Friday, June 16, 2006

Idealism, ah, yes, I remember that!

Once upon a time there was a rather gauche, solicitous, eager to please Labour Party member called Tony. He even went to the trouble of writing a long letter to Michael Foot in 1982, proclaiming his faith in radical socialist policies (no, don't laugh). Alas, the 80s were lost to the Tories & Tony came to swallow rather more poisonous nostrums as the decade wore on. By the start of the next decade Tony's metamorphosis was pretty well complete, &, well, the rest, as they say, is modern history ( ).
Accompanying this week's New Statesman in this morning's mail was a leaflet from something calling itself the "LabOUR Commission" --the typography is deliberate--, stating its aim to bring accountability & inner democracy back to Labour. The individuals behind LabOUR consist of those who would have been on the soft Left 20 years' ago, & who then bit their tongues as the New Labour "project" proceeded apace; Michael Meacher, Tony Robinson (yes, Baldrick himself) & Billy Hayes (general secretary of my union) are the most prominent names. I wish them well, but I don't hold out much hope for their mission (I also can't help but reflect wryly on the flawed political perspective of these individuals over the last two decades). Under the sub heading, "How you can help", they declare, "LabOUR needs to know why you joined the party, if you left the party why and what might make you want to join in the future." Got a spare weekend, brothers & sisters?
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