Posts Tagged ‘Snark


Ed Miliband’s Fabian Society Conference Speech

I probably shouldn’t be doing this but here goes anyway. I consider the Labour Party to be an irrelevance, a party that has sold out its roots & the class that produced it to fight for them, but anyway. Ed Miliband today addressed the Labour Party with this speech, which I shall quote & interleave with my own comments: 

It is great to be here at the Fabians.

Today I want to talk to you about the idea of One Nation.

One Nation, in German translates as “Ein Reich”, which anyone will recognise as part of the Nazi slogan, “Ein Reich, Ein Volk, Ein Führer!” – “One Nation, One People, One Leader!”

The idea of a country which we rebuild together, where everyone plays their part.

It is not an idea rooted in Fabian pamphlets.

Though I bow to nobody in being an avid reader of them.

It is not an idea either rooted in academic studies of Sweden or any other country.

Though as some of you know, again I can talk at length about these subjects too.

So it’s not an idea based on evidence then? Evidence-based policy-making should be at the centre of any decent political party, but here Ed’s quite happy to say it’s not based on anything concrete, just: 

It is an idea rooted deep in British history.

Because it is rooted deep in the soul of the British people.

Deep in the daily way we go about our lives.

Our relationships with our family, our friends, our neighbours.

We know this idea is a deep part of our national story because we have so many different ways of describing it.

“All hands to the pump.”

“Mucking in.”

“Pulling your weight.”

“Doing your bit.”

So it’s based on aphorisms & trite sayings, and a restrictive view of Britishness. Okayyy…

And every day we see it at work in our country.

On Christmas Day, I helped out somebody down the street from me who makes Christmas lunches for elderly people in the area living on their own, it’s that spirit.

And anecdotal evidence. I see. Jolly nice of you, Ed, to support your local volunteer organisation helping out the poor & elderly but, Christmas lunches is a gesture. It’s PR. It’s not creating an economy where old people are looked after properly. Didn’t your party begin the phase-out of final salary pensions, so now the elderly end up with these god-awful money purchase schemes that profit shareholders far more than the end users?

The same spirit we saw last year in the Olympic Games.

Ah, the one where we lock up dissenters before they can protest?

Now because this idea is so much part of who we are as a nation, of how we think of ourselves, all politicians try to embrace it.

But its real potential, and what I want to talk about today, comes when we understand the deeper lesson for the way we run our country.

Turning this spirit of collective endeavour, of looking out for each other, from something we do in our daily lives, to the way our nation is run.

That is what One Nation Labour is about.

So far, so content-free. So it’s about pulling together & squashing dissent? Who decides what direction we pull in & what we do? You, presumably?

Taking the common decency and values of the British people and saying we must make it the way we run the country as well.

And why does this idea – the idea of One Nation – speak so directly to the state of Britain today?

Could it be the insidious influence of the Sun & the Daily Heil? Drip-feeding us right-wing rhetoric year after year till now you are the face of the so-called left wing mainstream?

Because we are so far from being One Nation.

Damned fucking right. And proud of it. Infinite diversity in infinite combinations. Fuck One Nation.

While a very few people at the top are doing well, so many people feel their prospects diminishing, their insecurity rising.

They feel on their own.

Not part of a common endeavour.

I’m not surprised. Labour, Tories & LibDems have done this, year after year, favouring the rich & fucking the poor & the middle. I personally earn slightly above the national average, but because of inflexibilities in my working conditions dictated by the government (previous Labour as well as current bunch), I have to spend about 1/3 of that on my daily commute. I have a disabled kid who needs me to look after him, and I suffer from multiple disabilities myself, though I’m not nearly as badly off as some I know. At the end of the month, I’m barely breaking even. I haven’t had a holiday I could pay for myself since my honeymoon 15 years ago. I have to save all year to get my car serviced & MOTed, and next week I have to visit a dentist because I have toothache. I’m dreading the scalping I’ll suffer then.

You know, a young woman came up to me recently and told me she had decided to go to University in Holland because she said she couldn’t afford to do so in Britain.

