Newly-elected Labour MPs call for a leader who won’t “draw back to New Labour”

15th May, 2015 10:23 am

futureWith a leadership and deputy leadership contest underway, many are offering their view on which path the party should take post-Miliband.

A group of newly-elected MPs, which include the likes of Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh and Norwich South MP Clive Lewis, have joined the fray. They’ve published an open letter calling for a break from New Labour.

In their letter, the 10 new MPs say that they want a leader who will “challenge an agenda of cuts, take on the powerful vested interests of big business and will set out an alternative to austerity.” 

They also look at the longer political history – not just focussing on Labour’s recent defeat – by pointing out that the party needs to reach out to the five million voters that Labour lost since 1997.

You can read the full letter here:

Having arrived in Westminster as newly-elected Labour MPs after speaking to tens of thousands of voters during our election campaigns, we know how important it is for the future of our Party to move forward with an agenda that best serves the everyday needs of people, families and communities and that is prepared to challenge the notion of austerity and invest in public services.

Labour must now reach out to the five million voters lost since 1997, and those who moved away from Labour in Scotland and elsewhere on 7 May, renewing their hope that politics does matter and Labour is on their side.

As we seek a new leader of the Labour Party, we are needing one who looks forward and will challenge an agenda of cuts, take on the powerful vested interests of big business and will set out an alternative to austerity – not one who will draw back to the ‘New Labour’ creed of the past.

Now is the time Labour needs a leader who’s in tune with the collective aspiration of ordinary people and communities across Britain, meeting the need for secure employment paying decent wages, homes that people can call their own, strong public services back in public hands again and the guarantee of a real apprenticeship or university course with a job at the end of it. From restoring Sure Start to providing dignity and a good standard of living in retirement, these are the aspirations key to real Labour values today and will re-engage people across our country in the years to come.

We look forward to engaging in the debate surrounding the Labour leadership in the weeks ahead to secure our Party as being best able to meet the challenges faced by ordinary people at this time.

SIGNED:

Richard Burgon (Leeds East)

Louise Haigh (Sheffield Heeley)

Harry Harpham (Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough)

Imran Hussain (Bradford East)

Clive Lewis (Norwich South)

Rebecca Long Bailey (Salford and Eccles)

Rachael Maskell (York Central)

Kate Osamor (Edmonton)

Cat Smith (Lancaster and Fleetwood)

Jo Stevens (Cardiff Central)

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  • wolfman

    Unfortunately If the SNP keep the seats they won in the bext election..Labour will need a 12 point lead to get a majority. (Source.. Political betting)…

    So enough of all this Blairite nonsense……

    • reformist lickspittle

      At least people don’t chunter on about FPTP’s “pro-Labour bias” anymore 😉

      • g978

        Oh there was a pro-Labour bias in FPTP – Labour won in 2005 with 36% of the vote and had a majority of 66. They led the Tories by 3%. 2015 – Conservatives get 37%, win by 6.5% and only get a majority of 12.
        Or take 1997 – Tories get 31% and have only 165 MP’s. Labour in 2010 and 2015 do worse and get well over 200 MP’s. There is still a Labour bias – fair boundaries now are needed.

        • Alecto

          An analysis of the 2015 votes has shown a shift in the distribution of voters such that it’s the Tories who are now most favoured by the current system. Labour would need to win by a huge margin of votes just to draw with the Tories in seats in England. Their rejigging of the boundaries will no doubt only exacerbate this.

          Of course, FPTP favours both Labour and the Conservatives against small parties. We need a fair voting system, not just more boundary fiddling!

        • Steve Stubbs

          And will come. This is Camerons only chance to get the boundary changes through. He would be really stupid not to include it in the Queens speech and use the parliament act to push it through the lords, given it was in their manifesto. And no tory backbencher is going to vote against.

  • Labour need a 9.5% swing to get a majority of 1 in England. How are you going to do that when you don’t have an English Labour Party; are clearly uncomfortable with English national identity; regard people who fly the Cross of St George as at best chavs and at worst racists; and have spent the best part of 20 years avoiding the West Lothian Question and the wider English Question.

