Monday, 2 June 2014

#Labour must challenge the Establishment not be part of it

Across Europe, traditionally dominant parties have been rocked by the support for anti-Establishment movements. These are neither all left nor right. Some are anti-austerity; others anti-EU. All seek to wrest power from long-established, dominant power blocs.

Labour under Blair strove and succeeded in becoming a part of The Establishment, friend to bankers, media bosses and big business. It is surely time to return to Labour as a movement for change, challenging the powers that be. The 1% represented so consistently by the Tories controls not only a disproportionate amount of the wealth and earnings of capitalism but also of the levers of power. Labour leaders increasingly try to look and act like these, instead of representing the 99% and trying to change the power base.

There is both a tribal vote for Labour and support for it as a party with values and principles, particularly relating to fairness. Farage, Le Pen and Tsipras have shown that there is a desire on the part of voters to be led by people who connect with them and who are prepared to stand up to the powerful, stand up for the weak, and have the courage to endure some unpopularity in the name of doing what is needed.

Labour is and should be the party of Europe; of women; of ethnic minorities; of the disabled; of the economically excluded - and say so, even if some powerful interests do not like this.

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