Yes, because you guys introduced tuition fees & ran with the Tories replacement of grants with student loans, and now the Tories & LibDems have removed the cap on tuition fees, making England the most expensive place on Earth to get a university education. Here beginneth the dumbing-down of the UK.

Believe it or not, to a government minister her departure will seem a success because if more people leave the country it will help them meet their net migration target.

Haha, yeah – another great joke. During times of recession, having net immigration higher drives demand up & revives the economy. The drive towards reducing immigration is a right-wing propagandist thing, something Labour have either been too scared to challenge or which they’ve adopted & internalised. 

You know, it’s been said before, Labour can’t win elections by trying to out-Tory the Tories. If you take that tack, they’ll win every time. You need to provide an alternative, a radical alternative. Not Tory Lite.

But it doesn’t feel like a success to me to have talented young people fleeing abroad.

That’ll happen when it’s more expensive here to get educated, and it’ll happen when wages here are poor. You know there’s a company who were on Radio 4 yesterday saying they were moving manufacture back to the UK from China, not because we’re necessarily better or out of any real love for Blighty, but because labour costs here are now cheaper than China. Seriously, we can pay our workers less than the Chinese.

In Britain that young woman doesn’t feel part of a country where she can play her part, she feels on her own.

No she doesn’t – she’s just priced out of staying here.

And it’s not just our young people who are finding it so hard to do their bit.

There are so many people across Britain who want to play their part but don’t feel they can.

Those running small businesses are struggling just to keep their business afloat in the face of rising energy bills and banks that won’t help.

They don’t feel part of a Britain we rebuild together, they feel on their own.

Well, indeed – since the 70s things have been so canted in favour of big multinational firms that small businesses just don’t get a look-in. Even biggish businesses that are local, like Jessops & Comet, have gone bust.

And then take all the people struggling to make ends meet, to pay the bills, doing two or three jobs, they feel on their own with nobody on their side.

So, start addressing the issues: frozen or shrinking wages shouldn’t be propped up by tax credits. Fine the bad employers.

So what do so many people in Britain have in common today?

They believe the system is rigged against them.

They believe that the country isn’t working for them.

And you know, it’s not that any of them thinks Britain owes them a living or an easy life.

Oh I dunno – I reckon the bourgeois have a long history of both feeling entitled & expressing that entitlement. Those who are retired, who have worked all their damned lives to make some bourgeois fat-cat fatter, ARE owed a living & an easy one at that. Instead it’s the fat cat who gets the gravy.

All they want is a sense of hope, they want to believe there is a vision for a future we can build together.

And that is why One Nation is such a powerful idea right now: because it is about our country and what it faces.

Yes, in times of poverty fascist ideas do tend to raise their heads. You should cut them off, not pat them.

Can David Cameron answer this call for One Nation?

This week shows yet again why he can’t.

What did they call it on Monday?

The Ronseal re-launch.

But what did we discover?

The tin was empty.

And they have no vision for the country.

Vision’s another one. Shall we be seeing 1930’s art deco posters of the heroic middle class small businessman next?

And what have we also seen this week?

The appalling attempt to denigrate all those who are looking for work.

What about the denigration of those who shouldn’t be forced to look for work? People with cancer made to go look for work? Mental illnesses, personality disorders? 

To pretend that a Bill that hits 7 million working people is somehow promoting responsibility.

And all the time an attempt to divide the country between so-called scroungers and strivers.

So far I haven’t seen you do anything to put a stop to it.

To point the finger of blame at others, so people don’t point the finger of blame at this government.

Nasty, divisive politics which we should never accept.

It should be the first duty of any Prime Minister to be able to walk in the shoes of others.

This week he has shown he just can’t do it.

No empathy.

And no vision either.

So my overwhelming feeling in looking at this government is simple:

Britain can do better than this.

I have said what it means to be a One Nation Prime Minister.

To strive always to walk in the shoes of others.

You can leave my shoes alone, mate. I see what you’re trying to do there, & fair enough, but you sound so much like Cameron with his compassionate Conservatism crap that he used for the 2010 election. 

