I have reached the stage – to be honest, I think I’ve been there for a decade but didn’t quite realise it – where I no longer GAF about belief-system ideology, I just want to know (in a Bentham/Mill functional sense) ‘Is it going to work for the greater good?’
The greater good is what separates me – and millions like me – from the cynical dissembling of the neoliberal élites….now in such obvious panic as they careen from one insoluble problem to another. But it is, curiously, also what separates me from the Labour Party. Because the majority of tents pitched in the Labour Camp insist that – unless I reconfirm a commitment to socialism I never had in the first place – my opinion is worthless. Compass is a left-leaning organisation that seems to be at least (at last?) trying for a greater level of engagement with anti-neolib decency groups that don’t buy into the absolute Truth of socialism. It posted a piece along the lines of Where Are We? today, and invited input from all shades of opinion.
This is the comment thread I left there:
‘While I applaud what Compass does – and welcome the surge for Jeremy Corbyn – I think Labour needs to wake up to some electoral realities that are largely self-inflicted.
The pompously dismissive way in which the Ed Miller Band responded to radical Scottish Nationalism means that, effectively, without a clear cooperative deal with the SNP, we will have a corporacratic government in the UK ad nauseam. But if Scotland secedes, Labour will have to start not just engaging with people like me, but actively convincing me that a force with good intentions is open-minded about how the goals can be achieved.
I reject Left v Right trashing contests as utterly irrelevant to the multivariate changes that lie ahead. I am for a restoration of decency in personal values and public life, and am a communitarian mutualist who believes in the protection of small creative business with a responsible culture.
I am not for an NHS that hasn’t been ‘our NHS’ since the early 1960s – I am for a protection of the NHS from both Government and Bourse capitalism insurance models of health provision.
When Labour opinion leaders use the word ‘progressive’, I worry about this assumption of ethical monopoly: without a reappraisal of what is good and ill-conceived about soi-disant progressive policies, Labour is never going to attract anyone who is (for example) anti-corporate State but not Socialist in most senses of the term.
I have banished myself from the UK to carry on harassing Camerlot from a safer distance; getting me into a Syriza-style rainbow ought to be a doddle, but it isn’t going to happen if the majority of the Labour Party is still either Blairite sellout media-trained on the one hand, or left-left-&-more-left on the other.
I didn’t vote last time because I knew what was coming. But I would vote for an inclusive Alliance that didn’t call itself Labour. The mass-Labour collectivist solidarity age is dead: the task now is to protect small, vulnerable and mutual.
Ditch the polemic syntax, and move ahead to a future of local self-help as the real answer to heartless globalised fiscal Bourse capitalism.
And very sincerely, good luck.’