Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Kendall speaks her branes

Liz Kendall has supported Harriet Harman's position that Labour should stop, you know, supporting working people and trying to share the wealth of the nation about a little bit more evenly:
“I think Harriet was right to say that we have to provide a credible alternative.  You said to us, we don’t trust you on the money, we don’t trust you on welfare reform,” Ms Kendall told BBC News.

“If we carry on making the same arguments as we have over the last five years we’ll get the same results. 

“I want to support what Harriet said, we have to listen to have people have said to us, that they didn’t trust us, and we have to change as a party.”
"Credible alternative."

That's the problem, Liz. You aren't providing an alternative. You're just agreeing with the Tories.

Alternative doesn't mean the same as agreeing.  If you have two things that are the same then one is not an alternative to the other.

Providing a credible alternative would involve describing and entirely different way of dealing with the problems facing Britain, rather than just indicating sheepish agreement.  It would involve speaking up in defence of the idea of redistribution - saying something simple and sane like, "Because it makes our society better and we all benefit from that."

You say that people don't trust Labour on "on the money" and on benefit reform.  You're response is to fall into line with George Osborne's plan to slash benefits to children.

That isn't offering a credible alternative.  A credible alternative would involve defending the positive legacy of Labour's years in power - and tax credits is one of them.

It would involve attacking the Conservative scaremonger on 'benefits' by exposing their benefits reforms for what they are - tools designed specifically to pauperise children, which will increase hardship and all the attendant social problems that accompany it.

You could mention that in your fantasy "credible alternative" speech and point out that "We all suffer from that" - a simple rhetorical device that has the advantage of being a truth, unlike your preposterous claim that aping Tory attacks on the poor - and the working poor at that - is offering a credible alternative.

Incidentally, you are wrong to suggest that carrying on having the same arguments will lead to the same results.  I'm sure you, Liz, are familiar with Schopenhauer's suggestion that "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

Political parties - even socialist ones - can be right about economics.  People - even those who vote Tory -- can be wrong.  If you think Labour pursued good and valid policies in supporting the welfare state and redistributing wealth and in making work pay, then that should be defended, even in the face of ridicule and opposition.  Because it is true and events will show it to be true.

Embracing incorrect thinking as a means to power is surely some sign of madness, or (worse) Blairism.

By refusing to defend credible economic positions, you're either revealing that you thought they were wrong (i.e. you disagree fundamentally with the ideas of the welfare state, re-distribution and fairness) or you are too craven to defend them because you're afraid of the ridicule of the Daily Mail.

Neither makes you a very appetising prospect as a Labour leader.

Even if I thought hammering the poor and working poor was a legitimate means to gain power (it isn't, it's just being a shit) I'd still say it wasn't a smart move because - here's a blinding truth for you - the Tories will always do it better.  You see, Liz, Labour can not beat the Tories at this game.  They are always going to be willing to cut further and cap more ruthlessly than Labour, because it's what they believe in.

And if you believe in it, then you rally need to think about why you want to lead the party that is supposed to support and represent the workers, the poor and the disadvantaged.

Because at the moment it sounds like you don't give a fuck about those people.

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