Monday, 6 September 2010

Hope for Labour if it ditches Socialism - Daley

Janet Daley writing in the Telegraph this morning succinctly summarises about the only option Labour has to reinvent itself;
There is an honourable strand of Labour history which is not associated with the quasi-fascist Big State doctrine that has been its most recent incarnation – which, indeed, could be seen as antithetical to it. This is the mutualist, co-operative tradition, rooted in the idea of communal solidarity, which began with the friendly societies and the support systems that grew out of the Industrial Revolution and its hardships. There is an important lesson that this tradition has to offer to currently fashionable discussion: that self-help does not necessarily have to imply the individualistic, entrepreneurial ethic of Conservative doctrine. It can also mean mutual responsibility and community self-determination. There is more than one way to be free of government domination.
A sort of Localist - Communitarian axis, of the sort that defined the working class before the insidious effects of the 1911 National Insurance Act. But let's not forget that it was Labour and its Big State socialism, which Daley rightly tags 'quasi fascist', that quite deliberately destroyed the self-sufficiency of the working class; an independent, bloody-minded population cohort like this was antithetical to Labour's Rousseau-esque ideology of a direct relationship between the State and every individual without any intermediate institutions or competing loyalties.

Daley is therefore proposing a future for Labour without socialism; that is, without central Statism, State redistributionism and central State planning of the people's lives. You see, the problem lies in the first eight words of the paragraph above. This communitarian self-sufficiency was a strand of labour history, but not of Labour history; the Party always loathed it. When labour insured itself, when labour set up their own services and wholesalers, when labour founded their own banks, Labour did all it could to destroy this independence. State insurance replaced the industrial and provident societies, National Savings replaced the friendly societies and the NHS and State Education replaced nascent structures employing doctors and teachers at local and community level paid for by subscription.

Yet in Millipede Major Labour looks set to elect a leader committed to that very 'quasi fascist' brand of Statism that defines socialism, and with Balls as his Beria there will be little room for the grass-roots to experiment.

1 comment:

Budgie said...

Yes, the poison in the pudding is Marxism (in its various formats). Labour still hasn't come to terms with the reasons for the fall of the Berlin wall, despite Bliar.