Tim Newark: Lessons from British Marxists to America—BEWARE!
Guest post by Tim Newark, UK political commentator
With the return of one-time Trotskyist Militant member Derek Hatton, the UK Labour Party under its current leader, Jeremy Corbyn is flaunting its hard-left credentials and alienating millions of more moderate voters.
It’s bad enough to lose eight MPs over relentless bullying by its own hard-line activists, but for Labour to choose in the same week to allow Mr Hatton (a Trotskyite) back into the party—33 years after he was expelled for his radical behaviour—it is most certainly sticking two-fingers up at all decent, moderate Labour voters.
It is car-crash politics at its most unforgiving and reveals how out of touch the Labour party leadership is with normal voters.
The ruling National Executive Committee (NEC), overtaken by Corbynistas, could not have chosen a figure more emblematic of the dark days of Labour in the 1980s when a shift to the far left made it unelectable and allowed Margaret Thatcher to trounce the unreformed socialists in three election victories.
And it’s not as though the 71-year-old Hatton has mellowed in his old age.
The very reason he is keen to be back in the Labour party now is because of Jeremy Corbyn’s old-style socialism.
No fan of Tony Blair’s successful reform of Labour, it is precisely the victory of the Momentum bullyboys and girls that has attracted him back to his old party.
“In all my time I have never witnessed such passion, such energy and such powerful socialist leadership,” he said last year. “Many people, myself included, probably never thought we would witness an unswerving socialist like Jeremy Corbyn at the helm.”
“I was brought up believing the Labour Party was the political arm of the trade union movement,” he declared in the Liverpool Echo, “and however hard Blair tried to change that, it is, and always has been, the case.”
Well, he must be very happy now as once more it is union barons like Len McCluskey that help direct policy within Corbyn’s hard core socialist party.
Let’s not forget that Corbyn’s reluctance to back a second referendum and tacitly support Brexit, backed by McClusky, is because both believe that once they are out of the EU there will be no authority that can stop them turning the UK into a socialist haven with massive re-nationalisation and where trade unions rule the roost.
It’s worth reminding ourselves of exactly why Labour leader Neil Kinnock chose to expel Hatton from his party three decades ago.
Back in 1983, Hatton was deputy leader of Liverpool City Council and a member of Militant, a Trotskyist organisation that had infiltrated the mainstream Labour party.
Liverpool council refused to increase rates and then set an illegal “deficit budget” in which Hatton and his Militant supporters spent £30 million more than the council had, claiming it was merely taking back grants “stolen” by the Thatcher government.
It caused great concern and suffering for Liverpudlians employed by the council and Kinnock homed in on that in a now famous speech at a Labour conference in 1985.
“I’ll tell you what happens with impossible promises…” said Kinnock of Hatton’s regime. “You end in the grotesque chaos of a Labour council—a Labour council—hiring taxis to scuttle round a city handing out redundancy notices to its own workers.”
It was the defining image of left-wing chaotic extremism that did for Hatton and helped put Labour on the road to more moderated policies.
Then as now, the ridiculous antics of the hard-left alienated a lot of mature, patriotic working class voters who believed that it was the Conservatives who, despite the socialist rhetoric, offered a better prospect for Britain and its working people.
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was a truly populist politician in that she understood that center-left voters could be attracted to a Conservative party that reached out beyond its traditional privileged backers to offer real opportunity to working people to better themselves by buying their own council houses and reforming out of control militant trade unionism.
With Corbyn’s Labour cracking up in 1980s-style, more than ever the UK needs a Tory leader with a popular touch who can unite the country behind a patriotic, positive vision of a Brexit Britain that helps everyone willing to work hard enough –whatever their background.
If the Tories can have the sense to elect a truly populist leader in the best sense then the threat of a Marxist realm under Corbyn will be banished forever—and we might just have a resurgent Derek Hatton to thank for that.
There’s nothing like having a pantomime villain from the past reminding us where we need to be heading for a safe, prosperous future.
American should beware its own burgeoning Marxist socilaists.
*This is an edited extract from an article originally published in the UK Daily Express