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Where are the challenges to Tory misrepresentation?

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Chris Bryant Challenges Tessa Munt on BT

ids in denial

Iain Duncan Smith in typical denial








In the 1970s I found my political will, affiliation and belief; socialism, as expressed by Karl Marx and the Labour Party.

During the 1980s and 90s I saw that will and affiliation demonised, not just by the enemy, mainly the Tories, but by my own party as the Labour Party failed to effectively argue their- and my- case and slowly morph, finally emerging with the Blairites into Tory Lite.

Throughout the 1970s and 80s, while I understood the cause, the general population were being convinced by Thatcherite sound bites and false promises.

I maintain that in 1997 the electorate had had enough of the Tories, and Tony Blair did not need to destroy the foundations upon which the Labour Party had been built; the electorate were ready for change so much so that I often quip that Friedrich Engels, Vladimir Lenin or even Marx himself might have stood with a reasonable expectation of electoral success! The alternative was more of the same or Tory Lite- Blairism.

Which brings me to my point; having just watched Thursday evening’s Question Time, I was, to say the least dismayed. Nobody, in my opinion took Iain Duncan Smith to task; I expected better from Ian Hislop.

Salma Yaqoob did, in my view successfully challenge him on his benefits reforms, pointing out he labels poor people scroungers, claims £39 for a breakfast he could well afford to pay for himself, lives on his wife’s estate and has taken £1.5m of taxpayer’s money and commenting “…that’s what I [Salma Yaqoob] call scrounging…” all of which Iain Duncan Smith dismissed with his typical denial, “what a load of old nonsense” and an unconcerned wave of the hand. There are those of us who know Salma was telling the truth; there are those of us who know Iain Duncan Smith, a government minister with whom we trust the running of the country is blatantly lying when he denies such charges.

But Chris Bryant’s failure to destroy the Tories case for the Bedroom Tax was abysmal and can only lead to one conclusion; despite the rhetoric to the contrary, New Labour support austerity.

Chris Bryant challenged Liberal Democrat Tessa Munt on the Bedroom Tax; Iain Duncan Smith interrupted repeating the lie that Labour introduced the Bedroom Tax, referring to Labour’s Local Housing Allowance which is categorically different in concept and practice, the concept being to prevent private landlords from increasing rents on the basis the taxpayer would pick up the bill the practice being it did not relate directly to the number of bedrooms one had, although I concede its effect was to make larger properties with the possibility of having spare bedrooms subject to the legislation.

His failing was to only challenge Iain Duncan Smith on the retrospective aspect of the Tories Bedroom Tax and not to clarify the fundamental differences explained above.

This has been Labour’ and the Socialist movement in general biggest failing in not getting their message across effectively and fully; the electorate hear and empathise with right-wing sound bites which have a ring to them- despite their being half truths and sometimes downright lies. And socialist responses are often to challenge ineffectively as did Chris Bryant on Thursday’s Question Time.

Written by Smiling Carcass

14/06/2014 at 12:12 PM

13 Responses

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  1. Reblogged this on Vox Political and commented:

    Mike Sivier

    14/06/2014 at 1:20 PM

  2. Chris Bryant a socialist? You are having a laugh – though at whose expense I am not sure.
    I let my membership of the Labour Party expire after Iraq and when people ask me why I left the Labour Party my response is that I did not leave it; it left me.
    Current membership cards may say the Labour Party is a democratic socialist party but anyone with the slightest intelligence knows that simply is not true. Labour has abandoned their traditional supporters among working class people in Britain, cozying up instead with powerful interests and elites.
    Was it not Mandelson who said he was “relaxed” about people becoming “filthy” rich?
    What sort of “leadership” does that imply?
    Forget Labour: they are morphed to another part of the oligarchical set up we all now “enjoy” in this country.
    I have joined the Green Party, who are so far to the left of the Labour Party that they now make it obvious just how much Labour has joined in with the conservative consensus in this country, which is why people like Bryant and others in “New” Labour find themselves incapable of offering any kind of constructive criticism of the policies of the coalition government.
    Ian Duncan Smith is right to point out that many of Labour’s policies set the scene for the current austerity policies, which is why trying to split hairs about how many angels dance on the heads of “New” Labour and ConDem policies is absurd. Stop trying to justify the unjustifiable.


    14/06/2014 at 3:28 PM

    • Where did I say Chris Bryant is a socialist?

