings. I get emails from Momentum, but I find their website neither very informative or responsive, and the donate option hasn’t worked since first I tried, which makes me wonder if they’re for real. All the more important with news of branch LP activity being closed down, ” in case of violence”(sic), i.e. to stop Corbynistas organising.

    SO – HAS ANYONE DIRECT EXPERIENCE OF MOMENTUM?

    IF NOT, WHY NOT?

  42. George Hallam on said:

    JN: Obviously the right – left spectrum is too simplistic to describe the entirety of politics. It is however a generally understood short-hand and is useful as long as it’s limitations are borne in mind, is it not?

    I agree.

    JN: As to what the Tories MIGHT do, no it’s not impossible that they would fundamentally reverse their economic policy of the last 40 years,..

    I agree.

    JN: but it is highly unlikely.

    unlikely, yes, but that’s what seems to be happening.

    JN: Why would the Tory Party suddenly decide (to use your example) to renationalise the railways?

    Three reasons:

    It would:
    1. save money.
    2. facilitate an integrated system (translation: things would work better)
    3. would be popular (the last I heard the majority of ‘Tory’ voters wanted renationalisation).

    I agree that it still might not happen. but other things might.

    JN: What reason do you have to suggest that that is even remotely likely?

    I heard a Westminster rumour.
    “There is scope for a coordinated effort between Clark, Hammond and Bank of England governor Mark Carney to kickstart a national infrastructure building programme with money borrowed from Threadneedle Street at ultra-low interest rates. Under this scheme, which is being openly talked about inside Westminster, more than £100bn could be borrowed to improve road, rail, power generation and digital infrastructure.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jul/16/can-theresa-may-get-wheels-british-business-turning-industry

  43. jack ford on said:

    The Blairite “New Labour” types are trying to defend a state of affairs in which only those policies that benefit the affluent can be brought up for discussion. Corbyn is kicking holes in that setup so they’re terrified. The irony here is that if they throw him out, they guarantee the emergence of a new party that will render theirs as irrelevant as the Liberal Party became in the early 20th century.

  44. John Grimshaw on said:

    JN: I’m not sure I see the problem with calling the Tories the name by which they are popularly known, and which has connotations that are in fact correct and which derive far more from very recent history. If “Tory” has negative connotations today it’s because the Tory Party has earned them. See also “Blairite”.

    This was just a response to George’s point and a matter of fact. Of course I agree with you. The problem seems to be that when I use that stupid ipadd thing it won’t show who your quoting so all I can do is cut and paste.

  45. John Grimshaw on said:

    George Hallam: Britain was in the middle of “The Great Depression”, as it was called at the time, of 1873 – 1896.

    Okay I take your point. But…during this period of time as far as I am aware Britain was still a creditor nation and maintained a huge Empire. And whatever depression was going on Joseph Chamberlain was obviously still wealthy enough to consider buying the gas companies and in effect donating them to the nation.

  46. George Hallam on said:

    John Grimshaw: Okay I take your point. But…during this period of time as far as I am aware Britain was still a creditor nation and maintained a huge Empire. And whatever depression was going on Joseph Chamberlain was obviously still wealthy enough to consider buying the gas companies and in effect donating them to the nation.

    Agreed.

    Profits were down. Fear was the spur.

    Chamberlain was speaking in 1886.

    The Long Depression, starting in 1873 and lasting almost to the end of the century, created difficult social conditions in Britain—similar to the economic problems that drove rural agitation in Ireland. Falling food prices created rural unemployment, which resulted in both emigration and internal migration. Workers moved to the towns and cities in thousands, eroding employment, wages and working conditions. By November 1887, unemployed workers’ demonstrations from the East End of London had been building up for more than two years. There had already been clashes with the police and with the members of upper class clubs. Trafalgar Square was seen symbolically as the point at which the working-class East End met the upper-class West End of London, a focus of class struggle and an obvious flashpoint.

  47. George Hallam on said:

    Jock mctrousers: What’s your point, George? That Tories are not necessarily personally evil,

    Not really, I assume everybody would agree to that.

    Jock mctrousers: that there are the oft-forgot older threads of conservatism and unionism(as May reminds us) which have some arguable merits?

    Yes and no.
    Yes, people need reminding of “oft-forgot older threads of conservatism and unionism”. They are central to understand how we got the Welfare State.
    No, I’m not extolling the merits of the change in policy I’m trying to alert people to the dangers, i.e. TM is in the process of outmanoeuvring you.

