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Saturday, 27 August 2011

Capitalism fails, yet the left is silent – an eerie vacuum

“The rich run a global system that allows them to accumulate capital and pay the lowest possible price for labour. The freedom that results applies only to them.”

The words, not of some leftie like me, but of Charles Moore of The Daily Telegraph, Thatcherite to the core. As Newsnight observes, no such words are coming from the left – global capitalism is in crisis, the crisis forecast for it by generations of left-wing intellectuals, yet the left in Britain is virtually silent. This theme was also addressed at length by Julian Coman in the Observer last Sunday: he comment -

Intellectuals of the right are making withering judgments that Labour has not dared to make for quarter of a century.”

Charles Moore is calling for the Right to redefine itself, intellectually and morally, while Labour, especially that pathetic thing called Scottish Labour, is engage in endless theorising and speculation about the structure of the party, and why they have now lost two Scottish Parliamentary elections.

The Right knows it is threatened by its record and by what its values have produced.

Labour is in denial over its record, and has no values: it stand for nothing, has no vision for society – it is simply the once highly successful electoral machine called New Labour, now rusting in the desert, out of fuel, with bits falling off it at regular intervals. It dare not look back at its failures, and the destruction it has wreaked – the sight is too awful for it to contemplate. It requires an acknowledgment of guilt, contrition, a repudiation of its key architects, Blair, Brown and Mandelson, and of the parasitic creatures that fed from its bloated body for so long – the the trades union officials, the strategists, the political advisers, the spin doctors and sycophantic commentators and media personalities.

Instead, the parasites now cluster around the machine trying to repair it, crying out in frustration that it had worked before, it can work again, if only they can find the replacement parts. They remember their glory days in the sun, the halcyon days before Iraq, before Parliamentary scandals, before their great leader quietly and obscenely enriched himself and departed, and they yearn desperately to relive them.

The Right, in contrast, know exactly who they are – a successful project that has run for centuries in Britain, aimed at enriching themselves by bleeding the ordinary people. Their only concern is that, in a democracy, however constrained by unelected Lords and patronage, there are limits to what the people will sit still for, and the Right are aware that they have over-reached themselves, that the curtain has been pulled aside revealing, not only the ugly face of the British Establishment behind it, but the very nature of the levers being pulled. The incompetence and venality of Labour over 13 years did not result in the great electoral victory for the right in the 2010 general election, but a messy, inconclusive outcome, and an even messier Coalition with the feeble and vacillating LibDems.

Worst of all, to the north of them, the people of Scotland have made a decisive choice in favour of a political party that has a vision, values and clear objectives, and terrifyingly, a party that is immune to the flattery, the patronage, the bribery, the bullying, the intimidation, the misinformation that is the stock in trade of the Right, a party that cares about the people it serves, and which will act solely in their interests – a centre-left Social Democratic party of the kind that has worked quietly and effectively in Scandinavia for generations. And this party has reduced the Tories and the Liberal Democrats to a pathetic, irrelevant shadow of their former selves, and has successfully challenged the power of the Scottish Labour Party and defeated it conclusively.

Charles Moore memorably describes New Labour’s architects as “the people who adopted vulgar Thatcherism, people who didn’t really understand …. adopting a religion that they didn’t really understand.”

He went on to say the caricature of “the capitalists in the top hats and stripey trousers” ripping off the people was now compounded by the fact that they were being paid by the taxpayers.

Charles Moore concluded his piece by saying “What’s really important right now is that the Right should admit how much it has got on the wrong side of this argument, and somehow those who support the free market have become identified with the powerful, and with  a country that feels to be, at this point, both morally and actually, bust”. The country he refers to is the UK -  but my country, Scotland, is not morally or actually bust, Charles.

Now both old-time religions – Thatcherism and New Labour Thatcherism – have failed to deliver the promised land, and The Rapture will be a long time a’comin’, brothers and sisters ….

Saor Alba!


  1. Hi Peter,

    This is something that has puzzled me too, not just the total absence of vision coming from the SLAB in particular, but also the UK arm of the Party. In Scotland, I understand their visceral hatred of the SNP blinds them to anything else that might be happening in the world (or even elsewhere Britain), but surely the rest of them might just have the occasional comment to make or thought to express, even if only for the possibility that the novelty value of such a thing might attract some headlines.

    My own explanation is that the organisation is so top-centred and authoritarian that they are all frightened to open their mouths in case the dear leader denies them career progress as a consequence.


  2. Denial is a condition that often afflicts those who once had a moral sense but lost it for a period. They can never fully function again until they acknowledge what they did.

    I hesitate to mention perhaps the most famous example of that in the last century, lest I be accused of hyperbole ...

  3. Wow!

    Precise expression of the corrupt malaise that is Labour.

    Best blog I've read this year.

    RN is fair although he wasn't as tricky as Blair.

  4. Is it just me that can't unmute the Moore video had to watch it on youtube. The Scottish wing of Labour won't admit any failings at all because those voters in the graveyard never complain.

  5. I don't know if it's just you, cynicalHighlander, but it working OK with me, and no other complaints so far.