Bronze-level articleLabour Party

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Party logo. Apparently, some people see the face of Vladimir Lenin in it.[1]
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The Labour Party is a centre-left political party in the United Kingdom.

Founded as a socialist party, the Labour Party had a huge role in the creation of the British welfare state and the National Health Service. After nearly two decades of Conservative rule, the Labour Party moved much closer to the centre, stepping away from its socialist roots and becoming a "big tent" centrist party: cushy tech jobs waiting for graduates, nurture the "special relationship", take a Third Way. This clearly made them a more effective opposition, as they won in a massive landslide in 1997, but it's unclear exactly what they stand for other than "we're not actively trying to kill you like the Tories."


[edit] In power, and in opposition

In what feels like such a long time ago, Labour were the governing party of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2010, with Tony Blair and Gordon Brown serving as Prime Minister. Their 1997 victory was famous as a landslide, ousting the Conservative Party from a considerable reign that stretched back to 1979. The Labour majority was substantially reduced over the course of the 2001 and 2005 elections. Labour performed poorly in the 2010 Election and even worse in the 2015 election, losing nearly all of their seats in Scotland (an area with traditionally high support for Labour) to a regional separatist party. The reaction of the rank and file of the party to these defeats was to elect as its leader in 2015 a long-time rebel and avowedly left-wing socialist: Jeremy Corbyn.

[edit] In sanity

The Con-Lab coalition Labour Party is functionally useless at the moment, a party nobody would create if it didn't already exist.

  • Syria: Conscience vote[1]
  • Trident: Walked it back[2][3]
  • Snooper's Charter: Abstained[4]
  • Article 50: Complicit[5]

It's remarkably ineffective, considering how the public (broadly speaking) is sympathetic to everything Labour stands for. Corbyn is trapped in the 70s,[6][7] just going with the flow for the same reason Marxists traditionally welcome moves towards naked capitalism: it helps produce the revolution.[8] The 'soft' left of the party, such as your Milibands and Nandys, are trapped in the 80s; pretending like they don't themselves regard what they're saying as bleeding-heart twaddle.[9] Then you've got your Blairites who are trapped in the 90s, thinking that appealing to Mondeo ManWikipedia's W.svg or kicking council workers in the face (to show they aren't "ideological") will work again.

All of those problem are exacerbated by Brexit. It made political discourse in their country a lot more nativist, populist, and just plain dumb. Voters are on the cusp of an irreversible Tory utopia, the unions are selling their members out[10] (there goes any remaining sympathy we had for striking train workers), and the rest of the country would rather blow themselves up than see their living standards get chipped away with one more election. Not long ago, the Blairite faction tried to oust Corbyn after he undermined their case for Remain; both sides prefer to let the Tories have a blank cheque than let the others get the upper hand.

Any attempt to resist Brexit will enrage people even more because they are sick of their voices behing unheard; they'll keep voting for more and more insane clowns until they're heard. There are 16 million voters out there who are invested in the future and not shouting 'fuck you' to the system. But Labour and the Tories have abandoned them.

[edit] Hope yet

Most of the party's energy and new ideas come from MomentumWikipedia's W.svg, which might be its salvation eventually. The only people who seem to get this are Clive Lewis and Keir Starmer, but they are both very inexperienced MPs.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. Chadwick, Vince, "Corbyn goes for conscience vote on Syria - Labour leader maintains air strikes are not the answer", Politico (Updated 12/1/15, 7:28 AM CET).
  2. "Corbyn: UK could keep Trident submarines but without warheads", BBC 1.17.16. Spend tens of billions on useless submarines, just to save a few thousand jobs.
  3. Merrick, Rob, "Jeremy Corbyn attacked by nuclear disarmament campaign group over Trident 'U-turn'", Independent 9.26.16.
  4. Harris, Mike, "Shami Chakrabarti and Jeremy Corbyn were the loudest critics of the Snooper’s Charter – but now theyre in power, they’ve gone quiet", Independent (10/11/16 at 9:45 AM BST).
  5. Cowburn, Ashley, "Jeremy Corbyn facing fresh rebellion after issuing Brexit bill three-line whip", Independent (2/7/17 at 11:45 GMT).
  6. Butterworth, Christopher, "Labour: Obviously Jeremy Corbyn does not believe being gay is a choice", Pink News (2/2/17 at 6:01 pm).
  7. God bless Dennis Skinner, but this is a bloke who brags about having never sent an e-mail. "It keeps the postman at work."
  8. Sturgeon, Nicola, 2..8.17 Tweet at 1:31 PM.
  9. Not everybody can survive spin mode.
  10. O'Connor, Sarah, "RMT union calls for members to vote for Brexit", FT 4.7.16.
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