A history lesson for Labour, Ctd

The Wilderness Years explored the constitutional changes made int he early 80s in the UK, the second part of the documentary was called “Comrades At War”.

The lessons of history are remarkable. Especially the mobilisation of the left of the party, the coalescing around Tony Benn and the marshalling of the unions to exploit the constitutional changes orchestrated by Benn.

It appears that Labour in New Zealand has done exactly the same thing.


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  • conwaycaptain

    Anthony Wedgewood Benn was origanilly a Viscount. He wanted to sit in the commons so renounced his title. H ewas first known as Anthony Wedgewood Benn, then Wedgie Benn and then Tony Benn. He was so far left he was almost a Commie and it was because of him and his ilk that the UK in the mid late 70’s became a basket case.
    The Unions had a revolving door entrance to No 10 and the policies bought in by Wilson, Benn etc bought the UK to the edge of destruction. There is a rumour, never substantiated, the the Combined Chiefs of Staff approached Lord Louis to be a figurehead in a military coup. Also rumours that Wilson was also a surrogate communist.
    It was at thisntime that any UK passport holder could enter NZ and live and in 1973 some 30,000 arrived owing to the situation in the UK.
    The QE2 was being built and went further and fuerth behind owing to the comminist ship building unions in the UK. Here in NZ we had the Boilermakers Union etc with ther hard left union leaders. Remember the BNZ Building, Marsden Point, NZ Steel, Mangere Bridge etc etc.

    • In Vino Veritas

      Yup, conway, I remember those projects. And the long drawn out contstruction of them. I guess the question that needs to be asked is: where is the boilermakers union today?
      It just might be that MUNZ goes the same way.

  • Anonymouse Coward

    My recolection of the British labour party in giving power to LEC’s was it motivated Trotskyites and other hard left factions to seize control of them and drive out the nice menbers, resulting in a hard left parlimentary party which was decimated by Margret Tatcher

    • conwaycaptain

      Yes Foot Benn etc were all hard left almost Commie and it took Labour 18 years to recover and then we got the arch liar Blair

      • Anonymouse Coward

        I like Auberon Waughs put-down of Tony Blair; that when assessing his character you should not look at his face but at the tail wagging behind him.

  • Richard McGrath

    There is great footage of a UK Labour Party conference in one of these You Tube segments where the right and left wings of the party are tearing each other’s throats out. Thatcher and her MPs must have relished watching the UKLP self-destruct. At the 1983 election Labour only just beat the Social Democrats into second place by about 2%.

    Tony Benn and his camp did immense damage to the economy UK. The only decent policy they had was withdrawing from the EC.

    I commend this documentary to all readers.

  • Patrick

    Tony Benn is very similar to our Winston in that his media personna is far more credible than the man is himself.