David, Ed, and Ralph.
September 6, 2010 2:59 PM   Subscribe

In the runup to the British Labour Party's leadership election, John Gray writes about Labour's embrace of (and attempts to tame) capitalism, and what the frontrunners' father might think of it all.
posted by greymullet (7 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
As a card carrying member of a Labor Party I wish we had this system of leadership selection in Australia. Also, I wish we had people like John Gray writing for our newspapers.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 5:08 PM on September 6, 2010

An excellent analysis. As always, though, the question remains: what is to be done?
posted by lalochezia at 5:43 PM on September 6, 2010

* don't fuck up the BBC
* don't fuck up the NHS
* Schools should be good
* don't start any stupid wars

Those would, I think, be the core points.
posted by Artw at 8:17 PM on September 6, 2010 [3 favorites]

love John Gray. One of the first pieces I've read to really get beyond the (now) old joke about Ralph Miliband predicting the Labour party would betray the working class, and his sons proving it (although he more-or-less returns to it at the end). Choice quote for me :
New Labour is obsolete it is not because of the personal defects of Gordon Brown, Blair's delusional moral certainty and incessant war-mongering or even the dysfunctional relationship between the two leaders. It is because American finance-capitalism, the model for virtually everything that New Labour ever did, has blown itself up.
posted by criticalbill at 4:05 AM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

A lifelong Marxist? Really? Even after living past 1989? Do we care what he might have thought? I mean, I don't know anything about the guy, and I'm not saying he's a bad person. But to be a Marxist in 1994 suggests your political analysis is a bit off...
posted by alasdair at 4:43 AM on September 7, 2010

A lifelong Marxist? Really?

It could be worse. He could be one of those reformed trotskyists who now run around blathering libertarian gospel with the confidence that comes from repeatedly making massive mistakes and personally getting away with it while everyone else is screwed. Mind you that lot is a valuable contra-indicator of what is true. Marxists, on the other hand are much less useful since they spend their lifetime being almost, but not quite, right.
posted by srboisvert at 8:36 AM on September 7, 2010

Somewhere along the way, someone seems to have convinced the workers that we are all capitalists now, even though most people still get the vast majority of their income from wages.

Having grown up in the Canadian NDP, nobody ever really seemed to acknowledge the change, but it seemed to me that that's what took the wind out of its sails. It has been scrambling ever since to make itself look more business-friendly, but the boundary between labour and capital, though blurred, will forever be adversarial and they simply can't manage that reality. I suspect Labour is in the same boat.
posted by klanawa at 9:17 AM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

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