Labour must fight back

John CoxThe lesson of the election is that Labour must fight Tory measures day-by-day – not wait until a few weeks before the next election. Labour has been notably absent from demonstrations against the bedroom tax and other measures during the past 5 years and has relied far too much on TV appearances.

The Labour Party I remember as a boy conducted political activity on the streets and in workplaces and was part of mass opposition to Tory policies. Today’s Labour Party has cut links to trade unions and mass political activity, relying instead on debates at Westminster and TV studio interviews.

Moreover, during the past five years, it has accepted the Tory agenda on austerity, even pledging not to reverse Tory cuts in government spendingThat’s why its election campaign lacked all credibility and has not enthused its supporters. OK – Nick Thomas-Symonds has retained Torfaen for Labour. But overall its results have been grim – in particular in Scotland where it has been outflanked on the left by the SNP. I doubt that it can ever win back Scotland if it continue to back Trident and doesn’t oppose all future austerity cuts.

How did I do?  Frankly, better than I feared.  I received 697 votes – I think this is more than other Socialist Labour Party candidates and way above the votes for most other non-Labour ‘socialist’ candidates. 

I also was within 50 votes of the Green Party candidate – who will have benefited hugely from national publicity on TV and radio for his party (by comparison, the SLP had miniscule coverage).

Our new MP is a good man but unused to grass roots campaigning. I am keen to talk with him asap to discuss what we can do together in future.

[Written, 05.50, 8th May 2015]

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5 thoughts on “Labour must fight back

  1. Paul Wakefield says:

    I remember those days and we were marvellous in opposition but did not govern for years , yu can bury your head in the sand and dream of the past but the electorate are different now, it is perfectly obvious from this election result labour are not connecting to middle Englannd and like it or not Blair did not once but three times

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  2. Supposing what you say is true (you can’t win elections with left-wing policies), you have then a choice between seeking power for its own sake or arguing for progressive policies. Supposing that is true, I would still prefer the latter. But I don’t think it is true. The SNP has just swept the board on anti-Trident and anti-austerity policies with votes far exceeding those favouring Scottish independence. What I believe is true is that you can’t win an election on policies you don’t passionately support. That’s been Labour’s failing for years.

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  3. Paul Wakefield says:

    I really do not think the SNP swept the board on the CND ticket and as for anti austerity a much trumpeted statement by Sturgeon she never explains how , the truth of the SNP success was nationalist fervour that she stirred up, it was like watching an episode of X Factor , must vote SNP because we are Scottish .

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    • The fact remains, the vote for the SNP far far exceeded the wish for independence (what you term “nationalist fervour”). I keep in touch with friends in Scotland who predicted this outcome for exactly these reasons.

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  4. 697 was a number John – and great as you say considering really it was just you, leaflets and an interesting and not ranting blog avoiding the centralised south east of England Westminster mainstream media and political system.
    Those people up there have little idea of South Wales valleys lives; hopes, fears and struggles.
    You got these issues out here in this strange cyberspace and discussed them with us mortals – not as if we were stupid, but explaining certain issues and the presentations of other candidates and parties clearly and gently – and openly without venom.
    Good has been done here – and the good has reached beyond the 697.
    Onwards and Upwards!
    Thank you Dr Cox.

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