But One Nation tells us more than that.

It tells us that we need to bring the country together so everyone can play their part.

And let me explain what One Nation is about in our economy, our society and our politics.

Let me start with the economy.

One Nation Labour is about reshaping our economy from its foundations, so that all do have the opportunity to play their part, not just a few.

Really? From its foundations? How about you start by abolishing wage slavery altogether then? Scrap the growth economy & its fetishisation of growth, endlessly gobbling up more & more resources, & go for a zero-growth economy that provides for all. We have the technology & the expertise to automate most tasks, freeing people to go & be artists, thinkers, poets etc. Your first mission should be the liberation of the working class. No? Then this is empty rhetoric & your reshaping of the economy cosmetic at best.

And to understand what a One Nation economy means, we need to recognise how it differs from what New Labour did and also how it differs from the current government.

New Labour rightly broke from Old Labour and celebrated the power of private enterprise to energise our country.

It helped get people back into work, and introduced the minimum wage and tax credits to help make work pay.

So, propped up cheap-ass employers who wouldn’t pay a living wage.

And it used tax revenues to overcome decades of neglect and invest in hospitals, schools and the places where people live.

That was good, but their PFI frenzy wasted most of it in bad deals with private companies.

There are millions of people who have better lives because of those decisions.

It is a far cry from what we see today.

We’re back to the old trickle-down philosophy.

Aye, I’ll give you that.

Cut taxes for the richest.

For everyone else, increase insecurity at work to make them work harder.

In other words, for the 99 per cent: you’re on your own.

Sink or swim.

For the top 1 per cent: we’ll cut your taxes.

We don’t need a crystal ball to know what this will mean, because the last two and a half years have shown us.

Business as usual at the banks, squeezed living standards, a stagnating economy.

No plan for rebuilding the British economy.

Indeed – but so far your alternative has been to accept Tory lies about Labour having ruined the economy & to say you’d do essentially the same but slower. That’s hardly an opposition, is it?

But the One Nation Labour solution is not to say that we need to go back to the past, to carry on as we did in government.

Hold on, you said earlier that One Nation was built on British History, right? “It is an idea rooted deep in British history,” you said.

One Nation Labour learns the lessons of the financial crisis.

It begins from the truth that New Labour did not do enough to take on the vested interests and bring about structural change in our economy.

To make it an economy that works for the many not just the few.

Well, there’s a candidate for understatement of the aeon!

From the banks on our high streets to the City of London to the big energy companies.

Now, New Labour did challenge the old trickle-down economics by redistributing from the top.

Not nearly so much as it could have – we’re seeing big firms like Vodafone & Amazon who haven’t paid a decent amount of corporation tax since well before the 2010 election. 

But again it didn’t do enough to change our economy so that it grew from the middle out, not from the top down.

Again with the growth thing?

One Nation Labour is explicitly about reshaping our economy so that it can help what I call the forgotten wealth creators of Britain.

The millions of men and women who work the shifts, put in the hours.

…who shouldn’t have to. Seriously, so much of what I see people doing is busy-work that could be replaced by a computer script or robot or vending machine. Why do we need to spend 1/3 of our adult lives doing this shit, and all to make the owner of the business so rich he couldn’t begin to spend it?

Who are out to work while George Osborne’s curtains are still closed.

And are still out at work when he has gone to bed.

Tyler Durden: “Hi. You’re going to call off your rigorous investigation. You’re going to publicly state that there is no underground group. Or… these guys are going to take your balls. They’re going to send one to the New York Times, one to the LA Times press-release style. Look, the people you are after are the people you depend on. We cook your meals, we haul your trash, we connect your calls, we drive your ambulances. We guard you while you sleep. Do not… fuck with us.”

Sorry, not a threat, you just reminded me of that quote. Sometimes I wish someone would say that or some variation on that theme to Osborne.

Those who have gone to university and those who haven’t.

The people who don’t take home millions or hundreds of thousands, but make a hard, honest and difficult living.

These are the people on whom our future national prosperity truly depends.

