Posted Under: Elections,Labour,Trade Unions,Uncategorized
As the campaign manager for the ‘Ralph for Leader’ campaign, I’m pleased to confirm that Ralph Miliband, former lecturer in politics at LSE, Leeds and Roosevelt Universities, as well as former editor of The Socialist Register, will be standing for Labour Leader.
As mentioned by David Miliband, one of Ralph’s two sons, Ralph is currently “scratching his head, and asking with a big laugh ‘What did I do wrong?’ Both my sons Labour Cabinet Ministers!”
Since then, Ralph has come to some conclusions, and will explain why he hopes his candidacy can be seen as the only option for a true renewal of the Labour Party.*
Ralph: Better on being Progressive!
Ed says: “Being Labour means you always listen to the people — North and South, working-class and middle-class — and understand their concerns, interests and needs.”
David has said: “I stand for individual freedom and social justice. The two traditions of progressive politics in Britain.”
Ralph says: “‘Progressive’ might be used to designate people who seek the reform of various aspects of the social order in democratic and egalitarian directions.”
Ralph: Better on Unions!
David says: “We need to engage far far better with those three million trade unionists who choose to pay the political levy in what I believe is a positive act of democratic participation.”
Ed says: “The trade union link matters because it is our link to working people in this country and it is very important.”
Ralph says: “In so far as some of [strike] actions are illegal, they are inevitably opposed and repudiated by the unions. But even where action is legal and ‘official’, trade union leaders and officials are most likely, by the very nature of their role and location, to seek a restoration of business as usual. No doubt their eagerness to do so, and the praise they are willing to pay by way of compromise and retreat, will vary according to ideological dispositions and circumstances. But the business of trade union leaders and officials is bargaining, compromise, conciliation: a strike and other manifestations of militancy are as much an interruption of normal business for trade union officials as it is for employers, and constitute a nuisance and a threat, to be averted if at all possible, or to be brought to an end at the earliest opportunity.”
Ralph: Better on Reform!
Ed says: “We do need to be far more radical. We need to show we are the people who can reform the state to make it more accountable and give power away.”
David says: I am immensely proud of what Labour has done in government. Every constituency in Britain has benefitted. Tony Blair led for a remarkable decade. Gordon Brown, in the most difficult circumstances, took decisions that showed great leadership that saved our economy from catastrophe. He fought every day for fairness in our country.
Ralph says: “The history of reform under capitalism shows it to have been a very partial response to specific ‘problems’, and to have remained constrained by the logic of capital. Far from seeking to achieve radical cures, conservative governments have viewed reform as a means of preventing radical transformation from occurring by buying social peace with concessions.”
Ralph’s even better on criticising Cameron’s “Big Society”!
David says: The politics of protection: what we need to provide ourselves, what the state needs to provide, and what needs to be done together; it’s about rights and responsibilities together, in welfare, in social care, in respect of crime and anti social behaviour
Ed says: “The powerlessness of people is as much an injury in our society as lack of income or wealth. Now, David Cameron’s Big Society is not a way of solving this problem because it is a recipe for abandonment.”
Ralph says: “Human labour cannot be dispensed with, and this also counts for the growth within advanced capitalism of a vast ‘industrial relations’ enterprise, whose purpose is to elicit from wage-earners the ‘positive’ attitudes, the ‘loyalty’ and co-operative spirit which the collective, ‘socialised’ process of production requires, but which the dynamic of capitalism serves to undermine.”
Vote Ralph – he’s dead Marxist!
*All quotes from Ralph Miliband (1924-1994) are from Divided Societies: Class Struggle in Contemporary Capitalism (1989) and Socialism for a Sceptical Age (1994).