A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Reaction from the hard left

Susan Press - http://grimmerupnorth.blogspot.com/ - says this is her "Nightmare cabinet". Well done Gordon! Already giving Labour Briefingites nightmares after only one day in the job.

Commenting on Dave Osler's blog - http://www.davidosler.com/ - she says this "Has to be the most right-wing Labour Cabinet EVER".

This is probably technically correct.

Me, I'm having a good day and looking forward to the next 10 years.


Blogger grimupnorth said...

Well, Luke, glad I made your day. Off to LGC now to give the right-wingers hell.At least I know my assessment was correct. Cheers.

6:07 pm, June 28, 2007

Blogger UK Daily Pundit said...

It's not just Susan's nightmare cabinet, it's the entire country's nightmare cabinet!

6:37 pm, June 28, 2007

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

I'm obviously not part of the "entire country" then. It strikes me as an inoffensive line-up of mainly youthful, mainly moderate and all highly able folk.

6:48 pm, June 28, 2007

Anonymous Peter Kenyon said...

If there were a PLP election for a Cabinet pool, which members of GB's cabinet (just annoounced) would have made the cut?

7:31 pm, June 28, 2007

Anonymous To-wha? said...

Since the reformists rejected the taking of power by the working class, they had practically no choice: they were condemned to administer the bourgeois state. In this domain the rule that there is no third option in universally valid. No partly bourgeois and partly working-class state in conceivable. [10] There never will be one.

The formula has to be interpreted from the point of view of its substance and not in a formal way. A government of coalition with the bourgeoisie is a government of institutionalised class collaboration. It is a government that accepts a permanent consensus with Capital: not to touch the essential structures of its power.

The priority given to the fight against inflation at the cost of social regression is not the only possible way to stop inflation. It is the only one that corresponds to the interests of Capital: attain a new rise in the rate of profit, encourage the accumulation of capital.

The necessary “opening up to the world”, in other words the rejection of autarchy, does not in fact imply respecting the norms imposed by the IMF and the World Bank. There are other possible forms of international cooperation than those that favour the big banks and the multinationals. These alternative solutions correspond to the interests of the working masses. There is nothing scientific about affirming that they are “unworkable”. At best that is dogmatic prejudice, at worst a capitulation to the interests of the bourgeoisie.

The incoherence involved here is sharply illustrated when we examine more closely the real functioning of the international economy. Far from being run according to the ‘laws of the market”, it is run according to the laws of “monopolistic competition”, where all sorts of revenues are ensured by systematically erecting obstacles to the hallowed “free competition”.

The claim, many times repeated by socialist ministers, that “there is no money” to effectively combat unemployment, given the extent of the budget deficit, has no scientific foundation. It is exactly the opposite that is true. Given the scale of public spending, it is possible to radically redistribute this spending in order to favour the re-establishment of full employment, without increasing the budget deficit, in fact even better, while reducing it.

9:37 pm, June 28, 2007

Blogger Chris Paul said...

Come on Susan, come on Luke, united at last but sadly in this foolish assertion that this is the most right wing cabinet ever.

This assertion that this is the most right wing cabinet ever is frankly ridiculous.

No Reid, no Clarke, no Milburn, no Blair, no Hewitt, no Blunkett. No Hodge for that matter.

10:45 pm, June 28, 2007

Anonymous Peter Kenyon said...

Dear Chris

I don't think our blessed Margaret ever made it to Cabinet.

12:48 am, June 29, 2007

Anonymous Ravi said...

I think there will be a gradual shift in foriegn policy away from adventurist wars and such.
I would like to say the cabinet we now have is very moderate indeed, with maybe some diet socialism/social democrcy smattering in there. I know that Brown is New Labour to his core so please don't misunderstand me. His appointment of Milliband as Foreign Sec is a good appointment (I hope to God he does not dissapoint me) as he was critical of Blair's stance on Lebenon. To this end it is a slight nod to the left. This can only be a good thing on some progrssive policies. However I personally think a more radical (read strong socialist/social democratic)governement would provide a better government. A would like to see the Warwick agreement fully inplemented, renationalised industry and transport, free education for all inclusive of university education and a halt to the gradual privitistion of our health service. I doubt you would agree with me in any of that (I would be surprised if you did). This cabinet has more of a Labour feel to it (the party is a VERY broad church) so I an not sure folk are getting more right wing from I suppose it might be fair to say the govt is more right wing than I and many would like but then I did'nt have a say on who should be labour leader (another reason to feel uneasy about Brown). Still I wish him well. I'll support him when he is right and not when he is wrong.

9:04 am, June 29, 2007

Anonymous tim f said...

I also don't think this is the most right-wing Labour cabinet ever. It's more or less what we might have expected (in terms of political balance, not claiming I predicted the positions rightly). It's not like anyone expected he was going to make McDonnell his chancellor - can anyone describing it as the most right-wing cabinet please list a plausible and significantly more left-wing alternative? The only real disappointment is Woodward at Northern Ireland.

11:12 am, June 29, 2007

Anonymous tim f said...

Actually, forget what I've just written. I've just read the story about Digby fucking Jones being a cabinet minister.

I'm genuinely shocked. Hadn't expected a betrayal of these proportions just yet.

11:32 am, June 29, 2007

Blogger grimupnorth said...

Digby Jones ??????!!!!!! Still pleased, Luke??

11:55 am, June 29, 2007

Blogger Sham said...

Digby Jones is a great man. This is a great Cabinet, one that'll win us the next election.