So what do we need to do today?

We need to reform our economy.

To take on the vested interests that block the opportunities for our small businesses and for all the other forgotten wealth-creators.

We need a new deal for our small businesses who have been let down by the banks.

We have to tackle short-termism in the City to enable companies to play their part to contribute to long-term wealth creation.

We have to work with business radically to reform our apprenticeships and vocational education, so we use the talents of all young people, including the 50 per cent who don’t go to University.

I’d really like to see it, but I don’t think you will. You’ll continue the same trajectory that Labour’s been on, because careerist politics is all about compromises, and when it all adds up it won’t look any different. Prove me wrong, please.

And we have to promote a living wage to make work pay.

THIS. If you’re not going to rebuild the economy radically, at least do this. 

That is the way that we rebuild our economy.

From the middle out.

Not from the top down.

Why the fuck not the bottom up? Seriously though, middle out is working class Tory territory. It’s Grantham Greengrocer’s Daughter territory. It’s the territory too of a certain son of an Austrian customs official. At best it’s petit-bourgeois, at worst it’s “One Nation… One People…” & you know the rest.

That’s what One Nation Labour is about in the economy.

So we learn the lesson of New Labour’s successes, embracing wealth creation.

We learn the lessons of what it didn’t do well enough, reshaping our economy and creating shared prosperity.

And we recognise there will be less money around because of the deficit we inherit.

That’s why Ed Balls rightly came to this conference last year, to say if we were in government today we would have to put jobs in the public sector ahead of pay increases.

And in a way that we did not have to be under New Labour, we will have to be ruthless in the priorities we have. And clear that we will have to deliver more with less.

So One Nation Labour adapts to new times, in particular straitened economic circumstances.

And the power of the idea of One Nation also shapes the kind of society I believe in.

Essentially this looks like making a bigger & prettier cage for us, rather than setting people free. Let me ask you, if the only way people can legitimately make a living is by selling their time & their labour, then it’s not a choice. We’re forced to hire ourselves out & the only choice is who we try to sell ourselves to. We’re slaves for hire. If the lack of choice in this remains, but the money increases, and the things we get make us more comfortable, do we cease to be slaves for hire, or are we just fatter more comfortable slaves for hire?

One Nation Labour is based on a Britain we rebuild together.

That means sharing the vision of a common life, not a country divided by class, race, gender, income and wealth.

How do you remove class divisions while preserving classes? If we’re working for different incomes, we’re divided by income – and thus wealth. What specifically are you going to do about race & gender divisions?

And that’s so far from where we are in Britain today.

Agreed – in fact you’re so fucking far from that it’d take a revolution to get it done within this lifetime.

We can only build that kind of society, where we share a common life, if people right across it, from top to bottom, feel a sense of responsibility to each other.

Now, New Labour, unlike Old Labour, pioneered the idea of rights and responsibilities.

From crime to welfare to anti-social behaviour, it was clear that we owe duties to each other as citizens.

It knew we do not live as individuals on our own.

And it knew that strong confident communities are the way that you build a strong confident nation.

New Labour were utterly awful about crime & anti-social behaviour. ASBOs were the worst – it showed how little regard you had for your own judicial process, that you felt you had to short-circuit it & go to punishment of alleged offenders without trial before their peers. It was heavy handed & retributive, & it pandered to the worst Daily Heil journalists. Control orders too – a person has a right to face their accusers, to know what the case against them is. You cannot go around ruining lives like that. 

Better idea: restorative / transformative justice. Someone’s done for vandalism, make them responsible for the areas they vandalise. Give them the support they need to keep them sorted. If lads in Bradford are seeking out Al Qaeda, find out why – and stop doing what’s got them so incensed against you. Generally speaking I’d say a lot of angry people have legitimate reasons to be angry. Find out how to make them happier.

All of this is so far again from what we have seen from this government.

This government preaches responsibility.

But do nothing to make it possible for people to play their part.

They demand people work, but won’t take the basic action to ensure that the work is available.

They talk about a “big society”.

But then it makes life harder for our charities, our community groups.

