All political parties ‚Äď particularly parties of opposition ‚Äď have to have some basic philosophical core.
That‚Äôs because if they don‚Äôt, they simply wander around aimlessly trying out every passing political fad, and entertaining every passing political snake-oil salesman, when they should instead be settling on a clear path to power.
Before Saturday I‚Äôd come to the view that the Left had won the battle for control of Labour. I was wrong. No one has control of Labour. This is one of the fundamental problems facing Miliband‚Äôs party. Unlike in 1981 (the Bennites) and 1985 (the Kinnockites) and 1994, (the Blairites) there has been no definitive political settlement.
This morning it‚Äôs just been announced that¬†Tony Blair is preparing to make a ‚Äúbig contribution‚ÄĚ to Labour‚Äôs coffers, to offset predicted loss of income from the unions. What the hell is that all about?
Ever since Miliband was elected, we‚Äôve been told his entire political plan revolved around moving Labour beyond the Blair/Brown years. You may agree with that plan, you may disagree with that plan. But it sent a clear signal about Labour‚Äôs direction of political travel. As did Miliband‚Äôs stated desire at Saturday‚Äôs conference to open politics up to ‚Äúordinary people‚ÄĚ. How does that fit with the news that Blair is about to become Miliband‚Äôs sugar daddy?
Some people will claim this is evidence Labour is a ‚Äúbroad church‚ÄĚ. It doesn‚Äôt. It shows Labour isn‚Äôt a church at all. It‚Äôs just a large room with lots of people shouting wholly contradictory things at one another, while people huddle around saying ‚ÄúHell yes, I agree with that! Oh, wait, hang on a minute. What did he just say?‚ÄĚ ¬† Read more »