Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/537/6139

From The Socialist newspaper, 11 June 2008

New Labour's parallel universe

In April 1946 George Orwell, author of the anti-Stalinist tribute to the Spanish working class, Homage to Catalonia, and Animal Farm, as well as the profoundly pessimistic 1984, wrote an essay called Politics and the English Language. The main thrust of this work was to expose the character of society that the political language of the day was designed to disguise.

Tony Mulhearn

One wonders what he would make of the present level of political discourse following New Labour's catastrophic showing in the local, London and Crewe elections. The language generally used in the publications of the establishment is designed to confuse.

The desertion of millions of working-class voters is caused, if a wide range of publications is to be believed, by Gordon Brown's lack of a sense of humour, or by his dour personality.

It is now impossible to wade through the dross of political comment without being assaulted by the trite and hackneyed phrases of New Labour apologists.

John Prescott provided a brilliant strategy for staving off the Tories: "Gordon's got to keep going," he said.

Gordon himself: "We've got to give careful consideration to the message from Crewe." Gerraway Gordie!

The Daily Mirror's editor implores: "Mr. Brown and his senior lieutenants must do something!"

Writing in the same paper, Tony Parsons bewails the possibility of a Tory landslide at the next general election. His solution: he excoriates Brown for not connecting with "the real lives of real people". But sugars the pill with the observation that: "No prime minister can do anything about a downturn in the global economy," as though the crazed free-market economics of the Blair/Brown project and their allies in the White House have no bearing on the direction the economy takes.

Harriett Harman utters the pearl: "There are discordant voices within the party." Would you believe it! She should have added: "They are petrified at the prospect of losing their places at the parliamentary pig trough."

The English language is reconfigured by Simon Jenkins writing in the Guardian: "The left gorged itself on power and ignored the privatisation of public investment, the growing inequality, the crazed targetry, the corruption and centralisation of the Blair/Brown era." The term 'left' completely loses its meaning.

Not a single spokesperson of the Brown project mentions the obscenity of the bonuses paid in the City, where the latest wheeze is to pay bonuses to failed job applicants on the grounds that they may be useless but they need compensating for their disappointment.

Even Richard Lambert, director general of the Confederation of British Industry, was forced to recognise that: "The bonus culture has encouraged some to take spectacular short-term risks, confident that if things work out well they will reap huge rewards, and that if they don't they won't be around to pay the price."

It was noted that last year was a record for City fat cats who hauled in 14.1 billion, a near-30% increase on 2006.

John Hutton, minister for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform - a title straight from the Orwell's Ministry of Enlightenment - continues to maintain that: "We should praise great wealth."

Reflecting on New Labour's plight, David Miliband pledged support for Brown then uttered this devastating critique: "There's a bigger debate going on here... the tactics (in Crewe) of lampooning the extremely privileged Tory candidate was a dreadful mistake," not because it was vacuous and devoid of policy, but "because it gave the impression that Labour is no longer the party of aspiration," or the party of the excessively privileged.

The muted voice of the trade union movement is buried in the inside pages of the serious press. The Guardian reported on the TUC's Commission on Vulnerable Employment published the day before the Crewe by-election.

It is a devastating refutation of Brown's defenders who argue that things might be bad but you can't deny Gordon is committed to making poverty history. Well, they've even got that wrong.

The research found that: "The number of poor children living in working households is 1.4 million, exactly the same figure as it was in 1997."

Also "the number of poor working households with children has actually increased by 200,000; Labour promised it would 'make work pay'. It hasn't." This information never penetrates the hermetically sealed parallel universe of New Labour.

They continue to bleat about everything but the real problems flowing from the neo-liberal project. Even the writers who have rediscovered their radicalism still draw back from uttering 'public ownership' or 'renationalisation' or the restoration of party democracy.

Socialist writer Upton Sinclair once famously remarked: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."

The poverty of today's political discourse reinforces Sinclair's observation one hundred fold.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 11 June 2008:


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Stop the NHS sell-off

Banking on NHS profits

My pain - and privatisation


Anti-racism

Racist BNP have no solutions!


Socialist Party editorial

Will Obama win?

Obama declares victory, and shifts to the right


Socialist Party campaigns

"Anti-terror" laws are no solution


Defend Tommy Sheridan

Stirring rally backs Tommy Sheridan

Unison witch-hunt hits Northern Ireland


Campaign for a New Workers Party

Come to the Campaign for a New Workers' Party Conference

New Labour's parallel universe

Waltham Forest protest

Them & Us


Socialist Party youth and students

Underfunding youth facilities: It makes no sense!


Socialist Party feature

Oil price shock - the chaos of capitalism

Sudan's poor paying the price for oil

Fast news


Socialist Party review

Immortal Technique at the Coronet, London 4 June 2008


Socialist Party workplace news

Usdaw needs a fighting leadership

Organise to fight the public-sector pay robbery

National Shop Stewards Network second conference

Fujitsu workers strike to save jobs

The costs of privatisation

Brighton bus drivers strike


 

Home   |   The Socialist 11 June 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Labour:

triangleLabour and the fight for a shorter working week

triangleCorbyn promises 'power in the hands of workers' - how can Labour do it?

triangleBrexit theatrics continue

triangleTony Mulhearn 1939-2019

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Labour and the trade unions - a complicated relationship

Crewe:

triangleFootball abuse scandal: Reclaim the game for justice and accountability

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

9/10/19

Caerphilly

Attacks on Caerphilly waste management workers

9/10/19

PCS

BEIS: Outsourced caterers' indefinite strike victory

9/10/19

York

York freshers success

9/10/19

Leeds

'The little people can win' - Leeds tenants push back demolition

9/10/19

Health

Huge opposition to Barry rehab ward closure

9/10/19

Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest: mobilisation needed to defend abortion rights

9/10/19

Socialism

Socialism 2019: why I'm going... and why you should too!

9/10/19

Socialist Party

Best way to fight back? Join the Socialist Party

9/10/19

Socialism

Socialism: The alternative to capitalist austerity, low pay and crisis

9/10/19

Unison

Unison's retired members reflect growing anger

9/10/19

RMT

Vote for socialist fighter Jared Wood in RMT elections

9/10/19

Equity

Equity manifesto lays out anti-austerity model for arts

9/10/19

Birmingham

Birmingham HS2 protest against bosses' attacks on trade union organisation

9/10/19

Royal Mail

Vote yes to Royal Mail strike action to take on the bullying bosses

9/10/19

Usdaw

Sainsbury's strikers win

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999