But here again the answer is not simply to carry on where we left off in government.

Hypocritical, lying Tories & LibDems are hypocritical & tell lies. Not news there.

New Labour was right to talk about rights and responsibilities but was too timid in enforcing them, especially at the top of society.

Enforcing shouldn’t be necessary in an equal society, but you’re forced into that role when things are so unequal.

And it was too sanguine about the consequences of rampant free markets which we know can threaten our common way of life.


Learning from our history, One Nation Labour is clear that we need to do more to create a society where everyone genuinely plays their part.

But who’s to say what part each person should play? D’you have the right or the knowledge to do that?

A One Nation country cannot be one:

Where Chief Executive pay goes up and up and up and everybody else’s is stagnant.

Where major corporations are located in Britain, sell in Britain, make profits in Britain but do not pay taxes in Britain.

And where at the top of elite institutions, from newspapers to politics, some people just seem to believe that the rules do not apply to them.

I’d say those Swedish studies might have been useful with that. 

To turn things round in Britain, we all have to play our part.

Especially in hard times.

We are right to say that responsibility should apply to those on social security.

Seriously, what responsibilities d’you think a disabled person has, living on DLA? Other than familial responsibilities & the responsibility not to break the law, what responsibility do they have to the state? They have a responsibility to inform the state if their status changes, but frankly I’d say the biggest responsibility there is for the state to not give the disabled person more stress and hassle than is absolutely positively necessary. Don’t make people doing chemo have to go look for work. Nobody will employ them, & you’ll just look like heartless bastards.

But we need to say that responsibility matters at the top too.

That’s the essence of One Nation Labour.

It shares New Labour’s insight about our obligations to each other.

And it learns the lessons of what New Labour didn’t do well enough, ensuring responsibilities go all the way through society from top to bottom.

And what does One Nation Labour mean for the way we do our politics?

It starts from the idea that people should have more power and control over their lives, so that everyone feels able to play their part, not left on their own.

Careful with that: you’re treading dangerously close to

Mussolini: “[The state] is not simply a mechanism which limits the sphere of the supposed liberties of the individual… Neither has the Fascist conception of authority anything in common with that of a police ridden State… Far from crushing the individual, the Fascist State multiplies his energies, just as in a regiment a soldier is not diminished but multiplied by the number of his fellow soldiers.”

New Labour began with a bold agenda for the distribution of power in Britain.

And it stood for a Labour party not dominated by one sectional interest, but reaching out into parts of Britain that Old Labour had never spoken to.

I’m sorry? Were you there? I’m pretty sure Tony Blair had everyone given pagers & had people trying to enforce Labour MPs & councillors staying “on message”. He crushed dissent like a bug. This is one of my biggest problems with Labour – you’re too much about ideas coming down from the top, ideas that aren’t evidence-based but come from vague hand-wavy concepts like Britishness & History, a bunch of aphorisms & some personal, subjective anecdotes. A workers’ party should be as much if not more about bottom up ideas. This is something the LibDems do right – probably the only thing they do right: policy is suggested by & voted on by the members at conference. When people say we don’t have a presidential style democracy in the UK, they’re wrong. If Labour policy is dictated & decided upon by a few grandees in the NEC then it’s like the EU – we have the trappings of democracy in that we elect MPs & MEPs, but in the end it’s all down to whoever sits in your seat. That’s not really any kind of functional democracy at all, is it?

And on the other hand – some parts of Britain Old Labour wouldn’t speak to on principle because they were the fat cats exploiting the people Old Labour was set up to represent & defend. They were the enemy, and they should still be the enemy. 

Inviting people from all walks of life to join the party and to play their part.

It wanted too, to open up our system of government and oversaw the biggest Constitutional changes for generations, including devolution to Scotland and Wales.

Aye, so hardly One Nation there, eh? When you say “One Nation” anyone who’s Scottish or Welsh & has any kind of feeling of Scottishness or Welshness will turn to the SNP or Plaid Cymru. Nationalism cuts both ways.

The contrast with this government is clear.