Which is precisely the point. Victory at the next election would not be in every Labour party member's interests ...

1:30 pm, June 29, 2007

Blogger Jackson Jeffrey Jackson said...

"Digby Jones is a great man."

That's it. Now we know for sure that sham is a sock puppet.

1:58 pm, June 29, 2007

Anonymous HOVEDAN said...

It would be very helpful if the ultra left could complain a lot and very louldy about the new cabinet - that will give Gordon the opportunity to tell the country that despite tory protestations, he is not some sort of leftie.! The Government is shaping up to be a good bunch of talented people with loads of ideas - im sure all of us could criticise an appointment here or there - but the strategic issue is more important - and that is what direction of travel we will now follow - which hopefully will include the following:

reassesment of Iraq
focus on housing
business friendly
tough on terrorism
focus on children and families
a conciliator in health

2:05 pm, June 29, 2007

Blogger Sham said...

It would be very helpful if the ultra left could complain a lot and very louldy about the new cabinet - that will give Gordon the opportunity to tell the country that despite tory protestations, he is not some sort of leftie.

Finally, Hovedan's come up with something sensible! Keep on carping, JJJ et al, for with each poisonous utterance GB moves a step closer to winning the next election.

2:16 pm, June 29, 2007

Blogger Jackson Jeffrey Jackson said...

And yet another 1,000 traditional Labour voters don't turn out but nobody notices unless they're in marginal suburban seats.

Well done on such a breathtakingly accurate description of why Labour is so hated among its traditional support base.

2:19 pm, June 29, 2007

Anonymous Ravi said...

DIGBY JONES: "If the government actually start to accede to yet more union demands, overseas investors will start to say, aye, aye, who's running the country? Is it the democratic elected
government or is it trade unionism?"
BBC On The Record - Broadcast: 03.11.02

tim f and Jackson Jeffrey Jackson, friends, I am in whole hearted agreement. Sham please realise that the party we support was set up and is financed by the trade union movement. This odious man and people like him should have no place in our party, or for that matter a labour government.

2:32 pm, June 29, 2007

Anonymous Hovedan said...

well as somebody who lives in an ultra marginal (Hove!) we have wone three elections precisely because of New Labour - Iraq nearly lost it for us the last time -but this cabinet can seriously get to grips with key issues and help us keep it Labour next time.

2:37 pm, June 29, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think these new appointments are fantastic. I can't wait to be out leafleting in the rain in the Sedgfield by-election with Sir Digby Jones, Lord Stevens, Admiral Sir Alan West, Sir Ara Darzi, Shriti Vadera. What fun we'll have ;-)

3:47 pm, June 29, 2007

Anonymous Ravi said...

hovedan, you have my sincere condolences in being in a very marginal seat. However in the words of our illustrous leader we owe a lot to the unions. Gordon Brown "thanked the trade union movement for creating the Labour Party 100 years ago..." http://www.labourhome.org/story/2007/6/7/183553/5844

I appreciate your stance but the fact remains you never let down your friends. The Labour Party recieves £100 million in donations. They do this because they believe that a Labour governemnt will deliever on workers rights. Putting a man like Jones in a government role is a snub to the labour movement and has sent shivers down my spine as a labour member and trade unionist.
If I feel like that what do the other "tradtional" labour supporters feel. Taking an extreme view if this leads to our natural supporters abondoning us in our heartlands, it might translate to every seat being marginal.

3:53 pm, June 29, 2007

Blogger Doctor Dunc said...

I feel like a nun just repeating myself all across the blogosphere, but marginal seats are not full of marginal voters, and taking 'core' voters for granted in a marginal seat is just as likely to see it swing to your rival as taking your core voters for granted nationwide.

There's a powerful coalition between those on the centre and those psephologically naive people who believe only the centre can win.

4:19 pm, June 29, 2007

Blogger Sham said...

There's a powerful coalition between those on the centre and those psephologically naive people who believe only the centre can win.

Well, maybe you can explain to me why our party lost four elections in a row, then moved to the centre and won three in a row?

4:25 pm, June 29, 2007

Blogger Jackson Jeffrey Jackson said...


1979 Tories elected due to disastrous economic management driven by the IMF.

1983 Tories elected thanks to Falklands War and the SDP (after trailing massively in the polls to a left wing Labour opposition)

1987 Tories elected despite right-wing Labour leadership for similar reasons plus oil revenues.

1992 see 1987

1997 - Tories shambolic

4:37 pm, June 29, 2007

Blogger Doctor Dunc said...

It's worth bearing in mind that the Tories were a lot further from the centre than Labour in '87. Or does this theory only apply to the left?

5:07 pm, June 29, 2007

Blogger Dave Brinson said...

Not sure I agree that this is a hard-right cabinet anyway. Hain remains associated with the left (certainly talked left in the DL election.) Placing Hain, with a passionate and established commitment to trade unionism, at DWP is hardly a "right-wing" move. Ditto John Denham- soft-left past and clearly not blacklisted for his principles (after resignation over Iraq.) Fairly moderate cabinet, yes- hard right, no.

3:28 pm, June 30, 2007

Anonymous David Floyd said...

I don't know if this is the most right-wing cabinet ever.

For example, swapping Margaret Beckett for David Miliband at the Foreign Office is a move to the right in the sense that Beckett is closer to the left of the Party but, in terms of policy direction, the Foreign Office will probably be more left friendly under Miliband.

Is Harriet Harman more right-wing than John Prescott?

3:38 pm, June 30, 2007


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