    Time for an English Labour Party and an English parliament policy.

    • reformist lickspittle

      Well, I don’t share your obsession with this issue – but last election showed that the politics of identity *is* important. And the Blairites have no more answer to this than the traditional hard left (hence their fantasy that the defeat was just because Ed wasn’t deferential enough to the mega super-rich and didn’t insert “aspiration” and “wealth creators” into every utterance)

      And I expect we will have a fully seperate Scottish Labour party (and Tories, and LibDems) in a few years – the logical consequence of that is……..

      • wolfman

        It sounds ever so easy to say/write but the next leader is going to have to find a way of moving closer to the centre whilst carrying the left wing of the party..

        I don’t envy him/her the task.

        • Stephen Gash

          The centre ground is shifting sands.

      • I asked Burnham about this and if that’s all he’s got then the future of Labour is not rosy.

        Why is it so difficult to acknowledge that England is a nation? Labour has nothing. No to an English parliament; no to an English grand committee; no to EVEL; no to an English secretary of state; no to an English national holiday; no to an English national anthem.

        I hope that you (and Denham, Cruddas, etc) are right about an English Labour Party, at least then Labour will have to start engaging with the idea of England as a national community. Until they do they cede English identity politics to anti-EU UKIP and Conservatives or, worse, the ethnic tribalism of people like the EDL.

        • robertcp

          I disagree. Labour should be a British party that people from all parts of the UK can support.

          • So you advocate scrapping the Scottish Labour Party and the Welsh Labour Party then?

            Or is it just England that shouldn’t have a Labour Party?

          • robertcp

            No and I would not have a problem with a Labour Party in England as part of the British Labour Party. We also need to consider how devolution will work within England and valid options include regional assemblies, more powers for local authorites, an English Parliament or all three.

          • If Labour advocated an English parliament elected by a proportional system, with a commitment to devolve power locally, and regional grand committees sitting in the regions I think the electorate would bite their hand off.

          • robertcp

            I would not have a problem with that.

          • Stephen Gash

            Like Scotland and Northern Ireland you mean?

          • Steve Stubbs

            Its OK if it is Scotland, or Wales, or the Irish; but to go for England having equal treatment is somehow racist. Until we take this on board, we are going nowhere in England.

          • robertcp

            We do need to think about devolution for England but Labour should not be an English nationalist party.

          • Steve Stubbs

            I don’t think anyone is saying English Labour should be; any more than Scottish Labour or Welsh Labour are nationalist.

          • robertcp

            That is okay then.

          • robertcp

            I should have said Great Britain. Northern Ireland has a different party system and Scotland might be permanently lost for Labour. It would be a disaster for Labour if it also lost the 20 or so “safe” seats in Wales.

        • Billsilver

          You see? Burnham just doesn’t get it. At all!

    • Carole

      I never use the word chav, because it is disrespectful, but some people who fly George cross flags are racists. Ever heard of the EDL?

      In any case, the smart thing is working out why someone is flying a flag, and then saying nothing if the answer isn’t obvious.

      • Matthew Blott

        Racists drive cars too.

        • Andrew Bartlett

          “The fact some racists do it is irrelevant – some racists drive cars but I don’t draw any conclusion from that fact.”

          Driving a car is not part of the racist’s expression of his or her racial nationalism. The St George’s cross has been one of the symbols chosen by racists.

          “It’s perfectly acceptable for Scots, Welsh and Irish republicans to fly flags but the St Geroge’s cross makes some on the left uncomfortable.”

          Because those flags haven’t been associated with street-fighting racist thugs. The St George’s cross has.

          I agree with you, we need a different, revitalised conception of what it means to be English. But don’t pretend that you don’t understand why people waving the St George’s cross makes people uncomfortable.

          • Steve Stubbs

            “Because those flags haven’t been associated with street-fighting racist thugs”.