      In fact, if you read this post, you should see I am saying that New Labour is no longer the party of the people. I am a died-in-the-wool socialist and have been for 40 years.

      I left the Labour party in the early 1980s when I saw, to my dismay the no-liberalist, self serving individuals taking control of my beloved socialist movement.

      No, sir, do not have the audacity to question my commitment to the cause of justice and human rights.

      Smiling Carcass

      14/06/2014 at 11:20 PM

      • The article above concluded with ‘And socialist responses are often to challenge ineffectively as did Chris Bryant on Thursday’s Question Time.’ Does that not imply – at the very least – that Bryant is a socialist?
        However, it seems we are both in agreement that Labour is no longer a socialist party and I did not question your or an anyone else’s commitment to the cause of justice and human rights.
        The main culprit where that is concerned is the ConDem coalition government, which is where your – and my – ire should be concentrated upon. As you and many others have pointed out, the deliberately confusing changes brought about to hinder access to the welfare system, with the attendant numbers of people falling outside the welfare safety net, is clearly deliberate policy by the current government.
        They simply do not care how many people are damaged or even killed as a result of their austerity policies and – regrettably, it has to be said – not one of the three major parties cares about the welfare of ordinary people any more.
        On that point, I am sure, we both share a large degree of unanimity.
        Let’s kick all of the bums out next year wherever we can. Vote Green!


        15/06/2014 at 1:53 PM

      • OK, John I must accept that my wording may be misleading and poor, but this is more semantics than the overall opinion and belief.

        I will add in my defence that one need not be a socialist to portray oneself as such and to give a ‘socialist’ response.

        Smiling Carcass

        20/06/2014 at 11:33 AM

  3. Labour DID introduce the bedroom tax though, those of us in private rentals got butt-fucked under LHA.
    But it didn’t effect the Council house tenants, so that’s OK then…


    14/06/2014 at 3:47 PM

  4. Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    Lobster have argued that it was next to impossible for Labour to win the 1987 election given the way the Social Democrats had split the party. They argue that actually their electoral performance, although appalling at the time, was still very credible considering the circumstances. Michael Foot was undoubtedly too left-wing for most people’s tastes. HIs stance for unilateral nuclear disarmament was principled, but wildly unpopular given that the Soviet Union was still perceived as the enemy and the country was in a militaristic mood after defeating Argentina – with American and Chilean help – in the Falklands War. There were other problems within the Labour party – the factionalism of Militant, and the militant feminism, pro-gay and strident anti-racism of the very radical sections of the Labour party associated with Ken Livingstone. Although far more respectable now, this did lend itself to the kind of sneering about ‘Black lesbians’ and boiler-suited bisexual social workers found in the pages of the Sun. None of this actually discredited Socialism one single bit. However, the Labour leadership under Kinnock after the 1987 election became enamoured of Adam Smith and the free market ideology to the point where much of its leadership does not argue the case for Socialism and welfare provision. There’s a video over at Ian Bone’s site of Ed Milliband being booed at a May Day. He turned up to give his support to a group of anti-austerity marchers after stating elsewhere that he would continue the government’s austerity programme. For all that Milliband has declared that New Labour has come to an end, the central Blairite mentality that neoliberalism is correct and the Labour party must continue to demonstration its abject prostration before economic orthodoxy – persists. I think this also goes back to the Thatcher era, when the Tories repeated like a mantra the claim that high spending by the Labour party would cause inflation and lose jobs.
    Well, Thatcherism was a disaster. It devastated British jobs and wrecked the economy. Except for the rich, who’ve done very well indeed. The case for Socialism can still be and desperately needs to be made. If only the party’s leaders can shake of the legacy of Blair.


    14/06/2014 at 4:55 PM

  5. Reblogged this on stevebmackie and commented:
    The most popular opinion…………….


    14/06/2014 at 5:19 PM

  6. Reblogged this on Methusalada and commented:
    Listening can sometimes be difficult , understanding on what is actually being said can often be confusing . Unto thy own self be true !


    14/06/2014 at 10:30 PM

  7. Unto thy own self be true !

  8. Wasn’t expecting much from Ian hislop. Its become a game now for panellists just to be able to mention the Bedroom tax without Dimbleby changing the subject. That’s about the longest discussion that the Bedroom Tax has had and I think many people asked Chris Bryant to bring it up and he did.. The issue has not gone away and the BBC has tried every which way to avoid a in depth public debate on the subject since it was implemented in 2013.

    Jayson Carmichael

    15/06/2014 at 1:45 AM

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