Many on the New Labour right through this question back at Socialists in the party. Here is a reply I put to a New Labour blogger.
An important political reality is the fact that real political power is held by businesses and corporations and not the electorate. It is a failure of New Labour to realise this considering the facts are glaringly obvious. We have falling voter participation in elections which has been brought on by a belief that all governments and therefore all parties are the same.
At the same time we have a shrinking pot of money that governments have to try to utilise to bring in reforms; therefore you have political leaders not promising anything at election times. (its interesting though to point out here that there always seems to be enough money for Iraq, Trident,anti Terrorism, bailing out banks, struggling rail companies and failing PFI stunts, but still what do I know.......)
In the background you have an electorate increasingly aware at the obvious class divisions in society. For example you have super rich city businessmen flaunting their wealth while the employee class is struggling with food price and fuel and utility bill increases. This increase in poverty will affect the very few people that New Labour concentrated on in the marginal seats, middle England.
Labour has wasted their eleven years in power compared to what the Tories achieved in 18 years. The reforms, (ie minimum wage etc) that they did bring in are now hardly noticed by the electorate. The truth is voters vote against a government and not for a government. That was apparent in 1997 as it is in 2008.We are on the brink of another period of Tory government kept in not by so called ‘unwinnable’ left wing policies but by the very same philosophy that won Labour the election in 1997.
Where do we go from here?
The current status quo is unmanageable, unacceptable and unwinnable. Difficult decisions have to be made but in order to halt and reverse the growing class inequality. You say companies will desert the country. Well ask them to close the door behind them then and we will have to run the companies.
It’s simple really. Governments have a duty of care for the electorate and that includes their economic well being. It just needs a bit of 21st century thinking , a 21st Century Socialism.
That is why I think people like John McDonnell MP need to be listened to. No one is listening to New Labour any more.