Monday, 20 September 2010

A conspiracy to seize power.

If a political party does not have its foundation in the determination to advance a cause that is right and that is moral, then it is not a political party; it is merely a conspiracy to seize power.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Discuss with reference to the coalition agreement. .

I first came across this quote in the comments following one of  Tom Freeman's blog posts on the Labour leadership contest. It provides food for thought in Labour and Lib-Dem contexts. The comment elaborates Eisenhower's words thusly:

Also, you say "Labour is the first opposition party in many, many years to be significantly up in the polls very shortly after defeat. This doesn't suggest massive public revulsion at the party". Well, it is up because of unease at the cuts to come. It is a Blairite myth that for Labour to stay popular, it must "modernise" public services using "choice" and "competition". It is a Blairite myth that the public want to be treated as "consumers" of public services and "stakeholders", and that everything would be just find and dandy if only the government would just hold hands with private sector contractors and consultancy firms, and gabble Birtist nonsense. It is Blairite myth that social democracy is not popular.

The idea that since GOSPLAN doesn't work and Somalia doesn't work, all politics must be conducted within the narrow strip of neoliberalism is infuriating, illogical and utterly disempowering. And no matter which Miliband wins, nothing will change.
I hope this is wrong, but fear it's right.