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.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Whatever last night was, it was not a rejection of New Labour

A rejection of a tax change that wittingly or unwittingly left millions of lower paid workers worse off in the pay packet they got immediately before they voted - yes.

A howl for attention about being screwed by mortgage lenders and fuel prices and food prices and not being convinced politicians understand how tough it is out there, or are addressing it - yes.

But abolishing the 10p rate is not "New Labour", in fact it is the antithesis to a philosophy that is about combining social justice with economic prosperity.

We know how to win general elections: we've done it three times. The formula that won those elections isn't unpopular, it's that we deviated from it and dumped on some of the people we are here to represent that's unpopular.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go. Go. Go.

Tell it like it is.

Prudence, stability, social justice, challenges, international turbulence ... and down at 24%.

Nulabour is dead, mate.

Why are you wasting your breath.

8:43 pm, May 02, 2008

Blogger Mark said...

The fight back starts here and I and my colleagues in the animal welfare movement are not about to allow Cameron and his hunting allies destroy decades of work.
We will fight in every marginal seat.

8:52 pm, May 02, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Have you lost the plot you are third place Luke. That is a rejection of new labour.....get real.

A few months ago I told you that Labour would become the third political party.....and you laughed. Well who's smiling now.

Brown needs to resign he really is a useless.

9:08 pm, May 02, 2008

Blogger E10 Rifle said...

Luke, the Blairites always used to berate the left for not changing with the times, now listen to yourself. The times are not those of 97, 2001 or 2005. This masters-of-the-universe tunnel vision must stop. We got 24 per cent FFS.

If it wasn't New Labour that got battered last night, what part of Labour was?

9:34 pm, May 02, 2008

Blogger marshajane said...

Head in sand or what LUke!
ps your well behind on the election results come on keep up :)

10:16 pm, May 02, 2008

Anonymous Hovedan said...

New Labour needs to re-assert itself, we need to cut tax on working and middle class earners, sort the economic woes, some of which are of our own making. We need to address concerns about immigration, without pandering to the extreme right agenda. We should abandon our authoritarian 42 days detention policy (a horrible idea which no socialist of social democrat can support). But lets trumpet our success - the economic success of the last 10 years is down to us, regeneration of our inner cities has been remarkable - and lets champion excellent councils, such as Hackney!

10:24 pm, May 02, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...


I'm against hunting with dogs and always have been. Personally I would not want to see the return of fox hunting or deer hunting with dogs but it's not on the top of my agenda.

A few foxes and deer is nothing compared to the millions of animals that are kept in dreadful conditions across our country.

What also about the millions of animals killed on our roads?

You need to look at the wider picture instead of constantly picking fights with the class system.

You also have to consider that fact that the sport has been banned has actually made it more popular. I often shoot game for food and since the ban this sport of grown in popularity.

I think in principle the ban was right but the legislation was dreadful.

11:22 pm, May 02, 2008

Anonymous Podolanski said...

Luke = Comical Ali

Wake up - smell the coffee - Labour is sleepwalking to electoral disaster.

Thinking people will come back to Labour is like Nero fiddling while Rome burns.

The election results are because the people are rejecting the arrogance of New Labour and Brownism.

Gordon Brown is the Labour Party's version of Sir Anthony Eden, waited so long for the job, but when he got it he is found wanting. Quite simply not up to the job. He definately is the Dumfermline Disaster, a political Jonah.

Even in 79, when Thatcher swept to power, we were still taking control of councils around the country and became the part of local government..... now Gordon the Moron has taken us to third!

He tried to rob the poor to keep the rich happy. And lets not forget the clown stole from all company pensions, thats why so many are now shut. Gordon Brown the Master of Disaster.

11:41 pm, May 02, 2008

Anonymous John said...

For God's sake Luke, wake up. There was never any need for New Labour - people were never scared of social democracy. Look at the 1994 euros, where Margaret Beckett got 44% - an explicitly social democratic party, committed to social justice, winning. It's not even so much about policies, it's about showing people whose side you're on. It's so sad that people like you have got us into this mess - you're not the ones who are going to get us out of it, that's for sure. Move over, and let proper Labour people take the wheel.

12:17 am, May 03, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...


You are so right. When people removed the conservatives they did so wanting radical changes,

All we got was mix of liberal middle class politics and nothing of the grit that working class people wanted.

New Labour have been a disaster and Brown is central to those failings.

12:42 am, May 03, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

Sorry, but you are wrong. It was a rejection of new Labour, and until you wake up and realise it, expect a Conservative government after the next election.

Also, Brown has to go. He is a disaster area as PM. Not up to it.

1:10 am, May 03, 2008

Anonymous Dan said...

Luke, you're kidding yourself if you think this wasn't a kick in the eye to New Labour.

We have banks, the city and oil companies making billions while people are finding it hard to afford the cost of food or heating and lighting their homes. Billions lost in tax evasion or just outright cuts to the taxes on the wealthy, while benefit claimants are hammered and people struggle to keep up with the regressive council tax.

Working people are calling out for the real social democratic party that still lurks inside every single Labour MP. If you keep playing the same old song, then Labour voters will, just like in London, stay at home while the Tories swamp our vote with their selfish right-wing suburban agenda.

Please, please see what has to be done. The Labour Party of 1st May 2008 will lose in 2010 if we haven't addressed the unnecessary cuts and declines in people's living standards, from pensioners to public servants, which neoliberalism represents.

12:57 pm, May 03, 2008

Blogger Miller 2.0 said...

"But abolishing the 10p rate is not "New Labour", in fact it is the antithesis to a philosophy that is about combining social justice with economic prosperity."

That's exactly my point, but it's people identifying themselves as 'New Labour' who have done it. Accordingly one can draw from that that New Labour isn't what New Labour say it is.

It is a method of distributing money from the poor to wider society, while the rich hoover up money from consumers and an unfairly small chunk of the tax burden. Which misses the point, as far as I am concerned...

That's not just or conducive to prosperity-except the prosperity of the few at the expense of the many.

1:42 pm, May 03, 2008

Blogger Downbeatsson said...

I don't think you need to be on the Hard Left to see that Labour does need to move on from the policies and approaches which led to stunning victories in 1997 and 2001. Too many people feel that Labour is not doing what a Labour Government should be doing. Why is inheritance tax being cut? Why the need for 42 days detention? I'd also like to see the Government doing something about constitional reform - the electoral system, the House of Lords - Labour have had a while now.

With the Lib Dems moving to the Right and a fairly unimpressive Conservative Party, Labour does not need to rush off headlong in a 1983 style direction. But what we do need is a Government which is really serious about equality and progressive and liberal as opposed to being too cautious and worried about what the Daily Mail will think.


5:20 pm, May 04, 2008

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

I've notice Comrade Akehurst hasn’t commented here just yet, maybe he predicted we would all be like this.

Rich was saying we'd be slaughtered come this election for many months now so kudos to him!

Luke, we have lost control in Scotland to the SNP, who have been adopting an old labour stand point, PC in Wales have been doing well adopting an old labour position and even Ken, despite losing the London election lost marginally compared to our comrades lost in the council elections.

If the electorate cannot differentiate between us and the Tories they are less likely to be put off by a threat of their return. New Labour cannot meet this challenge we must reassess and put forward decent, moderate democratic socialist policies so we ARE different to the Tories in a more obvious way.

Your point on taxation is interesting but flawed. Civilisation costs money, which we take from taxes. Society is like a family where everyone chips in; you would not expect your granny to put more into the pot then you. Those on low incomes should pay less tax and the rich more, it makes sense and it is fair.

9:49 am, May 06, 2008


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