    Jock mctrousers: But the Tory party now, like the Labour Party , is a globalising neoliberal party, servile to the USA, the centre of capital, the source of a relentless pressure to privatise, to dismantle welfare, public education and healthcare, and ultimately democracy, and of course the planet itself – let it burn if profit turn!

    So the wheel is lashed?

    Jock mctrousers: I don’t dislike Theresa May. She’s the least worst, and she seems competent . Maybe she believes the stuff she comes out with – most people seem to need to believe they’re in the right (see Dale Carnegie: How to win friends.…)? But if she tries to swim against the neoliberal tide she’ll be swept away.

    Perhaps, but where will “the Left” be if you’re wrong?

  48. jock mctrousers on said:

    George Hallam: Perhaps, but where will “the Left” be if you’re wrong?

    That opens up such a world of possibilities that I don’t know where to start; so, instead, let me quote from a 38 degree petition from today:

    https://actions.sumofus.org/a/theresa-may-end-the-nhs-sell-off/?akid=20866.1705253.Zfphsw&rd=1&source=fwd&t=3

    Five of the six most senior new cabinet ministers appointed by Theresa May have links to private healthcare companies….

    Defence secretary Michael Fallon is the former director of a Swedish private healthcare company.

    International trade secretary Liam Fox, who has called for cuts to the “wasteful NHS”, was funded by a company that owns pharma company Cyprotex.

    The new chancellor, Philip Hammond, is a beneficiary of a trust that owns a controlling interest in healthcare developer Castlemead.

    Home secretary Amber Rudd was funded by a hedge fund baron who is a major investor in healthcare firms.

    David Davis, Brexit secretary, has been paid thousands in speaking fees for private health insurance company Aviva.

  49. George Hallam on said:

    jock mctrousers,

    #73 I don’t doubt that these people will be tempted to cash in. What I’m trying to draw attention to is that:

    A) an industrial policy backed up by a £100bn infrastructure programme will, if it goes ahead, win the government support in a way Osborne’s unvanquished austerity failed to do.

    B) given the financial pressures A) will cause (the fiscal deficit is already running at 4%) the new Government my well be reluctant to indulge private interests in the way it’s predecessor did. There is certainly a question mark over new PFIs.

  50. jock mctrousers on said:

    JN,

    Well, she knows the USA would never let her anyway, unless it was some sort of diplomatic trade-off, like a tit for tat trade off of say central Scotland for Ykaterinburg or some such. Still the least worst, though, maybe…

  51. John Grimshaw on said:

    George Hallam:
    jock mctrousers,

    #73 I don’t doubt that these people will be tempted to cash in. What I’m trying to draw attention to is that:

    A)an industrial policy backed up by a £100bn infrastructure programme will, if it goes ahead, win the government support in a way Osborne’s unvanquished austerity failed to do.

    B) given the financial pressures A) will cause (the fiscal deficit is already running at 4%) the new Government my well be reluctant to indulge private interests in the way it’s predecessor did. There is certainly a question mark over new PFIs.

    I think if the infrastructure spending goes ahead you may have a temporary point, however I remain unconvinced that the Tories will have a sudden conversion to Maynard Keynes. I suppose we’ll have to see what Redmond comes out with. I haven’t really got the measure of him yet whereas it was painstakingly obvious that Osbourne was an awful chancellor. My A level Economics furnished me with more skills than he had. The Tories are hermetically linked to making cuts and I don’t see May changing that much.

    I think PFIs have gone out of the window at the moment. They are too discredited and in any case they are a Blair/Brown policy. That being said I think you are being too optimistic about the Tories not indulging private interests. It’s their default setting.

  52. John Grimshaw on said:

    FDR’s New Deal is often credited with bringing the USA out of the Great Depression however. To some extent this is true George but I would be careful. There were two separate depressions in the second half of the 1930s the second one in the midst of the New Deal. I think it’s perfectly possible to argue that it was the gearing up for war that finally brought 1930s depression to an end. I could see the same happening again if lets say the USA gets into a conflict in the South China Sea. Donald Trump?

  53. John Grimshaw on said:

    JN: “Ms May was challenged by the SNP’s George Kerevan, who asked: “Are you prepared to authorise a nuclear strike that could kill hundreds of thousands of men, women and children?”

    Ms May replied with one word: “Yes.””

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-trident-debate-nuclear-bomb-yes-live-latest-news-a7143386.html

    Given her/their position on Nuclear deterrent I don’t see how they could’ve said anything else.

