Saturday, 25 September 2010

On the new Labour leader

Ed Miliband has been elected leader of the Labour Party. He snatched victory at the last minute in a leadership race that remained uncompromisingly dull and irrelevant to ordinary people. With the race over, that dull irrelevance is the Official Opposition to the Government's aggressive class war.

As I wrote three months ago, too much of the left still clings hopelessly to Labour, and has been watching this obscenely long contest with bated breath. But there was nothing new on offer.

Ed Miliband said "I get it" over and over. He has been talking about winning over the working class and reinvigorating the "left." But this is part of the same "change" rhetoric that everybody - including Tony Blair and David Cameron - is so fond of when seeking election.

But to see what we're looking at now, we only need to look at his record;
  • Voted very strongly against an investigation into the Iraq war.
  • Voted very strongly for more EU integration.
  • Voted very strongly for introducing ID cards.
  • Voted very strongly for a stricter asylum system.
  • Voted very strongly for Labour's anti-terrorism laws.
  • Voted very strongly for introducing a smoking ban.
  • Voted moderately for replacing Trident.
Or, as I noted back in July, he is a "moderate hawk in terms of the mainstream political spectrum" and doesn't "not represent genuinely left-wing views" let alone "come close to the libertarian left."

Not to mention that, if we look at Barack Obama's record on "change" (or Tony Blair's), we find that a wave of enthusiasm swept in a candidate who was an eloquent speaker and very charismatic, but still an enemy of the working class. Although, in this case, you don't really have the charisma.

Ultimately, Labour have a faceless, personality-free drone as their leader. Those of us concerned with the class struggle faced by ordinary people ought to dismiss this irrelevance and move on.