Sunday, August 9, 2015

Outrage as Corbyn suggests removing the word "socialist" from Labour's constitution

Another low for the press this evening, as a headline in the Independent claims that Jeremy Corbyn has firmly pledged to bring back the original Clause Four of Labour's constitution, even though he in fact only said that was one possibility. I was also intrigued to see them claim that the rewording of Clause Four under Tony Blair marked "an end to nearly a century of Labour’s commitment to socialism", because in a literal sense it actually introduced a commitment to socialism for the very first time. See for yourself...

Pre-1995 wording : "To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service."

Post-1995 wording : "The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party. It believes that by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone, so as to create for each of us the means to realise our true potential and for all of us a community in which power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many, not the few, where the rights we enjoy reflect the duties we owe, and where we live together, freely, in a spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect."

So Labour put the word "socialist" in their constitution and instantly ceased to be a socialist party. Presumably they will revert to being socialist as soon as Corbyn removes the word. Amusingly, Blair also said the following in his first conference speech as leader in 1994 : "These are our words, this is my socialism. SOCIALISM. And we must stop apologising for using the word." Twenty years on, Blair has a great many things to apologise for, but over-use of "socialism" isn't one of them. Maybe that's what he meant.

Apart from its sheer vacuousness, what bothers me most about the current constitution is the phrase "the many, not the few". That seems deliberately designed to mean something other than "everybody" - in other words, the persistent existence of a minority underclass is now entirely consistent with Labour's stated values.


  1. Yes, apart from the obvious corruption in the press corp, they don't seem to realise there is enough going on in the stories without making them seem controversial.
    People, at least here in Scotland, are engaged and really want accurate information to make judgements.
    It is the distortion and corrupt agenda from many journalists that leads many people to ignoring what they say.

  2. read the Morning Star, the best newspaper in Britain!

  3. Fred Dibnah On Sunday PoliticsAugust 9, 2015 at 7:25 PM

    The SNP and fellow travellers should be making their policies clear.They are justTories who have conned the electorate by saying they are different from the Tories but adopting Tory policies. This is why our James is obviously going on about Corbyn and avoiding what his Tartan brigade is not doing.

    1. Are you calling 50% of the electorate stupid, i.e. sufficiently so to be conned?

      I'm not sure insulting people is a way to win votes. Just a bit of friendly advice like.

    2. Fred Dibnah late on SundayAugust 9, 2015 at 8:20 PM

      I did not say stupid just conned which is a historical thing in politics. The fact is is the SNP are not on the left and the lefties who joined them are stupid. The Nats I am sure think the Brit Scots who regect them are stupid but are afraid to say so..

    3. No, you said I've been conned into voting SNP. That must make me too stupid to notice I'm being conned, particularly given, for years, the media have been telling me how bad the SNP are.

      How dare you call me stupid. I'll vote for who I want. I'm perfectly capable of deciding who to vote for, just as the rest of the electorate are. Who the hell do you think you are to insult me like that?

      I don't think people who support the union are stupid. I know quite a few; some are good friends, including my best man. There reasons vary, but they are not stupid people. Worried maybe... emotionally attached commonly.. but not stupid, being conned and don't notice it.

    4. And for your information I'm perfectly aware the SNP are not a socialist party. It even states so quite clearly on their website on the 'about us' section.

      "The SNP is a social democratic political party"

      A social democratic party is neither left (socialist) nor right (capitalist / neo-liberal), but 'global' centre (not UK media 'centre' which is now well right). They are also moderate on the social scale, hence liberal yellow colour.

      Labour, for example, used to be socialist but are now centre-right authoritarian.

      If any party is attempting a con, it's them by using the red rose of socialism and pretending to be left. Although not recently I suppose as they don't hide their right-wing leanings these days.

      Anyway, if chapping doors, I suggest you don't tell people they are being conned and how to vote. It will not go down well. You are better to tell them what you support and why; if they think you've made a good case, they might listen.

    5. Here we go.

      Now this is an attempted con:>

      How the party works

      "As a democratic, socialist party..."

      And one which I'm not fooled by as I'm not stupid just as the 50% are not either.

    6. Fred Dibnah Having a Laugh😂August 9, 2015 at 8:57 PM

      How dare you call me stupid. Help ma boab. This is supposed to be a blog that supports Nationalism yet it does not promote it with positive policies. It just goes on about Corbyn and the English etc . So negative and anti English. So you have a best man are you sure he does not think you are an idiot?

    7. My best man votes SNP. His wife too. He just voted No because he feels British too; both his parents being English. He might yet vote Yes, as per his strong Yes wife. I suspect he will next time.

      Anyway, you can troll all you wish, it won't change things. The union's fucked and I say that from an entirely abstract, scientific perspective. Just a matter of time given it's only the over 65 baby boomers who still back it. Tick tock.

      But I guess you know that deep down anyway and, in defensive response, are trolling as a means of projection.?

      And this is a polling blog generally, not a party policy one. POP means 'Poll of Polls'. Any non-polling posts are filling time.

      Have fun. I am. May result was amazing.

