As someone born just a stone’s throw from David Blunkett’s birthplace and still living here, I don’t mourn the passing of New Labour, a concept based on Tony Blair’s version of The Third Way and a method of government supposedly built on ‘inclusion’ and ‘bottom-up’ politics.
From my experience I would say it couldn’t be further from the truth.
Unwittingly caught up in a mysterious plan to regenerate Parson Cross, by my desire to save much needed properties from demolition, I watched the prolonged process and struggled to understand not only who pulled the strings but where the plans were leading.
A process which surely paid only lip service to the above principles, as secret plans were gradually imposed and opposition stifled.
Initially, I considered I might be paranoid but only recently, I stumbled across the following in an article headed ‘Flaws in the politics of Third Way ideologies’:
“The ideologies of the Third Way emphasised their commitment to encouraging a greater role for civic society and greater involvement of citizens in the political process.
“In practice the leaders of the Third Way , particularly Tonly Blair, have turned their parties into authoritarian instruments of personal rule, dissenting voices are marginalised or expelled. Local consituency parties have candidates imposed by central leadership; candidates all hand-picked for their conformity with leadership views. “
Under New Labour there appeared an abundance of patronage and lack of respect for the less well-off and ‘regeneration’ of areas described as suffering ‘multiple deprivation’ soon became the by-word for places of illiteracy, criminal acts, idleness and benefit scrounging.
Yet the plight of targeted communities was not of their making, government policies having destroyed their very fabric.
New Labour’s answer was to ship in modern-day ‘missionaries’ from the middle-class on whose support New Labour depended in order to retain their position of power.
Even artists were brought in from outside and paid public money to ‘lift the area by way of art’. What a joke!
Money paid in by many workers on Parson Cross was instead used to humiliate and degrade them in videos uploaded on social media, without a word of public condemnation from those purporting to represent them!
UK Politics on BBC News – September 27, 1999 explained the purpose of the Third Way in the following terms:
‘To construct a bogus coalition between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’. It entices the ‘haves’ by assuring them the economy is sound and interests not threatened while promising a world free from poverty and injustice’.
The result? An emerging underclass dependent on charitable hand-outs and an army of well-paid middle-class workers educationally equipped to attempt to resolve all their problems.
This is not a coalition, it merely raises the better off while emotionally reducing further the poor.
Sometimes, barely a line could be drawn between New Labour and Tory policies, but to surrender to the whims of the newly established middle class, created during the Thatcher years, is to totally betray the activists who fought long and hard over decades to build a fair and equal world within the capabilities of a Labour Party based on fairness for ALL.
David, you might see the election of Jeremy Corbyn as a disaster, but the fact that millions, not only across Britain but across the world, have followed his lead in looking towards a more fair and peaceful world can only be inspiring and offer hope for a new future for so many.
Deerlands Avenue, Parson Cross, Sheffield, S5