            As someone who has lived over 30 of my 68 years in Scotland including the Glasgow area, this made me laugh. The Scots and the Irish use flags as weapons and indulge in street fighting, both politically and religiously. Have you ever been to Scotland?

          • Andrew Bartlett

            Actually, yes, you’re right. I have lived on Scotland, but in th Borders, and I currently live in Wales. Even so, I’ll admit that I was being a bit Anglo-centric, really only writing about the politics associated with those flags in tge mind of a significant number of people in England.

            You could add Northern Ireland for another part of the UK where flags – not just the St George’s cross -carry different (and intense) associations.

        • Stephen Gash

          The Labour Party started in England.

          The Scot Keir Hardie beat Englishman David Shackleton to the leadership by a single vote. Yet, typically, being a Scot, Hardie is given all the credit.

          Shackleton became chairman of the Trades Union Congress and is a towering figure in the fledgling Labour movement, but largely unknown and unsung, now. I don’t know if he’s on record as saying he was a proud Englishman.

        • Carole

          Your comment is pretty illogical.

          I am English.

          Also, did you read what I wrote?

          This bit – In any case, the smart thing is working out why someone is flying a flag, and then saying nothing if the answer isn’t obvious.

      • Yes, and I’ve heard of UKIP who stole much of Labour’s vote.

      • Stephen Gash

        And many who fly the Union Flag are overt racists. The Union Flag is the chosen emblem of the National Front and BNP. English folk distanced themselves from that by readopting the Cross of St George. This is accepted as being in 1996 when English flags swamped out the Union Flag for the first time at England matches. Nevertheless, Labour and the BBC attempted to deflect that obvious fact by branding the English flag as racist. Well it hasn’t worked. Demonising your own voters, especially English ones, is downright stupid.

        I see nothing in the present leadership candidacies to make me think Labour is going to embrace Englishness anytime soon. Unlike an increasing number of ethnic minorities who claim to be English only.

        • Carole

          I don’t think that I’ve seen either Labour or the BBC labelling the St George’s cross flag as racist. I’ve certainly seen some organisations that use the flag being labelled as racist ones. The EDL for example, or the English Democrats.

          • Billsilver

            I hope you all notice that Church of England churches fly the St Georges cross on holy days? Real racists there then.

          • Stephen Gash

            When the Oldham riots were happening Channel4 interviewed Michael Howard about racism. There was an English flag atop a church steeple in the background right between them. As the interview closed the camera zoomed in on the flag. That is just a typical example of how the media juxtaposes racism with ‘English’.

          • Castles

            The English, in my opinion, cannot/do not differentiate between nationalism and patriotism.

            Scotland, N Ireland, & Wales all celebrate their patriotism whereas all too often English people push their nationalism.

            Nationalism is seen as aggressive.

          • Billsilver

            What a fatuous point.

          • Carole

            Yes, I have noticed it.

            No, I don’t think that the Church of England is racist.

            You comment seems somewhat odd. I said that “I’ve certainly seen some organisations that use the flag being labelled
            as racist ones. The EDL for example, or the English Democrats.”

            I never mentioned the Church.

            What point are you trying to make?

          • Fred Worthy

            Lighten up Carole, I think the above comment was just a joke, no,,and anyway the name Church of England holds the clue, as opposed to the Church of Scotland, Ireland and Eire which has a Guiness label for a Logo, hold up, just another joke.

          • Stephen Gash

            Until this year Radio 5 Live debated racism and matters English every year on St George’s Day. Sandwell’s Labour council attempted to ruin the world’s largest St George’s Day parade. It attracted 30,000+ people of diverse backgrounds, the very thing you would expect Labour to support. However, it branded the event as ‘attracting extremists’ so gradually the support whittled away to a mere 10,000 attending.

            Sandwell then made life difficult by granting licences to ‘multicultural’ events to set up on land where once the St George’s Day parade finished and ran stalls etc. I heard that brass bands and similar would be denied public funding if they attended the event. Blackmailed in other words.

            Labour refused the English even one day to celebrate their culture. Similar anti-English activities happened across England in Labour strongholds such as Bradford.

