Sunday, June 29, 2014

Ed's Hat Trick Of Own Goals


The following is from today's Sunday Times (well from a piece you can get free from their web-site). 

ED MILIBAND’S policy chief has launched a coded attack on the Labour leader for creating “cynical” policies designed only to “chime with focus groups”. 

Jon Cruddas accused Miliband’s inner circle of wielding a “profound dead hand at the centre” to stop the party adopting bold policies. 

He attacked Labour’s plans to cut jobseeker’s allowance from those aged 18 to 21 unless they undergo training as “punitive” and suggested welfare cuts had been adopted only to placate the media and floating voters. 

At a meeting of the left-wing pressure group Compass last weekend, Cruddas complained that plans drawn up by Labour’s policy working groups had been “parked” by the leadership and replaced with “cynical nuggets of policy to chime with our focus groups and press strategy”. 

We now have had (1) the fiasco of Ed Miliband's support for the Sun Newspaper (see here),  (2) his attack on welfare provisions for 18-21s (see both here and above) and now (3) the "parking" of Labour's review procedure for something entirely counter-productive.

So we now have a hat-trick of own goals by Ed being unearthed in the past week.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Labour : Will We Now Get A Hat-trick Of Own Goals?

 Ed Miliband

The latest employment figures show an increase in self-employment of 8% in the past year, compared to an increase of only 1.8% amongst employees. This has been presented as being an "entrepreneurial boom", showing the residual strength of the free market and its ability to overcome the economic collapse of 2008; with the Coalition's economic policy being firmly based on public service cuts, wage restraints and the removal of constraints on the operations of a capitalist market system.

Unfortunately, single person entrepreneurial activity is not a sign of the growth of economic prosperity at all. Quite the opposite. It is a sign of collapse. Even if we ignore agriculture, single person entrepreneurship is 88.7% in Benin, 75.4% in Bangladesh and 66.9% in Ghana; whilst it is only 6.7% in Norway, 7.5% in the USA and 8.6% in France. The move to becoming single person entrepreneurs, is a move to desperation. What we need is a boom in paid work at a level which can provide decent living standards. (See pages 158 to 160 of this book). 

But when we turn to Labour what do we get? They wish to force the young unemployed into dubious training schemes at the threat of losing their benefits. Never mind about losing even further electoral registrations and votes amongst the working class and the young. And certainly never mind about justice and equity.

After Ed Milband's debacle over the Sun newspaper (see here) and now this benefits' blow, what will he do for his hat trick of recent own goals? And how much more can the Labour membership take? We should not be trying to catch up to and surpass the economic and social programme of the coalition. There is an alternative approach - for justice, equality, an active democracy and the advance of socialism.      

Friday, June 13, 2014

Ralph Turns In His Grave

Ralph Miliband turns in his grave. I turn my stomach. Does it also mean that Ed has given up on Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - as well as Liverpool?

 Miliband The Sun

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Unbalanced Britain

On 28th June, Independent Labour Publications are holding a one day seminar in Sheffield entitled "Unbalanced Britain".  The programme for the day can be found here.

There is no charge for the event, but pre-registration is required here. The deadline being 20 June.

See you there.

Which British Values?

Michael Gove says that all schools must promote British Values - see here.

Will these values include the imperial exploitation of an Empire upon which the sun never set, young children working in the mines during the Industrial Revolution, excessive bonuses for top bankers who helped to create an economic crisis, the rise of inequality and impoverishment over the past 30 years and military adventurism such as the invasion of Iraq?

For an era of positive British values we need to draw from the post-war establishment of full employment, a massive council house building programme, a mixed economy, the NHS and the Welfare State; when people overwhelmingly turned out to vote. Unfortunately, these achievements have all been undermined by moves to allow capitalism a free hand. Michael Gove is up to his neck in this great failure.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

What Happened To Democracy?

what happened to democracy?"

A feast of the practical alternatives being developed, by people and by governments around the world, to put people before profit with seasoned top campaigner


new director of World Development Movement
Thursday, 19th June
Quaker Meeting House
St. James Street, Sheffield, S1 2EW
Prompt 7.15pm. start. Tea/coffee from 6.45pm
All welcome. No charge (donations to costs requested)
Twitter: @WDMSheffield

Tel.: 01142 655 896