Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Trotskyism On The Vine

Yet another Trot on Jeremy Vine today. This one praised the NHS and its founder, both of which the sectarian Left used to despise, and probably still do behind closed doors. She also called for a revived Old Labour party. I couldn't agree more.

We need to revive the party of the Attlee Government's refusal to join the European Coal and Steel Community on the grounds that it was "the blueprint for a federal state". Of Gaitskell's rejection of European federalism as "the end of a thousand years of history" and liable to destroy the Commonwealth.

The party of the trade unionists and Labour activists who in the early twentieth century peremptorily dismissed an attempt to make the Labour Party anti-monarchist (as it now is), and resisted schemes to abort, contracept and sterilise the working class out of existence (as is now very well under way).

The party of Bevan's ridicule of the first parliamentary Welsh Day on the grounds that "Welsh coal is the same as English coal and Welsh sheep are the same as English sheep". Of those Labour MPs who in the 1970s successfully opposed Scottish and Welsh devolution not least because of the ruinous effects that it would have had (and is now having) on the North of England. And of those Labour activists in the Highlands, Islands and Borders, and in North, Mid and West Wales, who accurately predicted that their areas would be balefully neglected under devolution.

The party of the Attlee Government's first ever acceptance of the principle of consent in relation to Northern Ireland, of the Wilson Government's deployment of British troops in order to defend the grateful Catholics there precisely as British subjects, and of the Callaghan Government's administration of Northern Ireland exactly as if it were any other part of the United Kingdom.

The party of the Catholic and other Labour MPs who fought tooth and nail against abortion and easier divorce, of the Methodist and other Labour MPs who fought tooth and nail against deregulated drinking and gambling, and of those in the Labour Movement who defeated Thatcher's and Major's attempts to destroy the special character of Sunday and of Christmas Day.

The party of Attlee's dissuasion of Truman from dropping an atom bomb on Korea, of Wilson's refusal to send British forces to Vietnam, and of his use of military force in order to safeguard the right of the people of Anguilla to be British.

And so on.

That party gave the United Kingdom the universal and comprehensive Welfare State (including, for example, farm subsidies), and the strong statutory and other (including trade union) protection of workers, consumers, communities and the environment, the former paid for by progressive taxation, the whole underwritten by full employment, and all those good things delivered by the partnership between a strong Parliament and strong local government.

And it did so precisely because it believed in national self-government, the only basis for international co-operation, and including the United Kingdom as greater than the sum of its parts. In local variation, historical consciousness, and family life. In the whole Biblical and Classical patrimony of the West. In agriculture, manufacturing, and small business. In close-knit communities, law and order, and civil liberties. In academic standards, and in all forms of art. In mass political participation within a constitutional framework. And in the absolute sanctity of each individual human life from the point of fertilisation to the point of natural death.

All these are corroded to nought by the "free" market, both directly and because it drives its despairing victims by the million into the arms of Jacobinism, Marxism, anarchism and Fascism, all four of which feed into neoconservatism.

Turnout in the traditional strongholds of the above political movement was in some cases as low as one in three at the 2005 General Election. And now this. The votes are there to be had, if we can get onto the ballot paper and secure even a small amount of publicity in the right outlets.

You know how to start making it happen. With absolutely no room for Trotskyism.


  1. Dear oh dear. On Vietnam we may have said one thing in public, but we said something quite different in private, and we sent the SAS anyway with the Australians. As co-chairs of the process we had innumer5able opportunities to call a spade a spade and yet failed to do so.

    And please, please, stop describing as Trotskyists merely anyone who continued to claim that name after they had abandoned everything that Trotsky had stood for. Would you accept the claims of Catholics For A Free Choice as good coin? Or Tony Blair's claim to represent the Labour Party? Please stop being shoddily dishonest about anyhting Marxismt. Trotskyism can survive a Burnham, a Kristol, a Schachtman, and stands irreconcileably opposed to everything these apostates have gone on to do.

    There are either global solutions or none. Once again, the absence of coherent economic thinking from your programme is starting to show. I fear you could end up being a Long or Coughlin if you're not careful!

  2. The Trots who appear regularly on Jeremy Vine are either from the Socialist Party (i.e., Militant) or from the Scottish Socialist Party, the one man band that became a no man band by expelling the one man.

    David's position is perfectly coherent. You'll have to do better than that. Face it, there have been Marxist parties for ever. Nobody wants to know. What people need is a proper Labour Party, such as David sets out.

  3. "A Long or Coughlin"? No, a Keir Hardie. What Bill says is spot on. There have always been Trots and the like. Who cares? What NHS did they ever create? What student grants? What slum clearance? We want a proper Labour Party, like David is proposing.