The Need for a New Left Wing Party

1  The Demise of the Labour Party as a party to represent
the less well off.
 Since its beginnings the Labour Party has drifted towards middle
class control, and then towards representing the interests of the
middle classes above those of the working classes. Already by the time
of Wilson, they failed to support the attempts of the unions to get a
larger slice of the pie for the working classes. That very same thing, at
that same time, was achieved in other countries, such as Sweden, that
now have effectively, no poverty. That was one chance that was
missed. The next chance was in 1997 when Labour had a huge
majority and significant change was easily within their grasp.
Inexplicably they showed very little inclination to help the low paid
except by hand-outs; the middle classes got richer and the working
classes sank back to a level worse than 1971. During that period the
nature of the Labour Party was radically transformed , into a non
conservative middle class party, and now the process is pretty well
complete. A Labour manifesto in 2015, that did very little in the way
of offering to get rid of poverty or raise low wages, was condemned  
after its failure by senior Labour leaders for its radicalism, and for
discarding the Blair heritage. They urged a more “aspirational”
approach. It seems that the future of the Labour party is to be further
to the right than even Ed Milliband's tentative leadership took it.
Influential party members regard anything else as likely to lead to
electoral defeat. They are thinking of the 1980s and their perspective
belongs to that era, which has now passed.
 They are sadly not mindful of the dissatisfaction and frustration of a
large number of people in Britain, largely those at the bottom end of
society, whose views you would have expected a left wing party to
recognise and want to express and represent, a natural body of
support for a radical policy aimed at getting rid of poverty once and
for all by the relatively simple means of putting up low wages { to
around the level of the lower middle classes, say £19,500 pa (based on
2013 prices)}A larger slice of the pie for the less well off. The
consequences of poverty have now been festering like a wound or a
disease for a few more generations, Britain is that much more
consumed and destroyed at its core by it's fallout, our national life is
that much more undermined, economically, socially, morally,
intellectually. Our confidence in democracy itself is dangerously
 And yet, the middle class led Labour party either have no particular
interest in solving the problem of poverty, or they don't feel confident
that they could win an election on such a programme, and instead peg
their policies just barely to the left of the Conservative Party. They
may be right. But they might at least be able to compute that if they
were to get the votes of the 8 million low paid plus 3 million
unemployed, as well as a reasonable number of their traditional
voters, including some of  the middle-class left , they would be in with
a pretty good chance, and likely do a lot better than they did in the
last election with no particular programme. It would surely be a risk
worth taking, as it would bring within sight a goal that would be the
culmination of a long working class struggle of which that party has
been a part, and would arguably benefit the whole country and its
economy. {That argument will be given later.}
 This missed chance tells us something about the Labour party that
the left cannot ignore, that the Labour Party far from being a leading
force in the effort to improve the lives of the poor,  is now an
obstruction. If the Labour party didn't exist we would have invented ,
recently, a far better one. The time is ripe for a new move to finally
end the stark inequalities that degrade our country and harm the
economy and the social life of the nation. People can see that it is
necessary, people can see that it has gone on far longer that it should
have or needs to have, people can see that it wouldn't require much to
change it. The Labour party ought to be a source of leadership and a
focus for expression of the desire for change. This is the big
opportunity. It ought to provide a programme for how it should be
achieved.. But it doesn't. Instead it seems not to have even noticed
that there is a problem that must be solved, even though it is the
problem that party was formed to solve; it doesn’t seem to notice that
the rest of the nation is willing to hear proposals for it. It is time for
the Labour Party to move out of the way. It is time for a new party to
represent the less well off.

Gregory Motton © 2015