Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Decline of Neo-Labour - A Bristol Angle

Listening to an interview with Hazel Blears, the Neo-Labour party chair on the radio as she blathered about how democratic the party was, citing a local party debate they had organised about the Trident Replacement as an example of it, I wondered what the Bristol Labour Party had to say on the issue of the succession of a new leader. Doubly revevant as she was saying her role, if elected, would be to look to the party grassroots. Now I know a number of local parties have websites or blogs telling people what they are up to; For example if you google 'bristol lib dems' you get or same for 'bristol green party' you get and both sites seem to be busy hubs of party political activity. (I did not Google the Tories, because, well uurrgggh!!!) So I googled 'bristol labour party' and the top link is to which when you click on it takes you to an odd page which has loads of lines (linked to and then in big red writing 'Bristol Labour Party' which links to the national party page. I checked on who wrote the site and who owns the domain and both are tagged to 'Kelvin Blake' Kevin was a Labour councilor and has had to rebuild his life after being involved in a nasty accident. He told the Evening Post that he hopes to become an MP despite being paralysed from the waist down. I guess the point of this is how much in decline Neo-Labour must be. We hear of it hemorrhaging members - and unless I missed it in my searches - the local web presence seems to be a good analogy for the decline to Neo-Labour as a whole; "But when those who have let their membership lapse for the past six months are discounted as well, the figure stands at 190,000: the lowest since Ramsay MacDonald split the party in the 1930s and a drop of 25,000 in the past six months." I hope its more than a decline, I hope the whole Neo-Labour mess sinks into the Iraq-infested quagmire of its own making and so leaves the stage clearer for more progressive political movements.

ON the subject, I was more than a little surprised to find out that the Co-op Bank have been giving lots and lots of loans to Neo-Labour to help it out of its financial black-hole (As have the Unity Trust Bank, AMICUS and Lloyds Bank). It seems to me that it is a clear aggregation of their own ethical policy - as they say they won't fund the bomb makers, yet are happy to loan money to people who are giving the orders to drop bombs? Come on Co-op, sort it out!

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