“What could go wrong did go wrong.”
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 3, 2008
The blogger at Lenin’s Tomb posts his thoughts on the latest assembly elections in London:
Anyone who thinks that Labour is about to turn left is kidding themselves. Far more likely is that the government will take a more aggressive stance toward the unions (as it did in 1969, with ‘In Place of Strife’) and make a demonstrative crackdown on immigration (as it did with the Commonwealth Immigrants Act in 1968). Labour doesn’t contain the resources for a regeneration of its battered left, any more than it did when John McDonnell failed to get enough PLP support to even run a campaign against Gordon Brown. The last vaguely leftish credible alternative to Brown was the late Robin Cook, whose standing after his dignified antiwar resignation speech would have made him the obvious candidate. And even he would have struggled. Just because the left-of-Labour vote was poor, just because the Tories have made a decisive recovery, don’t think that we can place our hopes in a New Labour conversion, or that we can avoid continuing to try to build a left-of-Labour alternative. We will be lying to ourselves in quite a dangerous way if we imagine that we can claw back some space by just abandoning the electoral terrain to New Labour. The fact that it is now a more difficult task in the short-term does not mean it can be wished away.