    8. So this is a blog for commenting on Polls in general. Jings that evaded me entirely. Me and your best man need help.

    9. The SNP aren't tories - at least, not anymore.

      They have realised the limitations of their adherence to small c conservatism, prevalent in the 1970s and before, and have journeyed from centre-right away over to socialism. This may represent a genuine change of heart or it may simply be opportunism. Either way, the vision of indy Scotland as sold to 45% of the people last year is not possible. If you genuinely want first rate public services, full employment, high wages and an excellent quality of life for all your people, you don't achieve it by voting yourself into an economic crisis.

  4. Fred time fur bed and Work next day tae subsidise the JocksAugust 9, 2015 at 9:10 PM

    Still no positive policies from the Nats just the English are to blame and sad hard done tae stories.

    1. It's only unionists that blame the English (overwhelmingly predominant in UK government) and want to keep doing that; hence Scottish Labour attacking the English Tories etc. People who support indy want to Scotland to take responsibly for itself, with only Scots to blame if it goes wrong.

  5. Old Fred Getting tired of moaning JocksAugust 9, 2015 at 9:25 PM

    Sorry Skier but Scotland has always been responsible for herself. We are in a Union and that was our decision at the ballot box. However what was it the Nats said! ' Independence in Europe'. So you give up a good agreement and let Frankfurt dictate. Sad lot of Jocks.

    1. So you are calling people who support the union 'sad jocks' in a racist way (I voted for independence).

      Interesting approach. I shall say this to my best man.

    2. On this topic (of racism) I do find it intriguing that people from England who moan about the UK government = all fine and dandy. People from Scotland doing the same are 'moaning jocks' as you note. Both pay taxes, but one group is allowed to complain, the other isn't.

      Part of the reason I voted Yes and will do so again.

    3. Racist Way! Stop havering and spend some time with the wife instead of the best man!

  6. Jeremy Corbyn accused of turning back clock to 1970s over Clause IV

    Headline in the Torygraph this evening.

    Clearly not turning the clock far enough back for the Tory neanderthals who want us all to own our own cave with hot and cold running fevers (untreated of course).

  7. Fred wakened up by Scot Tory Nat sisAugust 9, 2015 at 10:45 PM

    I have been informed this is just a polling blog.
    So what are Tartan Tory Nat policies? And the neanderthal was progressive.

    1. Continuous harping, whitabootery and no positive case for anything, just SNP BAD.

      Are you looking for a place on the Labour lists for next year's election? You'd fit right in.

      Coolheads Prevail

    2. Nah just want to know if the SNP will use their powers and tax the rich. End poverty, foodbabks etc And stop blaming their Tory pals.

    3. The SNP are pretty bad though, to be fair:

      Police Scotland - FAIL.

      NHS - FAIL.

      Scottish education - FAIL (although seeing as the pass mark is 34%, they may actually pass on that one now).

      Social cohesion - FAIL. They have introduced a divide into Scottish society just as serious as the old Catholic / Protestant sectarian one. We used to all be Scots - now we are nawbags and yessers.

      I put it to you that if the SNP were a normal party of government, they would be deeply unpopular by this point. However, they have the distraction of nationalism to fall back on and can blame all their failings on Westminster.

      But every dog has its day. The people will wake up. But, by the time they do, we'll be an overtaxed, crumbling sh1thole with a workforce that can barely count to ten.

    4. We aren't all Scots. Some are Brits.

    5. Contributions from both red and blue wings of Better Together. They're putting the band back together, folks. Shame the Lib Dems made like a Spinal Tap drummer...

      Coolheads Prevail

    6. In all honesty, I'd sooner be known as British than Scottish. What is Scotland actually famous for? I mean, apart from the stereotypical stuff - kilts, hogmanay, haggis? What do we actually stand for?

      I'll tell you what - failure. At least the British union gave us a chance to rise and be something better. Anytime we try to do something separately it's absolutely attrocious. We can't even put a football team together.

      My Scottishness is an accident of birth. If it were possible to do so, I'd disown it.

    7. "I'd sooner be known as British than Scottish."

      Of course you would, Aldo. You're a Tory. If you felt even slightly Scottish, we'd know there was something wrong with you.

    8. Scottishness has come to define all the things that I despise.

      I didn't leave Scotland - Scotland left me.

      We were at one time a land of reason and critical thought - the intellectual engine room of the world. The Yes campaign would've been laughed out of the country in 1954 or 1904 or 1854. Even in 2003 we were unwilling to hand nationalists control of our devolved government. Then, something happened. Something I am at a loss to explain. But it makes me ashamed to be Scottish and has strengthened my sense of Britishness to the point where I consider it my only nationality (ten years ago I'd have said I was Scottish and British in equal measure).

  8. TNS tracker poll

    SNP 62% +2
    Lab 20% =
    Con 12% -2
    LD 3% -2

    SNP 54% +3
    Lab 20% -1
    Con 12% -1
    Green 8% +1
    LD 4% -1

    Some supplementary questions about approval / disapproval of Scottish Government performance in policy areas that could be spun either way really.

    Economy 25% good, 24% poor, 45% neither
    NHS 34, 29, 33
    Education 30, 19, 40
    Crime/Justice 23, 29, 40

    The only bad rating there I would say is crime / justice, probably due to the various Police Scotland cock-ups. The economy rating is low because Holyrood doesn't have particularly significant economic powers. The education rating is quite good and I suspect the NHS rating is better than what the Tories would score in England (or Labour in Wales).

  9. The Corbynator is coming to get you.