A policy vaccum as right hoovers up control
The centrist right of the Labour Party is in control – but in control of what? It would appear that they are only interested in settling scores with the left if the policy vacuums at both local and national level are anything to go by.
In the midst of one of the biggest crises in living memory, Starmer is beginning to attract doubters even among his most loyal lieutenants at the Guardian as the Tories continue to maintain a poll lead – despite their corruption, despite 100,000 plus Covid deaths, despite all the evidence of Brexit chaos and damage.
At local level, with elections now seemingly confirmed for May, Sheffield’s Labour Group continues on its merry way denying democracy in the council chamber by refusing to debate motions and with a complete lack of inspiring policies beyond the odd new parking scheme and cycle lane.
The right is obsessed with an anti-approach to policy – oppose everything Corbyn stood for and all will be right in the world again.
Corbyn can be accused of having too many policies in the 2019 manifesto. Starmer and his acolytes in Sheffield seem to be presenting nothing at all.
The evidence locally is also clear – the Sheffield strategy is to pour effort into a few key wards and squeak back into power in May with councillor allowances and power retained.
But it could be different if we only had some inspiration and real politics among those claiming to be leading the Labour Party.
Just take a look at this from Preston Council’s website: “Community wealth building offers an opportunity for local people to take back control, to ensure that the benefits of local growth are invested in their local areas, are used to support investment in productive economic activities and that people and their local institutions can work together on an agenda of shared benefit.”
Preston has been championing this since 2006 - now, at the eleventh hour just 15 years later, Sheffield appears to be trying to hitch its policy direction to this wagon with a policy event on this very subject on 21 February.
Preston’s long-term commitment to community wealth building proves that a Labour Council can provide leadership – even in an area ravaged by the combined forces of Covid, Tory austerity and the Brexit deficit.
So, the lesson in all this? The right is only happy when crushing the left and offers nothing to wider society beyond business as usual in a Tory dominated, neoliberal world. The left cannot achieve any unity with them – it is one or the other – socialism or Blairism? Make sure you know which side you are on.