Socialist rhetoric seems to be making a comeback and the success of leftist would-be Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in the USA is further proof of this.
There seems to be increasing dissatisfaction amongst members of left wing political parties, and a revolt against the politics of the centre-ground and triangulation.
There really isn’t much to choose between New Labour and the Tories – the differences are paper thin and this is understandably disconcerting for many Labour members.
Globalisation, which is a vague term, may be a root cause of much of the disenchantment. Perhaps there’s a suspicion that globalisation is actually a sort of vampire style crony-capitalism and an attempt by big corporations to curtail workers’ rights.
Policies like the bank bailouts and subsidies for corporations give the impression of socialism only for the banks, the rich, and for corporations. It’s no wonder that ideas like “people’s quantitative easing” have been suggested.
Centre-right parties have shifted leftwards and this is causing unintended consequences. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell’s suggestion of a £10.00 national living wage (NLW) has been enabled by the Tories leftward shift.
The Tory policy on the NLW is clumsy and a perfect example of Tory Blairism. Why should an 18-year-old who rents a flat be paid less than a 26-year-old who still lives at home with his parents when they’re doing the same work?
Tory Blairites are smug about policies like the living wage, but the long-term consequences will be problematic. Their so-called “moderate” ideas are helping to herald the return of socialist rhetoric. Osborne’s rationale for the NLW is very weak and as a result it could be easy for John McDonnell’seconomics to appear reasonable.
Also maybe the collapse of Christianity in Britain and many Western nations is fuelling the rise of socialism. Socialist rhetoric,with its belief in an earthly utopia, can have a very magnetic pull for people who don’t have a faith.
Socialism is likely to gain far more converts than ideologies based around unabashed consumerism and materialism.
Socialism is very idealistic. Thomas Sowell, a leading American economist and centre-right thinker, is a former Marxist and only renounced Marxism after his experience of working in the government (studying under economist Milton Friedman was not enough to make him change his mind and it was only his dissatisfaction with government officialdom that swayed him).
I don’t agree with Corbyn’s radical socialist left wingviews. However, I do think that Corbyn ran the best leadership campaign anddeserved his victory. Corbyn was able to offer a coherent vision, which hisopponents failed to do.
Corbyn has continued to come up with ideas, whereas the Blairities continue to lack a cohesive vision and seem to be banking on sabotaging him.
Since Corbyn’s victory 60,000 people have joined the Labour Party. Membership numbers are important as political parties need members and volunteers to knock on doors and for direct public engagement.
Sometimes you have to go backwards to move forwards and there could actually be real opportunities for radical thinkers to come up with a new centre-left vision. However Labour’s pro-EU stance actually makes it much more difficult.
A Labour Party that is Eurosceptic could become the sort of party that the likes of MP Jon Cruddas and Blue Labour peer Maurice Glassman have often called for – one that values patriotism and communities. A Labour Party committed to open borders and mass immigration could never be that sort of party.
A lot of Labour MPs seem to have put the EU first and the Labour movement second. As a result, it’s likely that Corbyn style left-wing politics will remain a feature for the foreseeable future and Labour MPs unhappy with Corbyn will most likely try to undermine and sabotage him at every turn and attempt a coup within the next 1-2 years.
The Blairites seem to want to be pro-EU centrists. However, Tony Blair seems to have failed to groom a successor and Blairism without Tony Blair is a tough sell. Also the Tories are much better at Blairism than Labour.
Corbyn’s biggest enemies are certainly in the Parliamentary Labour Party.