Archive for November, 2010

So, Lord Young has finally resigned after his comment that people “have never had it so good” (!) It was right that he eventually resigned after “reflecting on the media coverage”, given the current financial situation and the number of people that are losing their jobs.

He was referring to interest rates at the time, which makes his more sensible given that he was (technically) correct – quoting out of context can be a dangerous art. As Ed Miliband said, his comments showed that he was “out of touch”……. True, given that most people are worrying about keeping their job and their home rather than having lower interest rates than the ’80s and ’90s. Is Thatcherism creeping back into the Conservative Party?

He also rather rashly suggested that annual job losses of 100,000 over the next four years were “within the margin of error”. The Coalitions economic policies may well do more damage than that….


Read Full Post »

So here we have it; I have finally started a blog (well, actually writing it)! Writing a blog has been something that I have always wanted to do, as I feel that by writing about your political views you think about them in a much more meaningful way, and they mature and become more considered.

For my first blogpost, I want to start with some broad thoughts. For me, being active in politics is about making a difference in the world, now matter how big, or indeed small that difference may be. You should not be judged on where you come from, what background you came from, or the school that you attended. You should be judged on where you are going, and what you are going to do with your life

Indeed the change that you want to see in the world may be something that lots of people agree with; many, or even most people may disagree with you. But it is still your view, and it is precious for it. The Labour Party, both as an institution and as a set of values is something that is very important to me. The Labour Party, as a set of values grew out of the idea that by acting together we can be stronger than if we simply act alone, purely out of self interest. The “founding fathers” of our party were men like Keir Hardie and Ramsay McDonald. These were men who were guided by their principles. These are the principles that should guide us today. The Labour Party membership card has a passage from the Parties constitution. It states that :

“By the strength of our common endeavor we achieve more than we achieve alone”.

This has been a continuing theme throughout the history of the Labour Party, both in Government and in Opposition as we no find ourselves. From Party members all the way to the Shadow Cabinet and Ed Miliband it is these values which drive us. Our Party has had some of the greatest political figures in the World. Names such as Attlee, Bevan, Wilson, Gaitskill, Foot, Blair and Brown. These are all me who changed the face of Britain. Many disagree with some, or all of what they did, but they all created real change. From the National Health Service to the National Minimum Wage they started a revolution in Britain. If we did not have the NHS, we would probably have system similar to that found in America, where Healthcare is a reward, not a right. If we did not have the minimum wage people would still be earning 50p an hour.

During the 2010 election, the Conservative Party claimed to be the “Party of change”. We are the real Party of change. But we must not forget those people who entrust us with the near unlimited power that our Constitution gives to the Government. To make “change” we have to be in Government, we have to be in tune with the electorate. In 2010, we were not, as we had lost our radical edge that had swept us to power in 1997 to the strains of “Things Can Only Get Better”. After nearly two decades of Conservative Power, Britain was a country which had a shattered morale. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, between them, bought Britain back from the brink of becoming a two tiered nation. During the “Thatcher Years” people did become more wealthy. But it also divided the country, as people were seen less as Human Beings, and more as marketable assets. The Post-War Consensus – that the state should intervene in the economy, was torn up overnight as unbridled free-market control took over. This was even to the extent that some of the Tory Right wanted people to be able to sell their organs. This was clearly extreme. The market is now in control. But restrictions can be placed on it, to ensure that people are not exploited and are fairly rewarded for their labour. The lasting product of Thatcherism was that class has essentially been destroyed in this country.

A final thought – We now live in a country where it is possible for people to improve themselves. It is possible, but it is not easy. We should make it easy.

Read Full Post »