72% want Labour party to abandon "New Labour" Blair agenda (Daniel De Groot)
72% would be less likely to vote for the UK Labour party if it keeps to the Blair/Brown program of "New Labour", and 47% would be more likely to vote for Labour if it does abandon New Labour.

What do you think of Ed Balls?
I think that guy has a real future. Won't win current election for leadership, but I bet he makes the shadow cabinet.

If you want to abandon new labour he is the last person
you should pick.  He is a core new labourite and people in England who support him do because they want him to stand up to the left!  He is  british Rahm Emmanuel.

My blog  

[ Parent ]
none of the four major candidates want to abandon the new labour project, as far as i know
have to wait until the next leadership election or hope someone pliable wins.  i had been hoping that jon cruddas would stand.

[ Parent ]
Thanks Glacier for focusing attention on the Brits
This will be a long comment, related to your post but going much deeper.  Forgive me perhaps, for hijacking your thread, but this screed has been floating around my brain all week and this seemed like a good place to park it.

The thing about Britain is that their debate is closer to the real meat and potatoes of what this argument is all about.  Ours is frustratingly diverted into "Like or Dislike Obama" or "Is the Tea Party Racist" and other tangential questions.

Britain makes it clear: it's really about social democracy vs. neoliberalism.

It is important that an Open Left understand this.  This is the debate that is barely allowed to be mentioned on our side of the pond but it's the crucial distinction.

When Paul Krugman argues for Keynesianism he's taking the social democratic side of this argument.  But he's not allowed to say so, or at least not willing.

The mistake of our side in the past period was in not understanding how strongly our opponents believed in the other side of this argument. It was indeed their central rationale.  It wasn't "just politics".

When Barack Obama made his famous remarks about Ronald Reagan being transformational, it was misinterpreted as being political, an attempt to reach out to the other side.  It actually was, as some feared, philosophical.  It really did mean, sincerely, that except around the edges, he thought that Reaganism-Thatcherism was irreversible.  Just as Bill Clinton does, just as Tony Blair does.

The Third-Wayers are serious about this.  Seriously deluded, perhaps, but dead serious.  There was never an attempt to triangulate the "independent center", those who still believed in Reaganism but were distressed by the partisan cultural meanness.  That was sincere.  Those who were played were the Democratic base.  They would have to be satisfied with corporate-style knockoffs of social-democratic ideas (health care being the most obvious example).  Labor reformers would have to be mollified with "we don't have 60 votes".  And symbolic gestures devoid of content like inviting Pete Seeger to the White House.

Why didn't this work?  Why are the Dems SO wounded by a bad economy?  A better economy was absolutely crucial to the Third Way plan.  They didn't think it would get this bad.  If it hadn't gotten this bad, they might have been able to pull it off.  People would be working, the craziness wouldn't have gained so much traction, people would have been able to laugh at Sarah Palin, Dems would have been fat and happy.  But that way depended on bubble economics, which the neolibs mistaken thought was permanent.  They may not even believe they depend on bubble economics, they may even delude themselves that they truly stand in the middle.  But when push comes to shove, they never move to the left.

Instead we have this worst of all possible worlds - Obama falsely accused of "socialism" and "socialism" - his toothless attempts to counter bubble economics - all that neoliberalism will allow - blamed for the economic failure.

When the pundits say "America is a conservative country" I have to say, in opposition to most left thinking, they're right in a way.  Our counterargument has been poll numbers.  This is not an effective counter because they have enough power elsewhere to spit on poll numbers, to manipulate them and to make the inconvenient ones disappear.  Thus we hear endlessly about polling on the the "Ground Zero Mosque".  Not so much about Social Security.

When we say "the Dems hate the Left" or they're beating up on "dirty fucking hippies", what we're REALLY saying is that, for the Third-Wayers, neoliberalism vs. social democracy is actually the whole ballgame.  The last vestiges of American social democracy - the New Deal and all its accoutrements - must be wiped out, at all costs.  

They haven't been able to say so - because they need the votes of the "little people".  But there's almost no play left in that gambit.  With each disspiriting election betrayal (Clinton and NAFTA, Obama and Health Care, Obama and Social Security) the Democratic brand gets weaker and weaker.

We on the Left, the "netroots", etc., need to understand the centrality of this point more than we do.  The coming fight over Social Security is not one issue among many, it's the defining issue of this period.  Third Way politics is dependent on the bubble economy.  This has failed.  We can't go back there.  We have to make this known.  

The Third Wayers were born of the idea that Communism had failed.  It had, but the Third Wayers went much too far in sweeping the entire social democratic program off the table with it.  The social democratic reforms of the twentieth century are what enabled the West to defeat the problematic communist opponent.  The mistake is in cynically jettisoning them after the threat passed.  Bait and switch, really. But going back to the nineteenth century for economic inspiration ignores why social democracy and communism gained the traction they did in the first place.  

Free-market fundamentalism is not the answer, but the Third Wayers have no answer to it, because they cravenly accept its orthodoxies.  In the current situation we have to drag them, kicking and screaming, back from this abyss.

But until we understand why we're in the position we're in we won't be able to get out of it.


sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.

for crediting glacierpeaks for starting this thread and not Daniel DeGroot.  But you both have been posting on the issue, so there's credit enough to go around.

sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.

[ Parent ]

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