The way they operate, the high-handed arrogance of their way of doing things.

They cannot claim to be opening up politics.

And they certainly cannot claim to be rooted in the lives of the British people.

But once again we have to move on from New Labour, as well as from this government.

Because although New Labour often started with the right intentions, over time it did not do enough to change the balance of power in this country.

That was true of the Labour Party itself.

Of our democracy.

And of our public services.

By the time we left office, too many people in Britain didn’t feel as if the Labour party was open to their influence, or listening to them.

Take immigration.

I am proud to celebrate the multi-ethnic, diverse nature of Britain.

But high levels of migration were having huge effects on the lives of people in our country.

Yes, it was in large part keeping the economy going, by driving demand as I’ve mentioned before. It was diversifying our diet too. We’ve got a few really good Polish shops round near ours now & I gotta say those sausages go so well with the chip shop’s chips of a Friday night. Our new Polish neighbours are lovely & our kids get on great with theirs, and my son’s Nigerian best friend is so well-mannered. He brings computer games to swap with my son, and his mum & dad are so helpful when it’s the school holidays & we need someone to look after him & my little girl till my wife gets back from work. My son recently took up the drums – he’s getting lessons at his school from an old rock drummer, & he was quite a star in his school’s production for Black History month, rocking out with a djembe. We’re not black, but Frank (my son) had the best time ever. 

Actually we’re an Irish family, mostly: my dad’s folks came over in 1924 fleeing the civil war in Ireland. He was just the sort of guy the Daily Heil hates. I found an old medal he had, a service medal with a letter of thanks from Eamonn De Valera, so he’d contributed to the Republican efforts against Britain before he’d come here. My dad’s family were 7 kids, & they lived at one time in a wooden shack. My dad was born in 1932, in the depths of the Great Depression. My aunt Winifred was actually born in a workhouse. I can definitely identify with the asylum seekers who come here fleeing wars, often of Britain’s making, and end up initially in circumstances of the direst poverty. We were that family once. Heck, so were yours, right? Didn’t your dad come here fleeing the Nazis? Your dad started off here as a furniture removal man. My granddad was a blacksmith & farrier in Ireland, but there was no call for that in Warrington so he became a shoe maker & repairer. Like your dad, my granddad’s kids worked to better themselves – Frank, the oldest, became town planner in Banbury during its post-war reconstruction. Andy kept the shoe repair business & branched it out to a number of shoe repair stalls. His family still have the one in Warrington Market. Tony became a computer consultant & was into Apple Macs in a big way. His son does white hat hacker stuff – security, penetration testing & the like. His other son’s actually in Poland teaching English. Maybe some of his students come here? My dad, he became a jeweller & watch repairer. When his business was big enough he took on an assistant who’d recently come here as a refugee from Uganda, from where Idi Amin had expelled the entire Asian community. Bab came here with nothing. My dad gave him his first job & his first set of furniture for his house so his family would be able to live with dignity. Bab now owns a jewellery & watch repair business. 

So. Immigrants. Problem? 

And too often those in power seemed not to accept this.

The fact that they didn’t explains partly why people turned against us in the last general election.

So we must work to ensure that it never happens again.

And what is the lesson for One Nation Labour?

It is to change the way that power and politics works in our own Party right away.

That is what you will be seeing from One Nation Labour in 2013.

Opening up in new ways.

Recruiting MPs from every part of British life: from business to the military to working people from across every community.

How about some non-working people too?

Seeking support in every part of the United Kingdom, across the South of the country as well as the North.

Building a party that is dedicated to working with people to help them improve their own lives—even before government.

So for example, Labour Party members going to door to door offering people practical to help switch energy suppliers and cut their bills.

Oh dear god no… Sorry but that is so annoying. You know what might be more useful? Get the energy suppliers to bill correctly. When we moved our supplier, the previous supplier conveniently “found” that we “owed them £1600”. If they’d billed correctly that wouldn’t have been the case. We gave them accurate readings every quarter, phoned it in, but no. Now the current lot bill us around the same amount so we’re starting to think maybe we didn’t owe that money at all & should’ve fought it.