  54. George Hallam on said:

    John Grimshaw: I think if the infrastructure spending goes ahead you may have a temporary point

    and you damn with faint praise.

    The ‘temporary’ can continue for quite a long time when measured against the life span of human being.
    The economic policy of governments over the has forty years has been unsustainable and in that sense it has been temporary.

    John Grimshaw: however I remain unconvinced that the Tories will have a sudden conversion to Maynard Keynes.

    Who said anything about Keynes?

    Government infrastructure projects go back a long way.

    Funding government spending by borrowing predate Keynes by centuries.

    John Grimshaw: it was painstakingly obvious that Osbourne was an awful chancellor. My A level Economics furnished me with more skills than he had.

    Throw your A level Economics textbooks away, everything in them is wrong. Also you seem to think that Osbourne’s policies were based on some economic theory. Think again. Osbourne may have used economic arguments to justify his actions but that wasn’t what was driving them.

    John Grimshaw: The Tories are hermetically linked to making cuts and I don’t see May changing that much.

    The wheel is lashed, nothing can change?
    You seem to projecting the brainless, blinkered behaviour of the Left on to Tories.

    John Grimshaw: That being said I think you are being too optimistic about the Tories not indulging private interests. It’s their default setting.

    Good, you seem to be accepting that government policy might be explained by interests rather than ideas.

    Now if you could entertain the concept of enlightened self-interest then you might see why there might be a change in government policy which would be politically significant.

    By the way, I’m not optimistic. On the contrary, a savvy Conservative leader who thinks strategically is something of a worst case scenario. I don’t want to personalise this but I’m not setting TM up as “St. Teresa” May the Merciful, I’m suggesting that we might be contending with “Tricky Tess”, Teresa “Manipulative” May who, when their abused partner threaten to leave, lures them back by turning on the charm, making an “I’ll change” speech and throwing a few crumbs.

    John Grimshaw: FDR’s New Deal is often credited with bringing the USA out of the Great Depression however. To some extent this is true George but I would be careful. There were two separate depressions in the second half of the 1930s the second one in the midst of the New Deal.

    Really, I never knew. 🙂

  55. John Grimshaw on said:

    George Hallam: The economic policy of governments over the has forty years has been unsustainable and in that sense it has been temporary.

    Maybe.

    George Hallam: Funding government spending by borrowing predate Keynes by centuries.

    H’mmmm. I’ll think about this.

    George Hallam: Osbourne’s policies were based on some economic theory. Think again. Osbourne may have used economic arguments to justify his actions but that wasn’t what was driving them.

    Agreed.

    George Hallam: The wheel is lashed, nothing can change?

    There is no such thing as unchangeable.

    George Hallam: I’m suggesting that we might be contending with “Tricky Tess”,

    I know what your’re trying to say.

  56. John Grimshaw on said:

    This is going to take a bit of time. I think we have to confine ourselves to capitalism. Assuming that you accept that such a thing exists. Within capitalism when was the first time that the state funded projects to “benefit” the populace?

  57. George Hallam on said:

    John Grimshaw,

    #82 no problem. I don’t object to being patronising, in fact it’s one of my hobbies. 🙂

    #83 this is a productive discussion. Thanks.

    #85 definitions are critical.

    Late 19th certainly. Free education, council houses?
    Early 20th old age pensions. (a bit of a cost cutting alternative to the workhouse, but still appreciated).

  58. Vanya on said:

    #86 Also presumably at least some of the sanitation provided as a result of the 1875Healrh Public Act was publicly funded?

  59. John Grimshaw,

    That doesn’t make it any better. To answer “no” would have been absurd, but to answer “yes” is infinitely worse. Which is the whole point about nuclear weapons. They are at best useless.

    One more reason why Corbyn should be leader of the Labour Party: he has the sense to be against nukes and the guts to actually oppose the Tory government.

  60. George Hallam on said:

    John Grimshaw: I think PFIs have gone out of the window at the moment. They are too discredited and in any case they are a Blair/Brown policy.

    Yes, PFI projects have a bad name however John McDonnell still bases his plans on the use of private investment. His concept of a National Investment Bank is based on the German KfW banking group which gets over 90% of its funds from the money markets. It issues bonds guaranteed by the federal government.

    Of course McDonnell initially backed Osborne’s ‘Charter for Budget Responsibility’, which in turn was based on Gordon Brown’s equally misguided ‘Fiscal Responsibility Act’ of 2010. This set out to reduce net public-sector borrowing year on year from 2011 to 2016.

