I have always had a deep, not admiration, more a respect for the old time Labour Party. It was peopled with men of integrity, men of substance. If an opponent, one could always rely on the stances of the Party, of the leaders, never bending to suit the prevailing winds, never to sacrifice their principles for cheap political advantage. I used to live in a mining village, many of my friends had parents who worked in the mines; and one had to observe that the men who came from the underground into daylight were the true salt of the earth. I too have worked underground, and, I suppose, that experience gave me more understanding of people who took the Labour ideal; than many a news article, political speech or ‘vision’ from some ‘special advisor’ whose nearest experience to coal was to use the electricity generated from a coal-fired power station.
Labour’s problem stems from its earliest days, when, short of funds, the Party voted to accept political donations to help get its men into Parliament. There was one judicial decision banning the funding of MPs by the Unions, and a further Act in Parliament to overcome this decision, and thus allow Unions funding of the Party, and its MPs.
So we now see the situation where the People elect and pay a Labour MP, but he or she is funded and indeed supported by a Labour Union. The question then arises; to whom does he or she or she give his loyalty? To the Party whose banner he or she stood under when canvassing for, and gaining votes, and to his Constituency; or to the Union whose creature he or she has become, because of the vast financial support these same Unions spread around?
As a final query, and in an individual point, we must ask ourselves who’s creature is now the Deputy Leader of the Party. Once looked upon as a king-maker, he is reduced to a silent shadow of his former authority; whilst ‘singing’ the Party dirge, which consists of repeated chants of the Party’s leader’s name. And the Party which once commanded respect, if little else? What sort of a Party is it when a BBC reporter has to be given a bodyguard as she attended the Conference? The same Party which introduced the flying pickets which hounded staff who would not support a strike by another Union entirely? The same Party which supported the massed actions of the miners during that strike of 84-85? The same Party which, when in power in the Seventies, gave in time and again to the demands of those same Unions; because they knew that if they did not bend the knee to their paymasters; the Unions would quickly find someone who did.
The young of today have not the benefit of a good memory, as the likes of my generation have. We can remember the bin strikes, with rubbish bags piled so high, and for so long; that the rats were thinking of paying rent; so good were the pickings. We can remember the power cuts, the three-day weeks, the impassive strike pickets who denied the very right to a decent burial, because they claimed it would mean crossing a picket line!
Corbyn’s Labour may be in the swing right now, with the Hard-line Left of the Momentum faction powerful; but the Labour Party will regret that silly vote which empowered Corbyn, along with his Hard-Left Trotskyite ideals, of a pacificism which reeks of betrayal of everything which Britain has stood for for centuries, and of the regret which has brought the Deputy Leader of the Party to a literal irrelevance!