Michael Meacher: Ed Miliband moving Labour in the right direction

This post was written by Salman Shaheen on October 1, 2012
Posted Under: Labour,Liberal Democrats,News,Parliament,Public Sector,Tories,Trade Unions

With the Labour Party conference in full swing, socialists and trade unionists will be seizing on every word spoken from the podium, looking for signs of what kind of government Miliband might lead. But one Old Labour MP who was in government with Wilson and Callaghan, and again with Blair as Minister of State for the Environment, is optimistic that we may be about to see the first real Labour government since 1979.

Since 1979, Meacher, tells me, we have been ruled exclusively by Conservative policies – 18 years under Thatcher and “little Major”, and 13 years under Blair and Brown. And now again we have an aggressive Tory government.

“I think there’s just a glimmer of hope that we might have a genuine Labour government after 2015,” Meacher says. “Miliband is moving the party in the right direction.”

The problem for Miliband, Meacher says, is that he’s surrounded by Blairites because “Blair cloned the party in his own image”.

“And that’s one of Blair’s abiding achievements,” says Meacher. “Because it’s very difficult to move a party where the majority in it are in another camp. But I feel instinctively that’s what Miliband wants to do. It’s the best hope for Britain.”

So Miliband is moving the party to the left. And with talk of predistribution, repealing the NHS Bill, and a building programme to lift the country out of failed austerity, there are hopeful signs.

But with Unite leader Len McCluskey attacking Miliband for supporting the public sector pay freeze, and with Miliband declaring “there is no future for this party as one sectional interest of society”, it’s clear Blair’s project of entrenching Thatcherite values in the once workers’ party will not be unravelled overnight and the unions who allowed Ed to beat his brother will have to make their case louder and clearer than ever before if they are to save Labour from itself.

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Reader Comments

There hasn’t been a Socialist government since the end of the Second World War – does anyone really care under the age of 60? (I do but I don’t know anyone else who does)

Written By Trevor Brown on October 3rd, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

You may be right that not many people under 60, besides the politically minded, care what constitutes a socialist government. But I’m damn sure young people care about jobs, pay, education, housing and health care. That’s what matters.

Written By Salman Shaheen on October 3rd, 2012 @ 4:50 pm
George Applegate

The ‘glimmer of hope’ Michael Meacher sees within the ‘New Labour’ leadership is a remote reflection of the Big Bang that created it over 100 years ago, the hope is gone, but to those with their heads in the sand anything relieving the permanent bleakness of Blair’s ‘New Labour’ obscenity seems noteworthy. The Labour membership gave Blair a standing ovation last time he addressed their conference, what hope that any one of these pro Capitalist, pro Zionist, pro any war the USA directs them to support, bastards can ever speak sincerely of socialism or equality again?

Written By George Applegate on March 24th, 2013 @ 9:22 am

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Written By 净化器 on February 12th, 2014 @ 7:03 am

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Written By 净化器 on February 12th, 2014 @ 7:03 am

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