Tuesday, 24 September 2013

The S-Word

Labour was never constitutionally a "Socialist" party until 1995, when Tony Blair wrote the word into the new Clause IV. It had never been there before. Blair even put it on the back of every membership card.

Anyone who knows the Labour Party from the inside knows that "Socialism" means whatever the person speaking happens to think. Literally nothing else. That was what it meant to Tony Blair. That is what it means to Ed Miliband. That is what it means to anyone. That, and that alone.

The only people who might once have been shocked at Miliband's undertaking to "bring back Socialism" are the people who think that we already have a Socialist government as they understand the term, and presumably that we have had one ever since the Blessed Margaret left Downing Street.

Last night, a fringe meeting at Brighton gave a rapturous reception to the Honourable Fabian Picardo, the utterly uncompromising Chief Minister of Gibraltar.

And the utterly uncompromising Leader of the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party. He is certainly not afraid of the S-word. (His party, by the way, was founded out of the old T&G, which is now part of Unite. It used to advocate, and it still inclines towards, incorporation into the United Kingdom.)

Personally, I now avoid the S-word if at all possible in this country. It gets in the way of discussing specific policies and strategies, and it only ever means whatever the person using it happens to want it to mean.

But I should still have someone from the GSLP at the top of Labour's South West list for the European Elections. What would the Conservative Party, or UKIP, or certain newspapers and corners of the Internet, say to that?

One for Ed Miliband's speech. He can thank me later.


  1. "For the European elections".

    Whoa, whoa, hold it right there.

    So you've now admitted publicly that you were never against the EU after all?

    You've publicly admitted your planning to vote for a party in the running for the euro elections who favour staying in the EU? And your not going to vote for the only party in the running for those elections that favours withdrawal?

    It looks like you've just thrown in the towel and abandoned any pretence at being a Eurosceptic.

    It didn't last long.

  2. Like conservatism, the meaning of socialism can be hard to pin down.

    But let me give you a few vague clues that tend to mark out socialists like Mr Miliband from liberty- loving peoples everywhere.

    One is that they-always and in every case-believe that the Government can spend the peoples money better than the people can. You'll have seen plenty of examples in today's speech.

    Another defining characteristic is a complete refusal to respect private property-the basis of liberty.

    Mr Mlibands plan to steal privately- owned land from developers who don't follow his diktats- and to override the objections of local authorities to home- building on their constituents land, is a shining example.

    The one thing that marks socialists out as what they are- beneath all the trivial differences-is hatred of liberty, which gets in their way.

  3. Like conservatism, the meaning of socialism can be hard to pin down. But let me give you a few vague clues

    And there is no need to read any further, because of that is what it means to you, then that is what it means to you.

  4. There are going to be European Elections. UKIP intends to contest them, not least because it is financially dependent on getting people elected at them. They are going to happen.