            There seems to be little concern about Eid celebrations attracting ‘extremists’ so why St Geore’s Day should be singled out is bewildering.

            I would hazard a guess that many who celebrate St George’s Day are former Labour voters. Why would they continue supporting a party that zealously denigrates them? Labour should have embraced Englishness and encouraged immigrants to adopt it, instead of ramming Britishness down everybody’s throat, but only in England.

          • Fred Worthy

            The flag of St. George is the emblem for England,far right groups have stolen the meaning of the flag for their own purposes so that anyone who fly’s it will in their twisted logic endorse or will be seen to endorse their views,logic of the mob I’m afraid,still fly mine when England play football.

    • Patrick Nelson

      Labour needs to take a reality check and broaden itself somewhat so as stop alienating too many actual voters. Plenty of people on the left need to overcome issues with self-hating anti-Englishness, the Union Jack and St George’s flag. All that said plenty of people who fly the Cross of St George are chavs and/or racists, but normal people need to take the symbols of this country back so that they are non-controversial just like in any other country. Too many people think the Union Jack and the St Georges flag are something like swastikas.

  • wolfman

    Chuka has withdrawn it seems..

  • John Ruddy

    Clive MP got the right job then.

  • Kenneth Watson

    this letter is a breath of fresh air indeed…badly needed ,badly ,after that blast from the past

    • Michael Murray

      Yes. All of us on the left in the Labour Party should be proud of them! And Ummuna has stepped down too. I’m having the best day since last Friday!

      I’m interested to know who they think they might nominate.

      • bikerboy

        Your best day since last Friday? Starting from a low base, though.

        • Michael Murray

          Nine and a half million.

    • Aaron Golightly

      Isn’t the biggest problem the two elections we just lost rather than the 3 we won starting 18 years ago?

      Maybe what we need not to be perpetually in defeat whenever we run from the left is to actually address the issues as to why we lost not attack the party during the time when it used to win?

      Genuinely think people would be quite happy if we were never in office again.

    • Daniel Speight

      Somehow they don’t sound like they are from the Progress wing, do they?

  • NT86

    Labour’s challenge is triple tasked: Scotland, the south/Midlands and the north.

    The latter might be the easiest as they still held onto most of their seats (Morley & Outwood and Bolton West being lost) and if they stop dithering about UKIP and offer something substantial to their northern heartlands not platitudes it shouldn’t be impossible. The “red” UKIP vote isn’t exactly Thatcherite so a more left leaning set of MPs might go down well.

    (Seems like Sheffield Heeley and Salford & Eccles’ new MPs are a lot more left wing than the seats’ previous MPs – Meg Munn and Hazel Blears – who were considered to be on the right of the party).

    The biggest problems lie in Scotland and the south/Midlands where world views of voters have never been more different than now. How to solve this conundrum when Scotland has moved to the left and Middle England remains on the centre right?

  • Tommo

    Looks like Labour are to spend even longer in the wilderness than necessary.

    • Judo Rick

      there is a lot of water to go under the bridge yet

      these Tories are excessively ideological and as such are subject to huge
      ‘unintended consequences’

      ie they could easily cause a recession, complete meltdown in public services or all manner of other disasters

      • bikerboy

        That’s Labour’s job.

        • Judo Rick

          every Tory govt has caused a recession and this one will too

          they have no idea what they are doing

          • g978

            So has every Labour Government.

      • Aaron Golightly

        but shouldn’t our ambition be more than ”wait for the Tories to mess up”
        I find it incredibly disheartening that MPs elected during such a crushing election defeat have nothing to offer than pandering to the “I hate Blair” bullies of the left who seek to achieve nothing but shout insults at people who disagree with them.

        • Carole

          “Blair is irrelevant to our 2015 defeat and the constant citing of him in
          the narrative shows just how desperate people are to avoid the real
          issues we face as a party.”

          This cannot be stated often enough.

          Forget the past, you cannot change it and there is no point in re-fighting battles that were lost the first time around, and the second and third time in some cases.

