A Letter to Ed Miliband

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Dear Ed Miliband,

I have found myself questioning what principles I would like Labour to encapsulate of late.

For some time it has been clear to me what the key issues are that requires fixing in the United Kingdom:

  • An inequality based on thirty years of Neo-Liberal policies
  • A growing democratic deficit both in the UK and EU
  • The creeping privatisation of public services started by New Labour becoming a stampede under the coalition
  • A refusal to accept and respond to the growing man-made environmental catastrophe that is unfolding
  • A failure to acknowledge peak oil, and the scarcity of the resources that mean that growth based on consumerism is fatally flawed going forward
  • A national housing crisis that remains unsolved

This is by no means a comprehensive list. However, it is my view that the Labour Party has failed grasp these issues. The Tories certainly won’t, but if I want to campaign for a decent future for my children another party must.

You have stated many times that New Labour is dead. However, the ghost of Blair still possesses much of the PLP, against a majority of the grass-roots membership. Let us not forget that Tony Blair essentially embraced the Neo-Liberal consensus, as did Gordon Brown. Yes, it was dressed up to look like it wasn’t, but an animal with two humps and four legs is always a camel.

In many speeches you have hinted that you understand my concerns, yet no actions or commitments have been made that give me any confidence you will commit Labour to seriously following through your good intentions. I understand the establishment will be hostile, but to make a change you must face this. Universal suffrage, the abolition of slavery and the creation of the Unions did not occur without serious fights. The fight to rid us Neo-Liberalism will be no easier.

Where is Labour’s clear backing of the protesters outside St, Pauls? These are the first cohort fighting this battle. Consider it a new start up company, like an embryonic Microsoft. A small investment now is easy, but if the movement grows into something bigger (which I am sure it will) that investment will result in huge rewards.

I have considered deeply, and only The Green Party offer the vision I want for the world I want for my children.

Others in Think Left will fight the good fight from within the Labour Party. However, I choose an alternative path.  Therefore, I will be resigning my Labour Membership, to join the Greens.

I wish you well, as change in our country will rely on Labour taking an alternative path with many obstacles.

For the sake of our future generations be bold.

Help save Tribune Magazine from closure after 75 years!

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It has been announced that Tribune Magazine is to close on the 4th November 2011, after 75 years of weekly publication, and at a time when it is needed more than ever!

The media as whole is dominated by right-wing views and analysis. Apart from the Morning Star, there is little other coverage of union or industrial news. Weekly printed presentation of left-wing thought will be dependent on the vagaries of the Guardian, the Mirror and the New Statesman.

The owner intends to maintain a Tribune website, which will carry automated feeds from other left of centre sources and will require no staff. All six full-time and part-time staff are to be made redundant.

There is, however, a suggestion that the staff may continue to run Tribune as a co-operative, and there is an appeal for short-term donations from readers and supporters on the basis that these funds would be converted into capital in a jointly-owned worker-reader co-op, with representation on a new board. The time frame is extremely short … the deadline is Friday 28th October… So action is needed now to save this invaluable asset.

Donations http://www.tribunemagazine.co.uk/subscribe/

Or if you prefer, you can call the credit card hotline on 020 8955 7069 or post a cheque to:

Tribune, PO Box 2068, Bushey, Herts, WD23 3ZF

Cheque made payable to Tribune Publications 2009 Ltd

Mr McGrath, who rescued the paper after a consortium of trade unions relinquished ownership in March 2009, said:

The newspaper format of Tribune has, in a changing world of electronic communications and economics, become unsustainable. We are, however, determined to keep the Tribune brand alive by moving all publication to its web site and through the continued maintenance of the archive of the paper’s 75 years.

This means that the company has safeguarded the history of Tribune and will keep the brand alive through the web site which will run on an automated basis feeding off other left of centre political and arts web sites and will offer immediate, up-to-date news coverage. It is a positive and exciting move into the 21st century.

I would personally like to thank all the staff for their hard work and commitment to Tribune over the years. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank all our loyal readers for their support and hope they will stay with Tribune at http://www.tribunemagazine.co.uk and http://www.archive.tribunemagazine.co.uk.”

