I am writing this letter in defence of Rachel Reeves, the woman who is now going to receive the wrath of you and your friends as you continue to sell austerity while pretending she is the reason Labour’s economic and social policy stance hasn’t changed since 1997. And why their attitude to who is disposable hasn’t changed since World War 2.
I read your rallying cry for the all out war ‘The Right’ are preparing for. The one we must vote Labour to prevent, I was a bit stumped.
I don’t know if you have noticed but that particular brand of social conservatism hit a wall ages ago and our political system has started to catch up. The Tories can’t sell a war and their membership and credibility is so depleted UKIP are a threat. Mehdi Hassan announced the complicity with Daily Mail values that afflicts the Labour press. The complicity your friends fought to protect, and I was forced to shout about as it directly disenfranchised the unemployed, women, children, the ill, carers, disabled people since 2010.
Your outraged shouting about a *Ralph Miliband smear was a demonstration that that power is gone, if the groans at the flogging to death of ‘Hardworking People’ at Tory Conference hadn’t been already. The car crash of the right in the US was an education to everyone long before the current shut down saga. I know Tory councillors who fought austerity more valiantly and effectively than you, but you couldn’t follow their lead, they were driven by principle, not ambition.
The Grauniad/Mail shoot out, which resulted in the best Guardian Headline ever(Why are the left obsessed with the Daily Mail) was a **glorious finale to this.
I wrote here about the cost of the spinning social conservative veneer that hides the use of our ever expanding benefits system, and have been gratified to watch it dissolve. For someone like you, entirely defined by jumping to the dogwhistle of the right to hide and sell Labour policy, this creates a very new situation.
When the centre position of our political economy dies, everything that upheld it is revealed, layer by layer as illegitimate until the real problem is addressed. The brittle social conservative veneer that required passive media consumption with no answering back to be effective, is broken and the left wing who validated it by being defined entirely by it’s orbit are now exposed. You are going to have to sell austerity on your own. Without the right to define you and provide cover. You will only be doing what you have been doing for several years, along with your colleagues, but now people are going to notice.
I’d like you to read this, it’s the Unite Political Report. It’s a laughable document really. Once you are over the demonstration of the idiocy of this gullible toxic little bubble maintained at the expense of a collective bargaining function in our democracy and econ omy, it explains how Unite are going to more or less cease being a trade union, pulling those who are supposed to be representing their members into a Labour campaigning machine. Unite are going to pour all their resources into campaigning for austerity post 2015. You are going to be their public face poppet. Bring Working People to Labour.
I knew this day was coming, from the day I wrote this. Which is why I paid such close attention to ridiculous left wing politics that had no relevance to anyone once the cost of austerity on me and mine became clear. It’s why we paid such close attention to your witterings about ‘working people’. Noone was interested in you, just the role you play in perpetuating what is being done to the people you feed off.
It’s not a mystery to those of us who grew up in the communities you misrepresented in your book, that the dead Labour movement construction of the working class male identity was the force in politics that ensured the demonisation you wrote about in Chavs. Why that brand of social conservatism underpinning economic transformation, received no challenge for my entire lifetime.. None of the ‘welfare’ reforms of the last 3 years were Conservative Led. They were Labour led, designed, implemented and sold, and the Tories just filled in for a bit while you worked tirelessly to keep people within absurd left right tribalism so it couldn’t be discussed or opposed. The demonisation that allowed this did not come from the Daily Mail, it came from the Labour movement.
Austerity delivered by the Labour machine is acceptable as long as it fights a made up battle with ‘the right’ and socks it to the mean old depleted Tories and protects Working People For Labour.
You are going to use the same ignorance of Labour policy you have been disingenuous in displaying for several years. An ignorance an Oxford Education, a stint with PCS(the union at the heart of welfare reform) and a lifetime of inherited Labour nostalgia hasn’t prevented, You will pretend to be shocked every time their position stays the same. Rallying the troops to fight these mean Rachel’s, Liam’s and Hodges within the Labour Party by voting Labour.
When the People’s Assembly marginalised unemployed activists and you were abusive and gaslighted those activists who pointed it out, this is what you were doing. People’s Assembly was about gathering support for austerity. Every march that the TUC have turned into a Labour propaganda day and opportunity to slap down the ridiculous left, was about selling Labour austerity. When your close friends and colleagues smeared benefit claimants because they threatened Labour priorities, when you wrote this to pretend that Ed Balls had surrendered, that was what it was. When your colleagues refused to cover the extraordinary suffering caused by social care cuts, or dined out on the titillation of teenage girls being raped after protecting the removal of resources that could protect them. when you used your twitter packdogs to attack anyone who challenged your relentless efforts at maintaining pro-labour tribalism, and denied that your media position could have any negative effect whatsoever, that is what you were doing.
You jumping like Piranhas at Liam Byrne and Rachel Reeves when they confirm Labour are holding on to the path they were always taking, is just the show you sell so people will still vote for Labour austerity. Your quick switches between disgust for Rachel Reeves, to tribal Labour loyalty so that position doesn’t hinder their election chances, is just you selling austerity.
You no longer have the veneer of social conservatism to hide behind, you don’t have the mean old Tories to hide behind, an election is coming where your colours are nailed firmly to the mast. You don’t have the Daily Mail and the right to define you as good by being comic book mean. And you just spent 3 years preventing opposition to austerity.
Mark Carney has been clear. Underneath the rhetoric about managing unemployment, was the demand for more reform of the Labour market and punitive welfare policy. A policy trajectory gone uninterrupted and nearly complete. Financialisation of welfare ergo transformation of the Labour market. When you attempt to have public conversations with the likes of James Bloodworth, and you feign debate by swapping pre-allocated positions you are generating dead media discourse that hides the reality of the use of our benefits system as an economic and political tool. Only you are now having those conversations after demonstrating their hollowness for three years, and you are now openly having them to sell austerity. With a welfare dependent labour market, where governments can tinker direct in the economy with no consultation, you are selling the death of the trade union movement. History will note that you did this.
‘Your base’, the working class you don’t come from or aspire to be part of, know more than you. And they are already noticing that it is you selling this crap, and you want the Labour Party to give it 5 more years of political impetus. They always knew it was a platform shared by three parties, with no opposition. Now you have to sell it for your half of the our political system and I wish you luck,
As someone whose problem is austerity, my problem is not now political consensus and a Labour machine preventing opposition. The ‘right’s all out war’ is over. It’s the left’s turn. From this point Len McCluskey, you, the Labour Party, are the new Tories and the place to take the fight against austerity. I don’t think the numbers will be as small as they were when I started this blog and I think you will regret the brand building off the back of the poorest people in the country.
I want you to remember as you enjoy the bile poured onto Rachel Reeves, that she was just stating a position that hasn’t changed fro quite a long time, It is you who is selling that as opposition to what the mean old tories are doing.
*You can’t libel a dead person and the hounding of a newspaper for doing so is distinctly undemocratic. To do so while Labour cause real harm under the banner of their values is just hypocritical, Disresepecting Ralph Miliband’s memory by using him as a recruiting symbol for Labour was to be expected from your sort.
** It could have been improved with custard guns.