Since sweeping to power with an overwhelming majority in the May elections, the Tory-Liberal coalition - referred to by many of the usual suspects on the left as the 'Con-Dem Coalition' - have been plagued by what has been described by some on the anti-revolutionary left (virtually everyone) as the worst possible crime outside of institutionalised papal-paedophilia... yes you guessed it a most heinous political delinquency in the guise of extreme left-wing entryism.
|How the bloody hell am I supposed to get down?|
Entryism is a tactic rarely seen in British politics these days and has not really been practised since the heady days of Degsy Hatton and the Militant Tendency. Now without wishing to mire this website too deeply in an infantile disorder of the worst possible kind, banal cynicism, or indeed in the esoterica of conspiracy theorem, this author thought it might be profitable to explore how precisely this subversive contemporaneous strategical shift has manifested itself?
Political entryism - or entryism for short - then is not a new phenomenon. As Stalinist centrism tightened its grip on communist parties around the world in the post war period, Trotskyist or revolutionary socialist organisations saw entryism as a strategy which could be useful in breaking young militant socialists away from reformist parties such as the British Labour Party and toward revolutionary politics. In the UK, the International Socialists (later to become the Socialist Workers Party) and later Militant were the two most prominent organisations from the left to adopt this strategy. However, with the downturn in working class struggle of the 1980s and the public purging of the Militant Tendency from Labour under the leadership of Neil Kinnock, most revolutionary organisations on the left in the UK rejected the strategy. That is until recently but we'll come back to this in a moment.
Socialism rising in the new New Labour Party
Yet it was in the months after the recent election,
amidst the eggy fug of collective amnesia that hangs pall-like over the massed ranks of the wider Labour Party membership and its fellow travellers, the first sign of an embryonic socialist credential (ESC) was detected by scientists with heavily recalibrated Geiger counters, emanating from the Labour Party structure.
Socialism...? It's over this way...
somewhere to the right... I think!
Hardly registering on the Richter Scale of democratic imposition from above (DIA), the green shoots of potential democratic participation (PDP - now reclassified by the Tory government as highly addictive and 'not to be messed with') emerged into the youthful spring sunshine in the guise of the Labour Party leadership elections.
Grass roots participative democracy... it's not necessarily a series of swear words
In stark contrast to Stalinism, the Labour Party's internal mechanism for choosing a leader is inherently democratic and sensitive to the wishes of the ordinary party member. One member one vote (OMOV) is widely used within the wider electoral college system adopted in 1981.
The system is inherently democratic Votes in the EC are split three ways; between the trade unions, the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) and the Constituency Labour Party (CLP). The votes are shared equally (33.3%) between all three sections.
Some media hacks and press pundits have criticised the internal democratic structures of the Labour Party around its use of nominations to find a leader. But they would wouldn't they and in contrast to the hierarchical power-ridden structures that are the modern media and press of today (nobody elected the bulldog-faced Rupert Murdoch to his position of intensive power), the Labour Party's system of leader-finding is so grass-roots it's still underground. Yet it's quite simple and uniquely transparent
if you have the ocular dexterity of a theodolite wielding mole.
A bit of an explanation
Now it is obvious that splitting the vote three ways is the best and fairest way of choosing a leader.
As the Labour Party is an inherently participative and democratic institution, all members of the Labour Party are involved in this proces.... In order to ensure the widest possible participation Labour MPs alone decide which candidates are allowed to progress to this stage which is also intensely fair and transparent. This process of 'nomination' is ideal because it allows the real power-brokers in the Labour Party the unmitigated right to foist on the party the widest possible participation. So where are we in the process of king/queen making in the LP?
immediately placed their names in the hat once a less than respectable mourning period for the great leader Brown had passed. The Labour socialist John McDonnell, the pragmatic but not Blairite Ed Milliband, the pragmatic but not Blairite David Milliband, the pragmatic but not Blairite Edward Balls, the pragmatic but not Blairite Andy Burnham and the TV socialist Diane Abbott who is a vehement defender of state education for everyone else, put their names in the hat.
Who's in the running?
Several months on and through an intense process of debate, of listening to the wishes of the party membership and
subverting the democratic process by unfair access to hours of free TV exposure, the support of the right within the party and through blatant manipulation and arm-twisting from the good old boys - the whips, the candidates have been whittled down to two Millibands, one Burnham, one Ball and an Abbott. Yes, you are correct in your observations: the only long-term socialist candidate has been 'filtered out' through the use of a nomination process that would have received the formal blessing of Enver Hoxha. There is however a very good reason for this.
The Road to Damascus...
With a burst of speed that would shame William Whizz and a shift to the left referred to in politically scholastic terms as a reverse double-Hitchens, it seems that all of the remaining candidates with the exception of TV's Diane Abbott, have reconciled themselves with the arguments and views advocated by the so called 'hard left', particularly those of the anti-war movement. If you recall, these were the very same arguments made in a very convincing manner by two million people prior to the collateral slaughter of around one million people in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Christopher Hitchens: useful as a guide in measuring
the extent of leftish principal abandonment
Far be it for this author - the author of this piece - to suggest that
opportunism pragmatism idealism hasn't played the decisive role in their collective conversions, but this embryonic shift towards the traditional terrain of the revolutionary left has it appears, been picked up by some influential Labour MPs.
