Thursday, July 31, 2008

New Labour V True Labour Battle Begins

The battle for control of the Labour Party has begun. Blairites and Brownites are jockeying for position. The real fight is over ownership.

As the Orange Party predicted this will be a summer of discontent.

On the one hand, New Labour, in its many disguises and reincarnations, trying to cling on to power and become electable again.

On the other, True Labour, never happy with the way the Party was highjacked back in the 90s.

There's no love lost between the two sides. They've always made very uneasy bedfellows.

The Milibandwaggon has caused some outrage in the Party with his election manifesto in the Guardian and TV and radio election broadcasts. Many in the Party don't like this upstart heir to Blair. He is just too full of New Labour flannel.

Now True Labour have raised the stakes with MP John McDonnell throwing his hat into the ring and calling for a leadership election.

Why is it worth listening to this "left-wing Labour rebel"? Because he's neither left wing - nor a rebel. That's just a label used by some, to scare off voters.

Many in the media class will probably try to freeze him out. After all, they are part of the New Labour elite.

In the Guardian (CiF) McDonnell writes:
"If Miliband, Harman, Purnell, Johnson or any others fancy their chances as leader of the Labour party why don't they just explain why and have a go? Writing articles, holding press conferences and having your friends brief the media are clearly designed to stake a claim for the leadership, so why not be straight about your intentions?"
McDonnell continues:
"There just can't be another coronation for the leader of the party. Our members and the electorate just wouldn't put up with another one. I am up for a leadership election at any time but it has to be about beliefs, about a political analysis of the world and about the political solutions we can promote to regain control over the destiny of our planet."
A letter of support for McDonnell is currently doing the rounds of the Labour Party. If that letter is published in a national newspaper as promised, it will be interesting to see just how many grass roots members and indeed MPs lend their support.

And more importantly where popular cabinet minister, Alan Johnson, stands on this issue.

The Party knows New Labour can't win the next election. No matter what face they put up front, the Conservatives and SNP will wipe the floor with them.

In the Scottish and English Labour heartlands, with True Labour, they may have a fighting chance. And that's what really worries Cameron and Salmond.

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