        • Andrew Bartlett

          “Blair is irrelevant to our 2015 defeat”.

          Do you really believe that? Have you not encountered the vitriol and scorn that even his name prompts from many people who ought, by their social and economic views, be our natural electorate? This is true, whether or not Blair is a great man or a war criminal – he has left his mark on the Labour ‘brand’, and the associations in the popular mind are not good.

          As for the “bullies of the left who seek to achieve nothing but shout insults at people who disagree with them” – my god, do you have any self-awareness. These MPs signed a letter which contained a positive vision of what ‘aspiration’ means in terms of Labour’s values. And your comments are simply about how their part of the bullying left, defending comments that derides the link between organised Labour and the unions, calling people ‘desperate’ when they don’t agree with your diagnosis that the election.

  • Judo Rick

    Clive Lewis is superb and I support his position entirely

  • Matthew Blott

    All backed by Unite no doubt.

    • Matty

      Firstly, so what? Are you against trade unions?
      Secondly, any evidence?

      • Aaron Golightly

        Even if he was against trade unions, which I assume he isn’t, why would he not be entitled to make that point?

        This is the problem with the party, so many narrow-minded individuals who want to bully people out any kind of dissent.

        No doubt if he replies that he does have an issue with trade union influence we can call him a Tory and be pleased with ourselves at shutting down another person’s contribution?

        • g978

          They are entitled to their opinion. But it helps to know where they are coming from. Much like Unite and others wanting Murphy to resign even though they never supported him. Unite wants no Blairites. That is why they installed Ed in the first place.

          • Matty

            As you well know, the vote of trade unionists for the Labour leadership was done in a one-member one-vote ballot. To say that Unite installed Ed is very misleading. The Unite leadership recommended a vote for Ed but I’m sure that their members have minds of their own.

          • ColinAdkins

            Firstly Unite hadn’t been formed in so much Amicus and the TGWU acted differently. Secondly didn’t at least the Amicus section back Balls? Finally people conveniently forgot some Unions backed Miliband D – USDAW for instance.

        • Matty

          So asking questions is bullying? The guy makes an evidence-free assertion. And look at his answer – talking about unions being about Chavistas supporting Islamist appeasing politcians. it’s such a bizarre comment, god knows what he is talking about. For what it is worth, in my opinion, trade unions are a fundamental part of our movement and I will defend them..

        • Andrew Bartlett

          “Even if he was against trade unions, which I assume he isn’t, why would he not be entitled to make that point?”

          He could make the point, but if he was against trade unions then he’s hardly the kind of person who is interested in a strong Labour Party, or MPs who stand up for the rights of working people.

          Given that he thinks that he thinks that unions don’t represent their members but instead are made up of “Chavistas more interested in supporting corrupt Islamist appeasing politicians” suggests to me that he either 1) doesn’t know what most union reps do most every say, or 2) does know, and is happy to smear and damage the organised labour.

          If he’s saying, “I like unions, just not the ones we actually have”, then he is doing exactly what you repeatedly deride the Labour left for doing – demanding ideological purity before effective action!

          • Stephen Gash

            Who are trade unions for exactly? Certainly not for the English working class.

      • Matthew Blott

        I’m not against unions at all – I wish we had more of them. I also wish they did more to represent all their members not just the few Chavistas more interested in supporting corrupt Islamist appeasing politicians than seeing a return of a Labour government.

        • robertcp

          I am a member of Unite who is not a fan of McCluskey. I do not recognise your description. Unite spends the vast majority of its time representing its members.

      • Stephen Gash

        Why are the trade unions so anti-English? Is there a ‘Unite England’ or ‘GMB England’? There appear to be ‘Unite Scotland’ and ‘GMB Scotland’. Trade unions have been in the vanguard of Labour’s balkanisation of England often led by Scots-accented folk, or with names like McCluskey.

