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After Blair's new-Labour, Miliband's invisible-Labour
by Thanos Kalamidas
2013-08-16 07:47:24
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The harm Tony Blair has done to the Labour Party in Britain is far deeper than just punishing the party in the opposition benches for long time. He actually changed a party with ideological foundations in the society and the people to a power hungry party with one and only ideology …hold on the power. And Ed Miliband is nothing else than the continuation of that dogma.

Part of the Labour mutate has also been its distance from the working class Britain and despite the fact that all Labour leaders, including Tony Blair and Ed Miliband, owe their political existence to the unions; they use the unions as an excuse to distance themselves from their real allies and the ones they should represent and fight for their rights.

Back in 1980s and during Margaret Thatcher era the Labour Party faced two dramatic defeats and that period came the first change in the party. The then excuse was that the party had distance itself from the voters with its “intellectual stand” and often blamed for speaking a language the people could not understand. The first years and before coming into power Tony Blair tried to speak the “people’s language” but then he often balance in a schizophrenic way between conservative economic ideals, Bushisms and populism that might earned him votes but led the party into a foggy idealism closer to Thatcherism than the conservatives themselves.

So speaking the “people’s language” is not what Ed Miliband is missing. What Ed Miliband is missing is speaking to the people. The young leader of the Labour Party, obviously a sprout of Blair’s neo-Labour garden of private schooling and close clubs with battlers, cannot use the unions and his private war against their leadership to keep away the people who have been for decades its foundations.

The Labour Party had enough of these private wars its leadership rose for periods against union’s leaders and the key word in these wars has always been the union’s leadership and not the unions themselves. Arthur Scargill is the best example. An arrogant, ambitious and self-centred unionist started a private war against Margaret Thatcher and Neil Kinnock in the end damaging the whole miners’ movement. And while some of his decisions had been lethally wrong doesn’t mean that the miners weren’t right in their demands or that the miners don’t need a union to represent them. Actually living in an era where workers’ and civil rights are under pressure and diminish with the excuse of the global economic crisis and the European recession, the role of the unions is far more important.

A few days ago Ed Miliband got an egg welcome when he visited the South London market and he tried to humour the situation saying: “happened before and would happen again," adding "I am always looking for new ways to connect with voters." Sadly he should find first ways to connect with the Labour voters and then with the very generalizing “voters”.

Ed Miliband has done everything possible to distant the party from the people, the people that actually the Labour Party traditionally represented for decades and left the working class an easy victim to populists, xenophobes and extremes. And this might be Blair’s responsibility but it becomes Miliband’s mistake with serious sequences not just to the Labour Party but also to the British society as a whole. And perhaps the time comes to end with the PR experiments in the Labour Party and find somebody who can united again the party, the voters and the unions against the menace of David Cameron and his jolly partner.

While the 1980s will be remembered as the “wilderness years” for the Labour Party I’m afraid Miliband’s years will be remembered as the “nothingness years” or after the new-Labour we will have the invisible-Labour and if Miliband wants to connect with the people he has better speak with them the Labour language.

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Leah Sellers2013-08-17 01:48:45
Insightful, and well stated, Brother Thanos.
Too many of Today's politicians really have no idea of the Genuine Needs of the Constituents they are supposed to Serve - to Represent. They are far too busy Serving and Representing ThemSelves.

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