Nora Mulready writes: Labour: Embrace the chaos and be ready for what comes next
It’s an appeal for ‘ordinary people’ to stick with Labour. It’s a mistake. Here’s why.
There has already been a split (more than one). The split was away from class politics of ‘Labour’ and towards liberal democracy.
Small ‘c’ conservativism and small ‘s’ socialism are just two perspectives, the freedom of the individual, freedom of the collective, that are essentially liberal, democratic, secular.
Freedom with no common controls, zero regulation, is freedom of the individual to acquire wealth and power at the expense of the masses. Centralised control of every apsect of life is party dictatorship at the expense of the mass of individuals.
Other parties already exist. The Liberal Democrats are weak for want of numbers, and numbers of strong political intellects that aren’t ideologues. Any party can be wrong on specific policies, but in principle, in a secular liberal democracy that doesn’t favour anyone above anyone else, that isn’t dedicated to the social and economic elites, or to ‘Labour’, isn’t demonising everyone on the other side, is about as middle of the road as you can get.
The Labour Party is and has been for a long time excessively Socialist – or in the Blair years still had a Socialist collectivist contingent. The Conservative Party still is excessively elitist and capitalist.
We need the small ‘s’ socialism – a concern for the many. We still need the small ‘c’ conservativism – a concern for order and freedom of the individual. Many people have both these sides to their philosophy and their politics.
The balance is a difficult one when we get down to specifics on economics – which is where the crunch comes.
Some parts of the economy benefit from centralised management, consistent and fair distribution; but we have to guard against an expensive beurocracy and political cliques. Some parts benefit from entrepreneurial freedom with little control; but we have to guard against exploitation and dangers to public safety.
It’s difficult to balance the distribution of opportunity and wealth. The politics of envy works both ways: those without want what others have; and those with want to hang on to what they have. Not all wealth is fairly earned; and not all social hand outs are deserved or needed. It’s easy to demand your rights to your wealth, when many low paid people have earned it for you. It’s easy to demand your rights to hand outs, when others are paying you for not taking on responsibility for your employment.
The left blame capitalism for every ill – but capitalism is personal economic freedom. And yet it needs regulation to prevent exploitation. The right blame socialism for every ill – but socialism is fairness through education and economic distribution. And yet it needs regulation to prevent the destruction of individual freedom.
There’s a centre that spreads both left and right, politically, philosophically. And it holds the whole together. But the far left and far right want that divide and try to draw as many as they can to their more extreme politics.
Both Labour and Conservative parties contain too much extremism of their own. And it seems many in the middle cling on to their respective party for fear that the other will win if they split their own side’s vote. Too afraid to jump.
To Andrew Adams, who commented,
You have to recognize that many (most?) of Corbyn’s supporters within the party are not hardcore far left enytryists , they are ordinary members whose views are probably to the left of you but are buy no means extremists.
Yes. And many people that vote Conservative are not rich elites protecting some priviledge power base.
Like Alison Wood I’m average …
I’m middle of the road, a conservatively liberal democratic secularist, or something like that.
I’m not Labour, though I have voted Labour. I’m not Conservative, though I have voted Conservative. On each occasion I’ve never been satisfied that they were right for the nation; only that on each occasion one or the other has been less wrong.
For many years now I’ve voted for what I see as the most inclusive party we have that is politically and philosophically closer to me – the Liberal Democrats. It’s a wasted vote only in as much other would-be middle of the road people are afraid to jump from forever aligning with Labour or Conservative, or forever switching votes between Labour and Conservative.
I’m not a member of the Liberal Democrat party. But I am a member of the British Humanist Association. When I look at the political philosophy of each, they seem most aligned and least divisive.
The British Humanist Association