Why Will Labour Not Readmit Me?
Sat 27th Jul 2013
On 12thMay, I re-joined the Fabian Society and the Christian Socialist Movement. I also joined Progress, Movement for Change, Compass and the Labour Representation Committee. They have all welcomed me with open arms. I think that I joined Labour First and Labour Left, which have not told me otherwise.
In July, I attended the Blue Labour Midlands Seminar, that phenomenon’s main annual event, for its and my second year running. A week later, I was at Owen Jones’s rally in Durham launching the People’s Assembly in the North East. Followed by the Durham Miners’ Gala that Saturday. Of course.
However, the Labour Party still will not say whether or not it will readmit me. It is seven years since I was administratively expelled for my determination to give a parliamentary voice to the views expressed here, an aspiration eventually frustrated by ill health. Nor will the Co-operative Party, which never expelled me, allow me back in without Labour’s nod. It does, however, send me regular members’ emails. In between the emails refusing my membership application.
I stand for the contribution-based Welfare State, with contribution defined to include, for example, caring for children and caring for elderly relatives. Workers’ rights, with the trade unionism necessary to defend and advance them. Community organising. The co-operative movement and wider mutualism, not least in the provision of financial services. Profit-sharing and similar arrangements: not “shares for rights”, but shares and rights.
I stand for consumer protection, strong communities, and fair taxation. Full employment, with low inflation. Pragmatic public ownership, including of the utilities, the postal service and the railway service, and always with strong parliamentary and municipal accountability. Proper local government, including council housing, fiscal autonomy, the provision as well as the commissioning of services, and the accountability provided by the historic committee system. Publicly owned industries and services, national and municipal, setting the vocational training standards for the private sector to match.
I stand for the organic Constitution, with the full pageantry and ceremony of the parliamentary and municipal processes. National and parliamentary sovereignty in the face of all challenges: from the Executive or the Judiciary, the European Union or the United States, Israel or the Gulf monarchs, China or the Russian oligarchs, money markets or media moguls, separatists or communalists.
I stand for the Union, the ties that bind these Islands, and the Commonwealth. Economic patriotism, including energy independence. As a mixed-race person, balanced migration. Conservation and the countryside. Superb and inexpensive public transport, with personal freedom and with close-knit rural communities. Academic excellence, with technical proficiency. Civil liberties, with law and order, including visible and effective policing.
I stand for fiscal responsibility, of which neoliberal capitalism is manifestly and demonstrably the opposite. A strong financial services sector, with a strong food production and manufacturing base, and with the strong democratic accountability of both.
I stand for very high levels of productivity, with the robust protection of workers, consumers, communities and the environment, including powerful workers’ representation at every level of corporate governance. A base of real property for every household, from which to resist both over-mighty commercial interests and an over-mighty State.
I stand for a realist foreign policy, including strong national defence, and precluding any new Cold War against Russia, China, Iran or anywhere else. A leading role on the world stage, with a vital commitment to peace, including a complete absence of weapons of mass destruction.
I stand for a large and thriving private sector, middle class, and working class. Each of these depends on central and local government action. With public money come public responsibilities, including public accountability for how those responsibilities are, or are not, being met.
I stand for the recognition that we cannot deliver the welfare provisions and the other public services that our people have rightly come to expect unless we know how many people there are in this country, unless we control immigration properly, and unless we insist that everyone use spoken and written English to the necessary level.
I stand for the rejection of any approach to climate change which threatens to destroy or prevent secure employment, to drive down wages or working conditions, to arrest economic development around the world, to forbid the working classes and non-white people from having children, to inflate the fuel prices that always hit the poor hardest, or to restrict either travel opportunities or a full diet to the rich.
I stand for enabling and requiring fathers to live up to their responsibilities. Paternal authority and paternal responsibility require an economic basis such as only the State can ever guarantee, and such as only the State can very often deliver. That basis is high-waged, high-skilled, high-status employment. All aspects of public policy must take account of this urgent social and cultural need. Not least, that includes energy policy. Furthermore, paternal authority cannot be affirmed while fathers are torn away from their children and harvested in needless wars.
And I stand for the full compatibility between, on the one hand, the highest view of human demographic, economic, intellectual and cultural expansion and development, and, on the other hand, the most active concern for the conservation of the natural world and of the treasures bequeathed by such expansion and development in the past.
To my delight, Progress is reintegrating former SDP stalwarts while campaigning against tax avoidance and in favour of keeping the East Coast Main Line in public ownership. To my delight, the LRC is reintegrating disaffiliated trade unions, and small Leftist organisations with heritage names; such are now constitutionally committed, by their LRC affiliation, to the election of a Labour Government.
But more problematic individuals and groupuscules also operate on the Far Left. There are 11 Labour MPs on the Advisory Council of the neoconservative Henry Jackson Society. Ken Livingstone was readmitted after nowhere near the years of expulsion that I have served. Dan Hodges has never been expelled.
I can see no reason why my views might continue to place me beyond the Pale.