  • seddon

    I think it’s good to hear from some our new MPs whatever their views. Now is the time for the party and wider movement to talk about what happened in the general election and what we need to do to recapture power at a UK level

  • Aaron Golightly

    1979 – lost
    1983 – lost
    1987 – lost
    1992 – lost
    1997 – won
    2001 – won
    2005 – won
    2010 – lost
    2015 – lost

    the only sensible conclusion one needs to draw is that we don’t a repeat of those horrific 1997-2005 election results, eh?

    It’s quite amazing that people still think the problem with the last election was the electorate. Dinosaurs of a time that’s past who are happy for the party to be the natural party of opposition because they’re happy just sitting and having a moan among like-minded folk.

    • Ejacques1938

      So you think that Scotland voted SNP because Labour was too left wing and overly focused on the needs of the working poor and on the socially excluded? If you think that another dose of Neoliberalism and Blairite/Mandelson trickle down economics and toadying to the city and big corporations is the road to salvation, dream on.

      • Aaron Golightly

        Scotland voted SNP because Labour didn’t have a strong or convincing narrative. The answer to get back voters from SNP is no more that we lurch to the left than it is we lurch to the right to get the ones we lost to UKIP.

        In 1997 and 2001 Blair won 56 seats in Scotland. Brown won 41, Miliband 1. How can we possibly conclude the response is to lurch to the left?

        • Ejacques1938

          Have you been to Scotland and Kirkcaldy and the former traditional labour supporting towns in Fife recently? It is like a bomb site and some third world country and the legacy of Gordon Brown, Scottish Labour is strikingly unimpressive
          and depressing.

          So while Gordon, Alistair Darling, John Reed at el were busy ensuring light touch banking regulation and printing billions (Quantitative Easing) to prop-up the bond markets and for the benefit of derivative traders, venture capitalist and those with assets (he very people whose greed and illegality caused the credit crisis and the excuse for trashing our welfare state) the rich were getting super-rich and inequality grew exponentially under consecutive Labour governments. Brilliant!

          This might have had something to do, don’t you think, with why the Labour vote fragmented with significant numbers of former Labour voters turning to the SNP (the social democratic party) and to the right via UKIP?

      • Stephen Gash

        Scots did NOT vote for Miliband because he is NOT a Scot. They voted for Blair because he was a Scot. They voted for Brown because he was a Scot. They voted SNP in the 2011 Holyrood elections because Brown was hammered in England in 2010.

        • Canarydan

          Your surname is apt.

          • Stephen Gash

            You say that hiding behind an absurd avatar & fake handle. Presumably you’re the canary in the mine Labour’s dug for itself. You won’t be warning of any gas. You and your ilk are the gas.

            I state obvious facts & you make a typical leftie personal attack.

          • Canarydan

            Ah yes, an avatar that includes me in it. You have a funny idea of the definition of the word “hiding”. It’s almost as peculiar as how you seem to interpret the term “obvious fact”. Although if you have any empirical evidence or data to support your “facts” I’ll happily amend my opinion on how well your surname suits you.

            And the Canary refers to the mighty football team that will be taking to the Wembley pitch next Monday. I’ll be there, hiding away.

          • Dave Postles

            Good win against the Tractor Boys. See you in the Premiership next season, Middlesborough withstanding.

    • Alecto

      One of the most post hoc ergo propter hoc comments I’ve ever seen. The country changes, and politics even quicker than that. What worked 18 years ago won’t necessarily work now. Presumably you cut off at 1979 not to create the illusion that only Blair has ever won (perish the thought that you would try to mislead us), but because you felt that pre-’79 elections were too long ago to be relevant (but that ’79 wasn’t!). I’d instead argue that we are in a new age of politics, and that all pre-2010 elections bare less relevance than they ever have, including the Blair ones.

      Surely it’s common sense that Labour cannot win off the same economic platform as their primary opponents? In ’97 the Tories were so atrophic that Labour were all but guaranteed victory, and in ’01, ’05 we had the advantage of being in Government, of being the default and original holders of the centre. Now we are not, the Tories are refreshed, and attempting to sign up to Tory plans and retaking the centre is not so much Blair in 1997, as repeating the mistakes of the Tories in ’01 and ’05 when they tried the same against us. Utter madness to try that. We must explain to the country why the Tories are wrong, and then offer something different. Not say the Tories are wrong, and then offer the same!

