Phoney class war talk won’t hide Labour’s Better Together reality

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By Ken Ferguson

From Labour’s ambition for an “irreversible shift of wealth” to working people 40 years ago, to the Blair/Brown love in with the rich, is quite a leap.

The recent death of Tony Benn recalled that earlier period when the rich really did – briefly – fear for their world of wealth and power. However it also threw a harsh spotlight on the reality of today’s Labour Party.

Blair and Brown, in power with big majorities at Westminster, used that power to harness Labour to the world of casino capitalism unleashed by Thatcher which shifted vast wealth and power into the grubby hands of the super rich.

By Ken Ferguson

From Labour’s ambition for an “irreversible shift of wealth” to working people 40 years ago, to the Blair/Brown love in with the rich, is quite a leap.

The recent death of Tony Benn recalled that earlier period when the rich really did – briefly – fear for their world of wealth and power. However it also threw a harsh spotlight on the reality of today’s Labour Party.

Blair and Brown, in power with big majorities at Westminster, used that power to harness Labour to the world of casino capitalism unleashed by Thatcher which shifted vast wealth and power into the grubby hands of the super rich.

At the same time they took trade union money, left Thatcher’s anti-union laws intact and paraded in their dinner suits at city banquets praising the rich.

When it all collapsed in 2007 they rediscovered public ownership in order to rescue the self same speculators from the financial collapse they inflicted on us all, ensuring that kept their own cash intact.

Now under the insipid leadership of “Red” Ed Miliband they scrabble to look radical while backing essentially the same harsh agenda of cuts and economic repression for the majority of their Better Together ConDem pals.

This is a difficult trick to pull off in a rightward moving England but faced, as in Scotland with a left of centre government it rapidly unravels.

This reality was gruesomely showcased at the “Scottish” Labour conference on the banks of the Tay in Perth which was dominated by grubby party fixes producing a timid “devo nano” offer and a sea of anti-Salmond bile.

So lack lustre was aspiring-PM Miliband’s speech that the largely unionist Scottish press barely noticed it.

The so called Red Paper portraying Labour as a party about to wage war on the rich was in reality a shopping list which flies in the face of the reality of leader Johann Lamont’s belief that Scotland is a “something for nothing” society.

Picking up the Herald the day after its launch I was struck by the interpretation of Magnus Gardham that this represents a leftward move by Labour which suggests that a glittering career in creative fiction lies in front of him.

Of Ms Lamont’s anti-Yes tirade the best that can be said is it pleased the delegates.  Nobody much else was listening.

Labour, already tainted by the pro war, rich loving Blair/Brown years are so out of touch that they still believe the deeply discredited grumpy Brown is a super star.

However the polls tell another tale with the gap between Yes and No steadily narrowing and some 34 per cent of Labour voters backing independence.

Labour, once the dominant voice of progressive Scotland, now finds itself opposing an optimistic coalition fighting for a Yes vote with vision of a socially just and sustainable Scotland which would once have been endorsed by them.

Instead they are in bed with the detested Tories and their flexible Lib Dem friends who impose cuts, wage freezes and austerity while they pump out – all three – a daily diet of demeaning anti-Scottish scares.

As the UK polls point to a Labour defeat at Westminster and the reality of their cosying up to the Tories turns off Labour voters in growing numbers, this key constituency is there to be won for Yes.

Given the self inflicted damage that their BT alliance is inflicting on them it may just be that only a fresh start in an independent Scotland can make Labour a serious contender for Scottish voter’s trust.

Courtesy of The Scottish Socialist Voice