Why Labour Should Support an EU Referendum

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The last few days have demonstrated that perhaps the political landscape is changing.

Following a E Petition getting over 100,000 signatories, on Monday there will be a debate and non-binding vote on whether the UK should have a referendum on it’s EU Membership, amidst the Euro-zone crisis

David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg have put a three line whip in place, meaning that voting against the party Leadership (a no vote), consequences could occur. Failing to follow a three line whip usually results a resignation from a Government post, or a closing off of promotion prospects to those without a Government post.

At the same time the campaign group Occupy Wall Street has commenced direct action:

“Occupy Wall Street is a people-powered movement that began on September 17, 2011 in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District, and has spread to over 100 cities in the United States and actions in over 1,500 cities globally. #OWS is fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process, and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations. The movement is inspired by popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, and aims to expose how the richest 1% of people are writing the rules of an unfair global economy that is foreclosing on our future. ”

Source: http://occupywallst.org/about/

What links the two?

For many years it is clear to many that power over people’s lives has increasingly shifted to global forces. Companies are merging and many powerful pan-international corporations wield huge power. Global Capitalism shifts vast sums of money across the global at the touch of a computer screen on whims and the hint of a rumour.

Governmental power has also been consolidated, to mirror the financial markets. The European Union has evolved from a loose group of friendly nations , to a single market and finally into an Economic Union

There is an increasing sense of powerlessness that eroded faith in politics to provide answers. So much of what affects our daily lives ais beyond any sort of accountability to the person on the street. We can do our duty and vote for an MP, and write to them. The truth is that as the Liam Fox Affair highlighted, a voter has virtually no influence. True influence lies with unaccountable lobbyists for a range of commercial interests.

The effect can be seen with lower and lower turnouts, and the phrase “they are all the same” often trotted out.

The Euro-zone is crisis. The nations that formed it gave up economic sovereignty. Different economies as diverse as Germany and Greece were welded together. What is clear is that hanging on the Euro is killing Greece, Portugal and Ireland by chronic austerity. Italy and Spain are on the brink. Germany is increasing bearing the load.

The EU is clearly working on a broken model and everyone can see it. The political and economic experiment is creaking. What is required is an EU that restores democracy and sovereignty to National Governments, alongside economic control.

This is why the Electorate of the UK wants a referendum to address this issue. It is cross party and across all of society. By denying this referendum, all the party leaders are demonstrating why the Electorate don’t trust politicians.

Ed Miliband has a chance to say to the Electorate “I trust you, and want to address your concerns” by removing the three line whip and arguing that we need a different relationship with the EU.

By not doing so, he has failed the Labour Party and the United Kingdom.

Tory MPs – Abstaining Better Method Than Withdrawal

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by Tom Pride – an irreverent look at UK politics.

In a parliamentary vote to be held on Monday on our relationship with our European Union partners, most Tory members would prefer to abstain, even though many would prefer complete or partial withdrawal.

One backbench Tory MP said of the parliamentary vote:

Most members would prefer to abstain but the government has put us over a barrel. We’d prefer not to be whipped, obviously, but as Tories whipping is something we’re used to.

Nick Clegg who has admitted he has had close relationships with more than 30 nationalities in the EU, said this:

My wife is Spanish so I know something about this subject. Generally I don’t like the idea of pulling out. I prefer to stay in at all costs, and would never even think about a partial withdrawal. In my opinion, if we decide to withdraw we will end up wanting very quickly to go right back in again.

In another development, the Liberal Democrat MP, Mike Hancock announced his intention to continue to push for closer relations with people outside the EU, particularly Russians:

For the last 4 years I’ve tried very hard to foster a good relationship with all kinds of Russians – but especially the young pretty ones. We shouldn’t forget that being a member, big or small, doesn’t exclude us from close contact with nationalities outside the EU too. In my opinion, the more international partners we have, the better.

 

This article was originally posted in Pride’s Purge.