Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Richard Murphy on whether Keir Starmer admitted Labour has died yesterday

I don't agree with very many of the opinions of tax expert and blogger Professor Richard Murphy, but his piece this morning,

"Did Keir Starmer admit Labour has died yesterday?"

hit the bullseye.

Referring to the speech by Labour's shadow Brexit spokesperson during the Article 50 bill debate, he writes

"What I am saying is that a party where the shadow minister can stand at the despatch box and say that the biggest political issue of the day presents it with immense difficulty because it cannot form a common approach to the issue has lost its purpose.

There is simple reason why Labour has reached this position. It has forgotten who it was meant to represent. It compromised to secure the support of others. And in the process it come so pragmatic that it forgot its principles. The result is that when needed it is now failing almost everyone.

Labour was a party for working people. It unashamedly sought to increase their share of the overall economic returns in the economy. To do so it protected their interests and jobs. But in the process it also fought to preserve the industries in which they worked. As a result it was dedicated to a mixed economy, modest risk, innovation that improved well being and access to justice. Social and other justice was secondary, but the idea of equality (even if it took some a long time to understand it) underpinned its logic.

And now? I can’t explain what Labour is for. And nor can, I suspect, many within it. They can explain their own motivation but the essence of Labour as a party has died and I think that was what Keir Starmer was left to say yesterday."

Writing as a Conservative, the collapse of the Labour opposition into a political black hole sometimes makes life easier for people like me, but it is not a good thing for Britain that we lack an effective opposition in these very difficult times. I regret what has happened to Labour nearly as much as people in Richard Murphy's part of the political spectrum do.

You can read the full article here.

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