      • Aaron Golightly

        I’m not calling for a return for New Labour. New Labour and Tony Blair had massive failings that need to be learned from and not repeated. It just seems incredulous that in our current situation rather than having an introspective look at ourselves we’re making ourselves feel better by having a go at an era of the party that no longer exists.

        Whatever anyone thought of New Labour it had good points as well as bad points but the new-found desperation to suddenly now make it the talking point of the moment is, as I said before, a sign of how desperate some people are to avoid the argument.

        Is Blairism the answer to our woes in Scotland? Unlikely but neither is anti-Blairism for the sake of making ourselves feel better by pretending the last 2 elections didn’t happen. Whatever you an say of Labour under Blair it was at least a confident party that drove the agenda and set the narrative of its day. Surely this is at least one element it’s not controversial to seek to emulate going forward

        Can’t help but find it bizarre that following such a defeat the first response is to once again talk about New Labour and Tony Blair. Especially when Blair’s record in Scotland specifically is very good. Does that mean we copy it? No. But it also means we don’t completely dismiss it because Blair-hate has become the comfort blanket of the left who think if they cite his name often enough our modern day woes will simply melt away.

    • Andrew Bartlett

      All those lost elections were won by someone else? You’ve got to win *for* something. If it isn’t, what we should learn from ‘2015 – lost’ is that we’d have been on the winning side if we’d paid our subs to the Tories. We don’t, because we want a Party with the kind of vision outlined by these new MPs.

  • Bill Filey

    Will it still be okay to support mafia slave regimes in the Arabian Gulf?

    • Matthew Blott

      I’d like less sycophancy towards such regimes but we still need their oil.

  • Duncan Hall

    Excellent letter. Very encouraging to read.

  • Graham Smith

    So that’s four lawyers, three NHS staff, one BBC reporter, one lobbyist and Harry Harpham,.

  • robertcp

    This is better than the waffle from the Blairites but is it much better? Rightly or wrongly, many voters are afraid that Labour will spend money like it is going out of fashion and build up another massive deficit. Labour will need to explain why that will not happen if there is a Labour-led government after 2020.

  • A bit of common sense

    Good luck to them.

    Remember that if the Blairites win the soul of the party, then half of it (the activist bit) will likely decamp to the Greens and help make them a powerful force. This would leave Labour just another corporatist party like the conservatives, reliant on big money backers. Maybe not the nasty party, just not very nice.

  • Lee Harris

    Second longest suicide note in history after the 1983 manifesto

  • Englishoak

    The UK Labour Party is like a relic of the past unable to move forward now that there are separate Scottish & Welsh Labour Parties.

    Labour needs to accept that England has a genuine grievance in this so called Union. When it establishes an English Labour Party which is willing to take the nation’s grievances into account, only then can they show they are worth listening to.

    We deserve an English Labour Party speaking to all of England’s citizens. Stop digging your heels in & let’s move forward into the future with renewed optimism & mutual respect.

  • carlos jones

    Are these Len McCluskey’s poodles he’s been so feverishly packing the PLP with? Given the effort and expense (by his members, who elected him on a 15% turnout) he’s gone through to be only able to rustle up 10 anti blairite MPs in the new intake is staggering. This indicates blairism is far from dead.

  • Stephen Gash

    Scots-led Labour dismantled the UK with its purposely asymmetric devolution. The purpose was to dismember England into regions and erase it from the map in order to leave Scotland as the largest geo-political entity in these islands.

    They never even tried to hide this blatant England-hating action. Robin Cook (a Scot) as a Labour Minister said on BBC radio “England is not a nation, it is just a collection of regions”. John Prescott (Welsh), as a Labour Minister wrote, “There is no such nationality as English.”

    Despite defeat in the single referendum held on English regions, Labour imposed them anyway.

