Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Rise of New Labour: Robin Ramsey

Jonathon Freedland in the Guardian says that the present Labour Party manifesto is really good so why is the electorate going for Tory austerity instead? He says it's because Labour has lost credibility to run the economy because the Conservatives, along with the media, have successfully blamed New Labour for the mess after 2008, when, in fact, all the money had been spent on the bankers. But, say's Jonathon Freedland, Labour had also mismanage the economy in the past and so voters are wary.

Robin Ramsey describes in one of his books -which are not available now - how Ted Heath wanted to reindustrialise Britain to be more like Germany, but this didn't suite the banking sector, so behind the scenes they engineered economic crisis's to undermine the economy, it worked, and Heath's Conservative Party lost the election. They also ensured that Labour under Wilson and Callaghan were unsuccessful too. So the reason for the lack of success of both Heath's Conservative Party and the Labour Party back in the 1970's was not so much failure of policy, but the City of London engineering economic recessions, a run on the pound, and exchange rate crisis's.

Jonathon Freedland mentions none of this probably because the Guardian is not a radical paper at all; and even though some of its journalists may have a slight left bias, they remain entirely acceptable to the ruling elite. Good reporters like, Jonathon Cook and Nafeez Ahmad, got ousted out, and many others never got the job in the first place. This is the same for all the media. I'm not saying that Ramsey, Cook, and Nafeez, don't have their own bias, we all do, but at least we should be able to read different points of view.

Ramsey's books don't seem to be in print anymore, but here's a PDF of a speech he made about the rise of New Labour.


A group within the labour movement had concluded that the key structural conflict in Britain wasn’t between the classes, the Marxist view, but between the interests of the domestic and overseas sections of the economy; which in shorthand boiled down to on the one hand the City and on the other manufacturing.  People wrote essays with titles such as: the City versus industry. This group included Neil Kinnock, as his 1986 book, Making Our Way, shows; and Bryan Gould, who also thought like this, was appointed by Kinnock to chair the committee on economic policy.  Gould’s committee duly produced a detailed analysis of why the bankers had too much power and how to reduce it.
But the Gould committee report was rejected by Neil Kinnock as soon as it appeared.  Gould tells us that just before the report was due to be published a group of Labour MPs came to see him to try and get it stopped or modified. One of them was the then rising star of the back-benches, Tony Blair. This was 1988. 
We still don’t know for sure why the Gould report was dumped: none of those principally involved have explained it. My guess would be simply that the group around Kinnock wanted to get elected more than they cared about the state of the British economy or the fate of its citizens; and having lost two general elections, decided that the bankers were too powerful to challenge.  By this time – 1988/9 –  the City had been largely sold off to American banks in the so-called ‘big bang’ of 1986 and was well on its way to being an extension of Wall Street; and thus to be anti-City of London increasingly meant being perceived as anti-American. 

For whatever reason the policy review document on the economy was abandoned, and Labour began the long process of making itself acceptable to the City of London – even though the City then was only about 4% of the British economy. 
Shadow Chancellor John Smith led what became derisively known as the prawn cocktail offensive, as he toured the City of London’s dining rooms in the years before the 1992 election, promising them that they would get no trouble from a
Labour government.
In some of these dining rooms John Smith was already known: at this point he was on the steering committee of the Bilderberg group, some of whose regular attenders are bankers. 
But this ass-kissing was to no avail: Labour lost again in 1992. Neil Kinnock resigned and John Smith won the leadership election, defeating Bryan Gould, the leader of the anti-banker tendency within the parliamentary Labour Party. My branch of the Labour Party was one of the few which voted for Gould. Gould’s loss to Smith was the end of the anti-banker tendency in the Labour movement. 
Under John Smith, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown became shadow front bench spokesmen and were widely seen as the coming men. When John Smith died in 1994, Blair took over and NuLab began to form. 
The central fact remains: the party of Clement Attlee, Harold Wilson, Barbara Castle and Jack Jones, largely funded by the trade unions, chose as leader someone [Tony Blair], as well as being Mrs Thatcher in all but name, is the godfather to one of Rupert Murdoch’s children, never saw a powerful arse he couldn’t kiss, and, most striking of all, hated the Labour Party and everything it stood for. 


  1. Interesting.

    My line has been that the bankers have to be the target and brought to heel. If you can limit their power then you free up huge space for public spending.

  2. Hm, this might be quotable if you didn't spell "crises" as "crisis's".

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