The most embarrassing part of the election? Seeing people mistake Labour for a left-wing party

From their stances on Trident and immigration to their support of extraordinary rendition, their progressive credentials are a joke

Amit Singh
Friday 08 May 2015 21:28
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Labour Party leader Ed Miliband announces his resignation as leader at a news conference in London
Labour Party leader Ed Miliband announces his resignation as leader at a news conference in London

In the build up to this year's general election people were desperately seeking an alternative to the Conservatives. Many were seriously considering the Greens, or even the idea of not voting, having been let down so badly by the Liberal Democrats back in 2010.

This all seemed to change, as more and more prominent left-wingers – such as Russell Brand, who was telling everyone not to vote a year ago – started offering varying degrees of support for Ed Miliband's party.

Of course, everyone's enthusiasm was completely misplaced. After five years of a Tory-led coalition government, people had obviously forgotten what it was like to live under a Labour one. They managed to conjure up ideas of Ed Miliband as a socialist crusader, who’d spend big and bring Britain closer to the utopia that all progressives long for.

In reality, the Labour candidates that people like Owen Jones and Russell Brand were telling people to support are the same candidates who took Britain into an illegal war with Iraq. And the ones who support the renewal of Trident.

Miliband stood in front of a placard promising "controls on immigration" and sold a mug emblazoned with the slogan to his supporters. So much for a reasoned and informed debate on the pros and cons of immigration. Labour went with the Ukip tide instead of standing up for immigrants.

This Labour government – who like to think of themselves as more ethical than their Tory opponents – are responsible for repealing peoples’ civil liberties in the aftermath of 9/11 and the 7/7 bombings. They led Britain into a war based on what God told George Bush to do, and a "dodgy dossier". Labour politicians, even in the aftermath of Iraq, voted to initiate airstrikes on Libya. Look how that turned out. Libya is now considered to be a failed state. It's completely collapsed.

The last Labour government also oversaw human rights abuses, such as the extraordinary rendition of terror suspects, who were then tortured by the US government. They initiated unfair banking bailouts, and were the first to begin privatisating the NHS. And they did nothing to quell rising inequality – if anything, they exacerbated it.

Owen Jones justified voting Labour off of the back of promises made by the party since 2010. This however ignores the fact that things like tax-loopholes, non-domiciles, were rife under the last Labour government. The columnist and campaigner declared that the establishment was desperate for Labour to lose. Maybe that’s true, but it’s still an establishment, spearheaded by Rupert Murdoch, that was far too close to the last Labour government.

Labour Party leader Ed Miliband announces his resignation as leader at a news conference in London

But regardless, even if Labour had won, they still would have been a pro-austerity party. Their cuts would have still hurt many vulnerable people. Labour even sold out Scotland and backed the Tory agenda on the referendum. And as we have seen in Scotland, they got it so, so wrong.

Labour aren't remotely progressive. They’re perhaps slightly less regressive than the Tories, but to coo over them and think they'll actually improve the UK for the working-classes is just thoughtless. Some regional MPs who are on the backbenches might push a genuine pro-workers stance in parliament. But any Labour MP with any ambition knows to vote with the party, and the party line is pro-business, pro-austerity, pro-war and definitely not pro-ordinary people.

However, there will now be a leadership battle, and Labour will probably surge to the right. Or should that be – even more to the right. It's really not looking good for the party, but then again, it never was.

This article was originally published on Consented,a multi-media platform for those who aren’t accurately represented by the mainstream. To follow the blog on Twitter: http://twitter.com/consenteduk

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