    The one thing Labour studiously refused to do was to give the English a referendum on an English parliament. The then Lord Chancellor, Charles Falconer (a Scot) said “There would never be an English parliament.”

    This denial of England’s existence did not stop the hostile denigration of all things English, with Labour councils banning St George’s Day parades and English flags being flown. Most recently Emily Thornberry notably mocked the English flag.

    Labour were hammered in England in 2005, but never halted their unreasonable anti-English stance. Arguably it became more strident. Over confident that Scotland would return 50+ Labour MPs it started looking at the possible alliances with other parties to keep out the Tories. Now Labour is in the political wilderness looking for an oasis to slake its electoral thirst. England should have been it, but Labour poisoned the water.

  • The Pudding

    Hell, what a surprise Labour Mp’s who support Labour values! I had to take a shower after reading Liz Kendall’s interview in the Guardian this morning. Choc full of Daily Mail platitudes and prostrating herself before big business. No sign of a compelling vision, just Liz and a big stick to bash benefit claimants with. She clearly wants to be the Maggie Thatcher of the Labour Party. Don’t let her!

  • Stephen Rogers

    I have the just the person, I think his name is Ed Miliband. Unfortunately, he was before his time, and had to take the flack for New Labour policies. Good luck to the newly elected MPs, the Party might just have a chance of upholding the values of decency as opposed to greed.

  • Billsilver

    Forget the leader – let’s get decent sustainable sound policies which the electorate might support and engage with. THEN vote for a leader who will spearhead the attack.

  • Mouch

    The collective denial and chutzpah of this group is a wonderful thing to read. They remind me of a group of university students – the world’s unfair comrade, something must be done, workers of the world unite (no pun intended)….

    Its a world view rooted in the 20th century, where people are helpless and the state as parent – guaranteeing everything from jobs to houses.

    It ignores all the evidence that socialism failed. People tried and died to go from East to West Berlin, not the other way around. Even the Chinese embraced the markets.

    What country are they holding up as a socialist utopia they want to ape – Venezuela?
    I’ve never understood why this type of political thinking is called progressive when everything about it says regressive.

    It appears to me that Labour’s election offer was rejected. It lost. Why does this group think that a more left wing message will win? Isn’t the definition of insanity to carry on repeating the same mistakes, hoping for a different result?

    I despair. The Tories will rejoice.

    • new_number_2

      What are you doing supporting what is supposed to be a socialist party when you don’t agree with socialism? The Tory party is that way →

      • Steve Stubbs

        There are different types of socialism. Some go by other names as well. Democratic Socialism and National Socialism, for two examples.

      • Jimmy Sands

        And the SWP is the other way.

        Your point?

      • Mouch

        I think socialism was a great ideal that was of its time. However, it was put to the test during the 20th century and one by one, each country that adopted it failed and rejected it.

        Do you think those people were wrong? Have you ever talked to someone that lived in the Eastern Block? Have you ever asked someone in the socialist utopia of Venezuela what its like to queue for bread and have to show your passport – in a country with the 3rd largest oil reserves?

        Any rational person might evaluate the facts and ask why doesn’t it work in practice? Why for instance did the Chinese embrace the markets?

        To blindly follow a creed despite evidence that points to fact that it doesn’t work in practice seems to be insane.

        So tell me new_number_2, given the evidence, exactly what type socialism do you want? Explain it to me, without resulting to banal statements about equality, fairness etc.

        I’m genuinely interested.

  • bevinboy

    I am afraid this sounds once again like preparing just to talk to the party.

    Elections are won by talking to the country..

    Call it something other than “New Labour” if you really must, but banging on about “austerity” will not hack it in England.

    The English, of all the peoples of these islands, know we must live within our means.

    No wonder the floaters abandoned Labour

  • Hadrian

    Sort of language which indicates that the next election we win will be many decades hence. “Take on the powerful vested interests….” If that is tha language one uses towards the part of the economy which pays the bills there is no hope.

  • Jimmy Sands

    I think the technical term for this is “suicide note”.

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