    With all due respect to Bertolt Brech, economic illiteracy can have some pretty disastrous consequences too.

  61. John Grimshaw on said:

    JN:
    John Grimshaw,

    That doesn’t make it any better. To answer “no” would have been absurd, but to answer “yes” is infinitely worse. Which is the whole point about nuclear weapons. They are at best useless.

    One more reason why Corbyn should be leader of the Labour Party: he has the sense to be against nukes and the guts to actually oppose the Tory government.

    For the sake of clarity I don’t agree with the UK keeping a “nuclear deterrent” my point was merely that one couldn’t have expected them to respond in any other way. That May didn’t obfuscate indicates, that May, as George would no doubt point out, at least isn’t treating us like children. Which is what politicians normally do. And no before you say this isn’t any kind of TM appreciation club. These days we have the Department for Defence in the old days it was called the War Office which was at least more honest.

  62. John Grimshaw on said:

    I’m no military expert but I’ve been reading some stuff recently about underwater drones. The whole point about nuclear subs is that they can stay underwater for ages and no one can detect them. If, however they can be detected then there is no point in them. These recent technology developments seem to imply that it is no longer possible to rely on this “undetectability”.

  63. John Grimshaw on said:

    George Hallam,

    What I don’t understand is why has the opposition to Corbyn fielded such weak candidates? Unless of course they’re stalking horses?

  64. John Grimshaw on said:

    John Grimshaw: Edward 1 or King John maybe

    Edward 1st famously borrowed money from Jewish bankers to fund his very expensive wars against the Scottish and the Welsh. When he couldn’t make the payments he encouraged a pogram which meant there was no Jewish presence in this country until Cromwell came to power.

  65. John Grimshaw on said:

    George Hallam:
    John Grimshaw,

    #82 no problem. I don’t object to being patronising, in fact it’s one of my hobbies.

    #83 this is a productive discussion. Thanks.

    #85 definitions are critical.

    Late 19th certainly. Free education, council houses?
    Early 20th old age pensions. (a bit of a cost cutting alternative to the workhouse, but still appreciated).

    All this stuff about submarines has made me think. If we’re elastic about what “public benefit” means, and assuming that you think the sixteenth century was “early capitalism” in the UK then the answer to the question is obvious. The Royal Navy! It was the first state funded project and indirectly was responsible for moving lots of poor people out of poverty providing of course that they weren’t killed in the process of their service.

  66. John Grimshaw on said:

    John Grimshaw,

    And then after the Jews were expelled he borrowed money from Norrthern Italians like the Riccardi. Lombard Street in the City of London is not called that for no reason.

  67. George Hallam on said:

    John Grimshaw: If we’re elastic about what “public benefit” means, and assuming that you think the sixteenth century was “early capitalism” in the UK then the answer to the question is obvious. The Royal Navy! It was the first state funded project and indirectly was responsible for moving lots of poor people out of poverty providing of course that they weren’t killed in the process of their service.

    There’s many a true word spoken in jest.

    Adam Smith ridiculed his mercantilist predecessors as simple-minded ‘bullionists’ who confused wealth with the possession of precious metals. While it is true that mercantilists were concerned with restricting trade, so that gold flowed into the country rather than out of it, there was method in their madness. The underlying concern of the mercantilist was to create a strong state that would be able to defend the country against foreign rivals. Reserves of bullion were essential for a state to maintain its armed forces in a war.
    In the context of England in the early modern period the Royal Navy was indispensable if it was to challenging the Spanish, and/or Dutch, stranglehold on trade and colonies.

  68. Left Lambeth Lawyer on said:

    There is a view that it was exactly the naval expansion programe under William and Mary (reacting to naval defeat by the Dutch) that kick started the economic expansion and development of production that would lead to the industrial revolution first taking place in Britain and thus its ruling class becoming the most powerful capitalists in Europe, not to mention creating an imperialist power able, using that navy, to impose that class’s will across the globe.

  69. George Hallam on said:

    Left Lambeth Lawyer: There is a view that it was exactly the naval expansion programe under William and Mary .. that kick started the economic expansion and development of production that would lead to the industrial revolution first taking place in Britain

    Just to make the link between economic development, the Royal Navy, social services and William and Mary…
    The Navy’s victory the Battle of La Hogue (1692) and sight of wounded sailors inspired Mary I to found Royal Hospital for Seamen at Greenwich, the Navy’s equivalent to the Army’s Chelsea pensioners.
    Of course, it was under William and Mary that the Bank of England was fouinded.