Saturday, 5 October 2013

Labour's 2015 Manifesto - A Living Fossil

Coelocanth - a Living Fossil
This is a picture of a coelocanth, a species of fish thought to have gone extinct millions of years ago but found alive and well in the 1930's; a living fossil. Discovery of a once extinct species should herald excitement but at the Labour Party Conference the once extinct socialism reappeared as a living fossil. Much comparison was made to the 1983 Labour Manifesto or 'the longest suicide note in history'. However when I read the 1987 Manifesto, cheesily titled 'Britain will win' it was clear that this less notorious Labour manifesto was more in tune with Ed Miliband's vision of Britain with him at the helm. Here the thrust is not so blatant as the 1983 manifesto. There is no loud and proud socialism but a quiet and careful use of language which suggests a back door conversion back to socialism without uttering the s word. But it meant the same thing, Tax and Spend (Link to - Revealed: Labours Economic Policy).

In 2013 Ed Miliband declared that continuously taxing Bankers' Bonuses and that amorphous cohort 'The Rich' would be the route to socialist salvation. In 1987 the tools were different but the job was the same. How familiar does this sound .....

  • Putting directly into generating 300,000 jobs the money that would be used up by the Thatcher government on its 2p income tax bribe.
  • Adopting the same practice as most successful industrial countries and companies, by prudently borrowing £3 billion for useful wealth generating national investment. 
 (Labour Party Manifesto, 1987)
In three word summary Tax and Spend. Looking at future manifestos in1992 onwards the language has become less socialist. In his speech, Red Ed Miliband heralded a reversal of this trend, reviving the living fossil of socialism from extinction. The speech was not as socialist as the 1983 manifesto but was every bit as socialist as 1987. If the reversal continues perhaps in 2015 we'll see the words written in the 1945 manifesto. 
"The Labour Party is a Socialist Party, and proud of it"

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