Sunday, May 01, 2005


I pointed out at some length a week ago that the further back you go in history the more "Rightist" Leftists appear to have been. Below are some excerpts from a recent essay on the history of the British Labour Party that bear that out. Leftists will use for their own aggrandisement whatever attitudes they see as popular at the time -- from revolution for an angry and much put-upon Russian working class in 1917 to mere sound-good crisis management for the calm and practical British -- though both may be against the long-term best interests of the people concerned. If you think long-term, you are a conservative.

"Patrick Diamond, editor of the recent book New Labour's Old Roots, argues that the germ of New Labour existed from the start. There has been a strong pragmatic streak in the Labour Party, with a succession of modernisers who, like Blair, freely adapted their politics to the needs of the times. The Labour Party was never a hotbed of theoretical analysis, preferring instead those British values of practical application and common sense.

There weren't many hotheaded radicals among Labour's old leadership, most of whom preferred a go-slow, God-fearing version of 'socialism'. ' an excellently conceived and resolute effort to Christianise government and society', judged Labour leader Ramsay MacDonald, during the party's radical, formative years in the early twentieth century

Even Clement Attlee's 1945-51 reputedly Labourist 'golden age' was pretty prosaic at heart, playing the primary role of restoring profitability in the British economy. Attlee maintained rations, introduced wage restraint in 1948, sent troops to break strikes and imprison militants, and devalued the pound in 1949. ....

When it came to foreign policy, Labour ministers were at least as gung-ho in defending British interests as were the Tories. The recent speeches made by Labour members in parliament about the party's long-standing anti-war tradition have little basis in fact. Attlee was in power in 1945 when Britain's ally America dropped the A-bomb on Hiroshima, and he ordered the development of the British bomb without consulting the cabinet, never mind parliament....

(I have corrected the author's spelling of "Attlee" above. She gave it as "Atlee")


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