Peter Hitchens writes:
Just as there are still Japanese soldiers in the jungles of Borneo, unaware that they should have surrendered 63 years ago, there are still people who think ‘New Labour’ is Right-wing.
I’ve tried to get the message across to them, ever since the whole Blair project began. This is the most revolutionary government since Oliver Cromwell, dedicated to overthrowing the moral, social and cultural order of this country. But simpleton Labour Leftists (who want to nationalise Mr Whippy vans, Starbucks and eBay) and dimwit Tories (who likewise don’t grasp that the battlefield has shifted) just don’t get it.
The truth is – and I know it because I was a Sixties Trotskyist myself – that the Blair-Brown Labour Party is crammed full of unreformed revolutionaries. That’s why the MI5 files of that era have been so zealously destroyed. I tried to obtain my own docket and was refused on feeble grounds.
The fact is that mine went in the incinerator along with Peter Mandelson’s, John Reid’s and many others whose interesting pasts are much-rumoured around Westminster, but impossible to prove.
But now you don’t have to take my word for it. Last week, my lonely warnings were confirmed in an astonishing public statement by Tony McNulty, Minister of State at the Home Office.
Mr McNulty was sucking up to a pro-liberty group, who didn’t think much of his enthusiasm for jailing people without trial.
Believing that everyone there was a Leftist like him, he tried to win them over with these words: ‘I know it’s terribly hard to believe but I used to be radical myself. I used to think that politics was about selling newspapers...my excuse was I was very, very young but, you know, like a lot of government, I’m an ex-Trot.’
Now, I don’t find it hard to believe at all. Looking at the bland, prosperous faces of the Parliamentary Labour Party I see my generation, the ones who between about 1965 and 1975 learned to loathe patriotism, the Armed Forces, proper policing, proper schools, traditional religion, marriage, the Monarchy and all the other things that ‘alternative’ comedians are paid handsomely to sneer at on the BBC.
What a conformist bunch we were. And how hard we were on anyone who broke ranks – as I discovered when my direct experiences of Communist countries and of the inner workings of the Labour Party persuaded me to change my mind.
Hardly a week has passed since when I haven’t been gratuitously mocked or personally insulted by my former comrades. These people haven’t changed their minds. They haven’t the courage, the character or the experience to do so.
They’re too fat for the jeans and they’ve lost the hair, but they still think what they thought back then. Mr McNulty’s totalitarian belief in imprisonment without trial – justified, of course, by supposedly noble ends – comes straight from his revolutionary teens. Trotsky would have approved.
Which is why some of us are determined to restore the party that was otherwise destroyed by Communist and Trotskyist infiltration of the unions and the Constituency Labour Parties respectively, eventually leading to the creation of New Labour by utterly unrepentant old Communists, Trotskyists and fellow-travellers.
The party owing more to Methodism than to Marx, indeed owing nothing whatever to Marx. The party of the Welfare State, workers' rights, progressive taxation, full employment, strong local government, a strong Parliament, "patriotism, the Armed Forces, proper policing, proper schools, traditional religion, marriage, and the Monarchy". The party of Attlee, Bevin, Morrison, Bevan and Gaitskell.
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