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Friday, 24 July 2015

Another SDP style split?

John Mills, one of the Labour party’s biggest benefactors, says wealthy supporters could withdraw backing if Corbyn wins leadership election

John Mills, one of Labour’s biggest donors

Another pseudo Blairite threatens Labour party members to vote for the proper, (ie his preference, Kendall), candidate or else. No doubt John Mills is also one of those siren voices bleating that "the Unions" have too much influence in the Labour party because of the money they donate to party the organisation.
(Mills is another of those hypocrites who conveniently forget that the Labour party was created by the TUC not by a privileged bunch of rich businessmen or women).

The "Gang of Four"

In 1981, Roy Jenkins,David Owen, William Rodgers and Shirley Williams led a few other MP's and some part voters, off into the sunset to form a "new" party , paradoxically called the Social Democratic Party or SDP. The overriding reason for this departure was that they could not bear the democratic reforms that the Labour party had introduced in structure, MP selection, policy making and other measures to give the wider membership of the party a greater role. The "Gang of Four" and their small band of followers, realised that they could no longer always have their own way and command complete subservience of other MP's and the party members. In David Owen's case, he realised that his long held dream of being party leader and Prime Minister was completely shattered when the party decided to have the leader elected by the party rather than solely by the Parliamentary Labour Party MP's.

Labour leadership candidates: 2015

Today's leadership election has some remarkable similarities to the situation as existed in 1981.
The "right" of the PLP together with elements of "business interests" and some party members are terrified at the prospect of the "wrong" candidate being elected as leader and thereby losing their positions of comfort and influence. By spreading smear, innuendo, lies and intimidation, they believe that they can somehow retain their own position in the Westminster bubble. In this campaign of distortion and threat, they are more than adequately supported by the media and television and selected "public opinion" interviews and comment from people who are not even members of the Labour party and frequently hold memberships of very different political groups.
Why then should there be any discomfort for the Labour party generally when some vested interest or other, be they MP's, business "leaders", elements of the media or even a combination of all three, predict that there will be another "SDP-style split in the party"?
It has happened before and the party was a better place for their leaving. Now today's descendants of the "Gang of Four" threaten to leave if they do not get their own way.
They will not be missed. Within a few short months, the SDP was absorbed by the Liberal party and everyone knows what happened to them.