A WORLD BETWEEN ‘NEW’ AND ‘OLD’ LABOUR

KEN HOUSTON

In announcing his party’s manifesto, ‘Dave’ hinted strongly that “the good life” was just around the corner.

This was in sharp contrast to a comment by Nigel Farage when asked if immigration had not made Britain a more prosperous place. The UKIP leader insisted it hadn’t but even if mistaken, he did not believe a population of 75 million made up of different cultures to be a price worth paying as community cohesion was more important than material improvement.

Now, while UKIP is often described as a right-wing (and sometimes ‘far-right’) party, this statement is something one might have expected in the past to come from a left-wing politician for whom society came before consumerism.

It seems to me that although UKIP’s two MP’s were Tory defectors, there could also have been defections from Labour in the days before the parliamentary party was taken over by sociology lecturers and management consultants. This is because there were always ‘Old Labour’ MP’s who combined their socialism with patriotism and for whom ‘Workers of the World Unite’ didn’t extend to flooding our labour market with foreigners and dampening the wages and conditions of the native population.

 

TRIDENT – ON BALANCE, SENSIBLE BUT DIFFICULT TO JUSTIFY

For all her excellent delivery, Nicola Sturgeon comes over as rather technocratic when speaking in public. In fact, in many ways she reminds me of the former Labour Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, whose speeches were mostly bland, albeit coming to life when he added the odd joke or two.

Nicola, it appears, does not do jokes; indeed does not do anything except calmly, and with a great deal of precision, state what she regards (though others may disagree) as fact.

The only time during the current campaign I’ve ever seen her lose that famous composure was during one of those party leader debates when she displayed real hints of emotion over Trident (not for but against, as one would expect from someone of such left-wing credentials).

But then getting carried away over Trident is a one-way ticket. It is easy to see the dismantling of weapons of mass destruction as a glorious cause whereas not even the most ardent advocates of renewal could ever feel jingoistic about Trident – in the way their fathers and grandfathers might have done about a Spitfire or a Dreadnought.

This is one reason why opponents of nuclear weapons so easily occupy the moral high ground and can come up smug, simplistic phrases like, “Bairns, not bombs”, recently unveiled at anti-Trident rallies in George Square and at Faslane.

It’s tougher for those of a more pragmatic nature, who realise nuclear weapons cannot be dis-invented and who consider it irresponsible to give up our nuclear deterrent in an increasingly dangerous world.

These advocates are restricted to describing the renewal of Trident as a ‘necessary evil’ and so, in propaganda terms, will forever be arguing the case with one arm tied behind their backs.

Twitter: @PropPRMan

 

 

 

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