Why not bring back legal aid? We could’ve fought that spurious claim had we had legal aid.

Creating a policy-making process that enables people directly to shape our policies so that they reflect their own concerns.

Jonathan Primett from Chatham wrote to us recently, complaining about rogue landlords at a time when the private rented sector is growing fast in our country.

Today I want to respond to him.

Britain is in danger of having two nations divided between those who own their one homes and those who rent.

If we are going to build One Nation, people who rent their homes should have rights and protections as well.

That’s about rooting out the rogue landlords.

Stopping families being ripped off by letting agents.

And giving new security to families who rent.

So we will introduce a national register of landlords, to give greater powers for local authorities to root out and strike off rogue landlords.

We will end the confusing, inconsistent fees and charges in the private rented sector.

And we will seek to give greater security to families who rent and remove the barriers that stand in the way of longer term tenancies.

Sounds like a well-meaning idea but that’s going to cost a lot to implement, and it sounds like a lot of hassle. What about those who own empty properties? Compulsory right of purchase orders so the council can rent it out for them? We have so many empty houses & so many homeless people, & the thing keeping them apart is capitalism & greed.

That is a real example of how a One Nation Labour Party, by opening up our politics, is responding to the new challenges that the British people care about today.

One Nation Labour is also practising a new approach to campaigning—through community organising—which doesn’t just seek to win votes but build new relationships in every part of Britain.

For example, taking up local issues from high streets dominated by betting shops to taking on payday loan companies.

Dis town – aaah – is comin’ like a ghost town. Betting shops are probably the only profitable high street businesses these days. Again, greed and capitalism. Get the rents & rates knocked down so people can start up businesses, or let people squat them & start up social centres, cafes & so forth.

And, of course, a One Nation Labour government should open up too.

If devolution to Scotland and Wales is right, so it must be right that the next Labour government devolves power to local government in England.

And money. Don’t give them all the responsibility while strangling them for cash. Remember Liverpool City Council during the Thatcher vs Derek Hatton years.

And reforms our public services so that the people who use them and the people that work in them, feel as if they have a real chance of shaping the way they operate.

Fuck feeling, make it so they can and do shape the way they operate. Give the workers the means of production. Collectivise – encourage co-operatives run by & for the workers.

That’s the way to ensure we can all work together, to rebuild our country, with everyone playing their part.

That’s what One Nation Labour is about.

It learns the lesson of New Labour’s successes, seeking to reach out to parts of Britain that Old Labour ignored.

I think we can happily ignore the likes of the EDL.

It learns the lessons of what it didn’t do well enough, of where New Labour left people behind.

And it recognises that in 2013, as the world has changed, politics has to change with it.

How has it changed specifically? When I think of the world changing I think of global warming, and I think of big empires wasting vast amounts of money prosecuting land wars in Asia. I think of ubiquitous CCTV, drones, police battering in heads of protesters & then prosecuting them for violent offences. I think of these & then I realise, this has always been so. The tech has improved but the same shit has been going on for hundreds of years if not thousands, and the only change has been its got gradually worse – more oppressive & less hopeful.

I talked about it in my Labour Party conference speech a few months ago about why I came into politics.

It was because of my personal faith.

A faith that we are better, stronger together than when we are on our own.

A faith that when good people come together they can overcome any odds.

For me, that’s what One Nation Labour is all about.

Funny that – I have the same faith, but that’s why I’m an anarchist. 

This faith isn’t unique to me.

It is deeply rooted in our country.

One Nation Labour is different from the current government.

And from New Labour and Old Labour too.

It will take on the vested interests in order to reshape our economy in the interests of all.

It will insist on responsibility throughout society, including at the top so we can build a united, not divided, Britain.

It will strive to spread power as well as working for prosperity.

We must build One Nation.

It is what the British people demand of us.

And, together, it is what we can achieve.

So, prove it. Prove that this isn’t just words. Prove that you’re not becoming a Corporatist. Show me change that is real, not just window dressing on the same old crap.

August 2020

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