New Generation not New Labour

I’m not gonna lie to you, I am incredibly happy about Ed Miliband’s recent election as the new Leader of the Labour Party. If you follow me on Twitter (@TVPaulD), you’ve probably seen me Tweeting in support over the past months as the Leadership Election has unfolded. And Ed’s speech on the result being announced touched strongly on the reason I feel I connected so readily with his campaign.

In David Miliband, and Ed Balls, I saw two (Very, very good) politicians. But they were just that, politicians. And what’s more, politicians of an era which I feel has had its time. When the Conservative Party was ejected in 1997, they spent the next 8 years or so pushing essentially the same old Tory orthodoxy.

Then they elected David Cameron, and much as I dislike his politics and generally disagree with him, you can’t argue that he was not a transformative figure for the Conservatives. He remade them into a modern Conservative Party that was much more in tune with what (certain sectors of) the population were feeling. Labour had done the same thing with Tony Blair – much later than they should have.

The risk with putting David Miliband or Ed Balls in as leader was that they would be seen as continuing the old New Labour era (Clumsy a phrase as that is) past its sell-by date. Tony Blair has been bleating that we should not move past New Labour. He’s very attached to it, it’s his legacy.

But Tony is as wrong now as he was when he began to mistake what New Labour stood for to most people around the time of the Iraq War. Ed Miliband characterises it as becoming the establishment, and that’s true. New Labour ceased, partway into Tony’s second term, to be radical or reformative.

This stagnation continued under Gordon Brown, but let’s be clear: the rot started on Tony’s watch. And we lost more voters on his watch than we did on Gordon’s. Gordon is a great man, and he was a great, but (like Tony) flawed Prime Minister.

Ed Miliband is younger than the other Leadership contenders. He’s younger than the Coalition Leaders. It may only be about half a decade, but it’s enough. Enough to signal a sea change. Tony Blair, Peter Mandelson and to a less overt extent David Miliband (Their heir apparent) wanted to continue the New Labour project because they feared going back to the old Labour orthodoxies.

In taking this stance, they forgot the fundamental reason the Labour Party turned to the New Labour project: staying the same is not Labour, will not get you elected and is, in fact, the very definition of conservatism.

Ed Miliband has built a credible case for a new generation. I hate to evoke the Obama cliché, but it applies somewhat here. Under Ed’s new generation of the Labour Party, Labour can be a transformative entity again, we can regain radicalism, we can return to progressivism. Making real changes, bit-by-bit, for the betterment of all Britons, as a collective.

It’s a younger, more vibrant Labour Party, a Labour Party which has turned a page, and shorn itself of the stagnation which got us ejected from power.

It’s what the people wanted, Labour back as the champions of The March of Progress.

And at the head of this New Generation of the Labour movement, we have Ed Miliband. An MP, the Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition, yes. But, crucially, a man who is clearly a human being. The mantra of “Ed talks Human” rings true. Just as Obama captured my personal imagination because he is a stunning orator, Ed captures people’s imaginations and affections (including my own) because he comes across as someone who not only fundamentally gets it, but gets us.

The Conservatives are underestimating the importance of Ed’s human quality, and of the transformation of Labour, over night, into a generationally different movement. They are, wrongly, elated.

My advice to you Mr. Cameron, is this:

Run and hide. Run. And hide.

Turn Left, Go Forth

In the run up to the 2008 Presidential Election, I outlined why it was that I, an out-of-country observer, felt that it was so important that Barack Obama be elected to the highest office in America. Now, it is time for the United Kingdom’s General Election. And once again, I want to get my thoughts down in writing.

My politics are best summarised in the phrase “March of Progress Socialism”. I am unashamedly Left Wing, because I believe that the existence of The State is right, and necessary. People simply cannot be expected to do everything for themselves all the time. It’s not right. It’s not fair. It doesn’t work. We all need a helping hand from time to time. And whether it’s as small as a little extra money to pay for our children’s wellbeing or as large as our time in Education, it’s all important.

Right is Wrong

The right wing would have us believe that all The State does is meddle in our affairs and give out handouts to scum. They are wrong. They’re fundamental politics are wrong. They have lost sight of the bigger picture.

It’s not always their fault. Many of them turned to the right for good reasons. Perhaps because of some injustice that was done to them, perhaps because they have been misled by the press into blaming the left or a left-wing government for something that has happened in the world.

