Think Left Statement
“A Socialist Britain in a Greener World.”
Think Left started out with a group of people in 2011 with the intention to add to the left-wing voices challenging the remaining vestiges of New Labour ideology.
Each author takes individual responsibility for the views that they express. However, all share the common aim of wanting a contemporary LP which incorporates the values of socialism into policies for future government… a Labour Party that will tackle ‘the huge institutional blockages of neo-liberal capitalism’
It is now widely accepted that the Third way of New Labour was a continuum with Thatcherism and the policies of deregulation and globalization which led to the credit crunch of 2008
Since 2011, Tory and Tory/LibDem governments have continued with the disastrous and now discredited economic framework, have utilized the crisis to justify unnecessary cuts and a draconian process of dismantling and privatizing the Welfare State, the NHS and education.
This is the nature of neoliberalism. Any economic crisis, war or natural disaster is managed and manipulated to justify an ‘upward redistribution of wealth accumulation by dispossession’. The main techniques, in the modern neoliberal sense, for dispossessing (‘parasitising’) the wider population are through privatisations and commodification, financialisation, and state redistributions.
‘…neoliberalism is essentially about the reconstitution of class power by the global economic elite. Thus neoliberalism in its practice has not been a “utopian project to realize a theoretical design for the reorganization of international capitalism” …. but a practical political project meant to restore the power of economic elites…. a kind of one sided neoliberalism, where government intervention is bad if it would protect labour or the environment, but government intervention is good if it will help economic elites.’
The crisis of energy, peak oil production and climate warming.
Since 2011, awareness of the Climate Emergency has grown in more prominence, and the emergence of Green New Deal and Extinction Rebellion have added to the voices of GreenPeace and protest groups. Think Left’s concerns about the crisis of energy, peak oil production and climate warming, have been a central issue and many articles here reflect that.
Now, the time has come to implement policies and the Left and the Labour Party are leading with Labour’s Green New Deal.
Labour look to be a world leader in addressing the Climate Emergency. The UK alone cannot stop a global catastrophe.
The truth is that the capitalist system is unable to respond to climate change: either in periods of prosperity or stagnation, and in the latter case everything but the latest stock quotes and profit figures recede into the background.
The Emergence of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Leader and Labour Party Democratisation
A new democracy has developed within the Labour Party, under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, who became leader of the Labour Party in September 2015 as a result of desire for a new direction and for socialism. The Corbyn surge in popularity came from the grassroots of the Labour Party, trade unionists and ordinary working people who felt that the parties in Westminster were becoming more and more remote from working people, and no longer represented them. People felt politicians were all the same, careerists, and remote. It was in the midst of dissatisfaction within our Party, that the Think Left blog was set up in the Summer of 2011.
The election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party has brought about a new democratisation of the Labour Party. Those changes have had their ‘teething problems’ and change is always difficult, so perhaps, in 2017, while Labour presented a radical manifesto, and came within just a couple of thousand votes of winning the General Election, Labour wasn’t quite ready.
The manifesto, has been written by Labour members, from the grassroots up, with every member or supporter invited to contribute over the last three years. As a result, the manifesto and the policies feel much more relevant to ordinary members, because this manifesto has been written by them.
It is the most radical and exciting manifesto since 1945. Many of us were overwhelmed by emotion as Jeremy Corbyn presented the launch on 21st November, because this is what we have been waiting for forty years, since Margaret Thatcher introduced neoliberalism (unbridled capitalist economics) , and began to sell off our public assets for private profits. Our essential basic services became commodities for speculation on the stock market and people became poorer as billionaires fortunes boomed.
The Labour Party Manifesto for 2019 sets out a radical and ambitious programme, and it is entitled ‘Time for Real Change”. Some may feel we have needed change to the lives of ordinary people a long time ago.
This year, we see an unprecedented ‘winter of discontent’ where the figures show the waiting times for A and E are the worst ever, where social security payments are the lowest ever, where the levels of homelessness and poverty are the worst since WW2 and the 1945 Labour Government and the launch of the welfare state. Here is link to the 1945 manifesto. There are some similarities, but seventy five years on, we have a manifesto for the future, a real 2020 vision for real change in our society. So here we are. This is the manifesto for real change written by listening to ordinary working people , and delivering what ordinary people want to see change.
We, in Think left, will make it a priority to focus on the imperative that an incoming Labour government be ready to address this emerging crisis, with its potentially dire consequences for the UK because it is clear that the Tory government has not taken the very urgent and necessary steps to de-carbonise our economy.