Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 11 June 2008

New Labour's parallel universe

In April 1946 George Orwell, author of the anti-Stalinist tribute to the Spanish working class, Homage to Catalonia, and Animal Farm, as well as the profoundly pessimistic 1984, wrote an essay called Politics and the English Language. The main thrust of this work was to expose the character of society that the political language of the day was designed to disguise.

Tony Mulhearn

One wonders what he would make of the present level of political discourse following New Labour's catastrophic showing in the local, London and Crewe elections. The language generally used in the publications of the establishment is designed to confuse.

The desertion of millions of working-class voters is caused, if a wide range of publications is to be believed, by Gordon Brown's lack of a sense of humour, or by his dour personality.

It is now impossible to wade through the dross of political comment without being assaulted by the trite and hackneyed phrases of New Labour apologists.

John Prescott provided a brilliant strategy for staving off the Tories: "Gordon's got to keep going," he said.

Gordon himself: "We've got to give careful consideration to the message from Crewe." Gerraway Gordie!

The Daily Mirror's editor implores: "Mr. Brown and his senior lieutenants must do something!"

Writing in the same paper, Tony Parsons bewails the possibility of a Tory landslide at the next general election. His solution: he excoriates Brown for not connecting with "the real lives of real people". But sugars the pill with the observation that: "No prime minister can do anything about a downturn in the global economy," as though the crazed free-market economics of the Blair/Brown project and their allies in the White House have no bearing on the direction the economy takes.

Harriett Harman utters the pearl: "There are discordant voices within the party." Would you believe it! She should have added: "They are petrified at the prospect of losing their places at the parliamentary pig trough."

The English language is reconfigured by Simon Jenkins writing in the Guardian: "The left gorged itself on power and ignored the privatisation of public investment, the growing inequality, the crazed targetry, the corruption and centralisation of the Blair/Brown era." The term 'left' completely loses its meaning.

Not a single spokesperson of the Brown project mentions the obscenity of the bonuses paid in the City, where the latest wheeze is to pay bonuses to failed job applicants on the grounds that they may be useless but they need compensating for their disappointment.

Even Richard Lambert, director general of the Confederation of British Industry, was forced to recognise that: "The bonus culture has encouraged some to take spectacular short-term risks, confident that if things work out well they will reap huge rewards, and that if they don't they won't be around to pay the price."

It was noted that last year was a record for City fat cats who hauled in 14.1 billion, a near-30% increase on 2006.

John Hutton, minister for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform - a title straight from the Orwell's Ministry of Enlightenment - continues to maintain that: "We should praise great wealth."

Reflecting on New Labour's plight, David Miliband pledged support for Brown then uttered this devastating critique: "There's a bigger debate going on here... the tactics (in Crewe) of lampooning the extremely privileged Tory candidate was a dreadful mistake," not because it was vacuous and devoid of policy, but "because it gave the impression that Labour is no longer the party of aspiration," or the party of the excessively privileged.

The muted voice of the trade union movement is buried in the inside pages of the serious press. The Guardian reported on the TUC's Commission on Vulnerable Employment published the day before the Crewe by-election.

It is a devastating refutation of Brown's defenders who argue that things might be bad but you can't deny Gordon is committed to making poverty history. Well, they've even got that wrong.

The research found that: "The number of poor children living in working households is 1.4 million, exactly the same figure as it was in 1997."

Also "the number of poor working households with children has actually increased by 200,000; Labour promised it would 'make work pay'. It hasn't." This information never penetrates the hermetically sealed parallel universe of New Labour.

They continue to bleat about everything but the real problems flowing from the neo-liberal project. Even the writers who have rediscovered their radicalism still draw back from uttering 'public ownership' or 'renationalisation' or the restoration of party democracy.

Socialist writer Upton Sinclair once famously remarked: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."

The poverty of today's political discourse reinforces Sinclair's observation one hundred fold.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 11 June 2008:

Socialist Party NHS campaign

Stop the NHS sell-off

Banking on NHS profits

My pain - and privatisation


Racist BNP have no solutions!

Socialist Party editorial

Will Obama win?

Obama declares victory, and shifts to the right

Socialist Party campaigns

"Anti-terror" laws are no solution

Defend Tommy Sheridan

Stirring rally backs Tommy Sheridan

Unison witch-hunt hits Northern Ireland

Campaign for a New Workers Party

Come to the Campaign for a New Workers' Party Conference

New Labour's parallel universe

Waltham Forest protest

Them & Us

Socialist Party youth and students

Underfunding youth facilities: It makes no sense!

Socialist Party feature

Oil price shock - the chaos of capitalism

Sudan's poor paying the price for oil

Fast news

Socialist Party review

Immortal Technique at the Coronet, London 4 June 2008

Socialist Party workplace news

Usdaw needs a fighting leadership

Organise to fight the public-sector pay robbery

National Shop Stewards Network second conference

Fujitsu workers strike to save jobs

The costs of privatisation

Brighton bus drivers strike


Home   |   The Socialist 11 June 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

triangleThe end of the Tories?

triangleSalford Unison condemns pay cuts

triangleNasty party out the Tories

triangleDon't wreck our rec! Campaigning to save green space in Standish


triangleFootball abuse scandal: Reclaim the game for justice and accountability

trianglePostal workers march for their jobs

triangleCrewe and Nantwich 'no-win' by-election: Why New Labour lost

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Justice for Tube cleaners demo



Salford Unison condemns pay cuts


Royal Mail

CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike



Carlisle NHS campaigners hand in petition to MP



Don't wreck our rec! Campaigning to save green space in Standish



No more fire deaths - ensure safety now!



Cardiff Socialist Students confront 'Parasite' Jacob Rees-Mogg


John McDonnell

Manchester rally discussed unionisation and nationalisation



Join the Orgreave Halloween rally



Workplace news in brief


Democratic rights

Who's watching who?: The fight for justice, trade union and democratic rights


Northern Ireland

Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs



Too much to cross the Mersey


Royal Mail

Set for national strike action



Supporting the general strike in Catalonia

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle16 Oct Teesside Socialist Party: After the party conferences

triangle17 Oct London: TUC lobby & rally; and London march

triangle18 Oct Warrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangle18 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: 100 years ago - the Bolshevik-led revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice