Listening to the interchangable trot (I think it was the head dinosaur at the GMB union, Paul Kenny) the BBC dredged from the 1970's to appear on the 'Today' Program, I was struck by his repeated use of the words "private company". The background is that the Blairite think-tank, Progress, whose mission is to
promote a radical and progressive politics for the 21st century...whatever that means, is structured as a company, not a charity, and it distributes money around the labour party, and somehow this is sinister. But it's the way the Trades Unionist apparently thought "private company" was something everyone would find as distasteful as he that I found striking.
Frankly, I couldn't give a tinker's cuss about how pressure groups, think-tanks and so on are structured. Many in the Libertarian world make much grunting about the fact that the Accociation of Chief Pig Officers is a private company. Of course what matters is the influence, and the quality of thought. And in progress's case it was founded in 1996 by Peter Mandleson, now Lord Fondlebum of Rio, to come up with an answer to the conundrum: The Tories are right on more or less everything, but they make me feel all icky. How can I get Tory policies past the Unions?
Of course Tory policies delivered by people who don't understand why they work was popular until it all blew up. The Labour party was able to win elections under Blair in a way they hadn't been before. Of course, winning elections isn't what the unions want, because they don't believe power should lie in the ballot box, but at the point of production. The Unions want their party back, so they can go back to discussions about how to bring about the inevitable end of capitalism, and when to smite the hammer-blow by calling a General Strike. And to this end, they are trying to get New Labour kicked out of the party, just as the party dealt with the militant tendency in the 1980's. Labour is moving sharply left, and towards a lumpen, municipal socialism of the 1970s. The drabness of the vision is matched only by the unpleasantness of the men who want to lead it.
Ultimately, whatever the polls say now, when the people come to look closely at the labour party in 2015, they are unlikley to like what they see. The polls are a mirage, Ed Miliband is a spineless fool, and Cameron's the luckiest politician in History.