But the fact is, the right wing simply doesn’t represent the views and needs of the many. In fact, in a lot of cases (See the Tea Party Activists in the United States for an example), the right wing isn’t even a good deal for the people who support it. It’s built on ideas which sound great, in theory, but which really don’t add up in the real world.

David Cameron’s Conservative Party is the embodiment of this disconnect. David claims to stand for “The Great Ignored”. He claims he understands our problems, he says we need change to Fix Our Broken Society. All three of these insinuations are completely false. Cameron the Chameleon is nothing but a spin doctor working for the interests of his corporate paymasters like Lord Ashcroft. This is a man who claims Nelson Mandela as a personal hero – but who was only too happy to be wined and dined by the leaders of Apartheid South Africa whilst the great man was still imprisoned for daring to question Apartheid.

Who are the Great Ignored? Cameron pretends the majority of Britain’s Middle and Working Class folks are. That’s not true. They’re not conservative at all. In fact, “The Great Ignored” just means the rich and privileged, the bigots & the posh, the dying breeds of a forgotten era. The fact is, Cameron and his supporters are a minority. We have a relatively Democratic system. Those people are not ignored, but their collective will is less than that of the rest of the population – who are Left and Centre-Left.

And Cameron knows it. And he hates it. David and his cronies know that with a truly democratic system, such as the alternative vote system, their kind would never again control this great land. And so they oppose it. They don’t want us to exert the full extent of our collective will, because they can only win under the First Past The Post system we currently have. So, unique of the three main parties – and despite pledging to “Fix Our Broken Politics” – they oppose the Alternative Vote System

The right wing is selfishness personified. The actions of the Tory Party show nothing but self-interest. They have no compassion. They want to give massive tax cuts to the rich, whilst they pull vital financial support from needy families and cut spending in our state schools.

In essence, they want to create a New Age of Privilege. David calls it “The Big Society”. I call it abhorrent.

And I won’t be a part of it. This is not the time for Cameron and his Short Change. Progress must go on.

Turn Left, Go Forth.

I support The Labour Party for Government.

Labour’s agenda isn’t based on self-interest or pie-in-the-sky idealism, but on offering real help and support to people who really need it. A Future Fair For All is the only future which will help the March of Progress. We cannot afford to turn back now because mistakes have been made. The way to win is to learn from the mistakes, correct the strategy, and plow on ahead.

Labour will not Tax the poor to offer a break to the rich. Labour will have the rich pay their fair share to help provide vital services, as well as help for those who need it most. Labour is not going to cut teachers from our schools or nurses from our hospitals.

The Tories would plunge us back into a Thatcherite Dark Age. Labour would lead us further on the path to prosperity.

The March of Progress is so important. The March of Progress creates equality – it’s what killed slavery and is helping to kill racism and sexism in the world. Only through working together can we achieve it though. David Cameron says that’s what The Big Society’s about. It’s not. What he’s not telling you is when he says “People need to work together” in The Big Society, he’s missing the word “you”. As in “You People need to work together”. Because David isn’t one of us, and he doesn’t care about what we need. The Big Society doesn’t require David and his Privileged friends to do their part. They get an Inheritance Tax Cut, an Income Tax Cut and their Businesses can go on making massive profits even at our collective expense.

The Great in Great Britain

I love this country. This wonderful country with its diverse people and its hard work and its sense of humour and its beautiful land. I am a proud patriot. And as a patriot, the Conservative campaign offends me at least as much as it offends me as a March of Progress Socialist. David tells us we need to fix this country, that it’s full of scroungers and immigrants and scofflaw youths. And it’s all Labour’s fault.

This, he says, is Broken Britain.

And he can fix it.

Britain isn’t Broken, David. And if it ain’t broke, we don’t need you to fix it.

I don’t look around and see a broken society. I see a wonderful nation full of wonderful, hard-working people. I see families going out of their way to give their children a chance at University and a better life, I see a diverse range of people coming together in a country world-renowned as a cultural boiling pot. I see the young campaigning and fighting for equality, justice and the greater good. I see them all laughing and joking and drinking together.

And it’s good.

But times are tough, we all know. And that’s why now, more than ever, the way forward is left.

A vote for Labour is a vote to take away some of the burden weighing on all these wonderful people’s shoulders. These are the real Britons. Not billionaires like Ashcroft who don’t live here or work here or contribute to our society.

If the Tories win, we lose, not Labour and not the Lib Dems.

Vote for Labour, A Future Fair For All.