Fields of joy
Among the flurry of former Labour
guns for hire desperate MPs willing to demonstrate their socialist credentials is that old left-wing 'telling us like it is' 'damn the consequences' radical and long-standing MP for Birkenhead Frank Field. Now Mr Field has historically provided a valuable counterbalance within the Labour Party for what many have seen as the introduction of Tory policies through the back door.
From his early demands for the introduction of identity cards in the early 1990s and for an SAS styled benefit fraud officers to police... well the unemployed working class, Field has demonstrated consistency. He was consistent when he joined the editorial board of the Conservative magazine Standpoint, and consistent when he joined the advisory board of the right-wing free-market think-tank Reform. His more recent championing of the reintroduction of National Service and a cleverly nuanced campaign for 'balanced migration' demonstrate a continued marked shift to the left. His demands for the axing of capped fees and the introduction of variable tuition fees that will allow ordinary horny handed sons and daughters of the night soil cart to move seamlessly from the local comprehensive into any one of the top Russell Group universities. It is clear that Field still retains an uncanny sixth sense that allows him to tap into the mindset of
a section of pragmatic 'Big Society' the ordinary Tory-voting man-in-the-street.
As a consequence of Field's sustained adherence to socialist ideals (he was one of the few to nominate John McDonnell in the leadership campaign), he has recently been rewarded handsomely for his consistency in being offered a role in the new coalition government as poverty tsar reflecting the
poverty of his own particular ideals sheer awe and esteem in which this elder statesman of politics is held right across the mainstream political spectrum.
From elastic Milibands to ecstatic Miliburns to 30 Millbank...
High on the agenda of the new Con-Tory government is the issue of social mobility. Indeed, the more sceptical among you have sought to portray the Tories as a gaggle of backward looking reactionaries with the combined social consciousness of a bottle of vintage Nicholas van Hoogstraten.
|Why should it be the toffs who are socially mobile|
and able to shit at the same time?
Yet it is a sign of the times and the 'Neu Politics' of David Cameron when a former New Labour cabinet minister of five years standing is called upon to advise the government specifically on this issue. The inclusion of Milburn A as social mobility tsar is a recognition that tsarist autocratic rule is to continue under the Tory-Conners. It also demonstrates that New Labour achieved a great deal for their natural historically composed social powerbase in their thirteen odd years in power, raising millions from their outmoded dependency on arcane working class values and an almost genetic reliance on Eastenders as a means in framing their everyday life experiences and speech forms.
Even the slavering guardian of right-wing morality the Daily Telegraph has been caught napping, applauding Milburn's own politically difficult
social morbidity climb towards the heady heights of conservatism not for one minute exploring the real reasons for his 'crossing the floor'. Surreptitiously, Milburn will almost single-handedly wean the working class (WC) from kitchen sink type half hour dramas towards the dizzying heights of dishwasher-fuelled realism in the shape of the thoroughly middle class The Good Life, Butterflies and the more contemporaneous but thoroughly believeable My Family.
Yet even these two examples are not as extraordinary as one might think. It is clear that the inclusion of ex-government minister for pensions John Hutton as pensions tsar in the Tory-Con government, is part of a far wider strategy of entryism officially endorsed at the highest levels from New Labour's HQ. It is a clear sign that he will use the informal tactic of entryism through the back door, his own personal charisma and his Demosthenesian oratorial skills in forcing Cameron and Co to hugely expand pensions back to a similar level and the vitality that they enjoyed under the tutelage of Messrs Blair and Brown.
Are we surprised... are we fuck!
For those who are shocked in the way strategies of the hard-left have been so rapidly embraced by New Labour big-wigs, we might suggest a quick varda at Labour's history may prove enlightening.
It is clear that we have been here before. Witness the old hugger mugger MacDonald's short stroll across the floor to join the ranks of the Tories in 1931 dressed in the cap of Hades (or the cap of invisibility to you lesser Olympians as modelled by Harry Hamlin in the 1981 film Clash of the Titans). Clearly this example of tacit parasitism must be viewed as the precursor to the entryist tactics of the extreme-far-looney-leftist in today's Labour Party? Not so. As a finely honed weapon of choice, it really entered into the political mainstream albeit tentatively in 1999 with the clandestine diametric entryism of former millionaire Conservative MP Sean Woodward into the welcoming arms of a very grateful ruling Labour Party commanding a sizeable majority in the commons.
There we have it. I'm half expecting John Prescott to end up as a Lord in the other House, and the coins to be scraped of Kinnock's prattling death-orbs, whilst they strap his crotch tightly with up to two pounds (2.2kg) of Explosif Plastique, and steer him cock-zombie-like in the direction of Millbank waffling on about "the imminent danger posed to the labour movement by Rosie Barnes and the SDP..."