A timely book about the Labour Party by CLPD Chair Gaye Johnston Print E-mail
Sunday, 09 October 2016 14:27

New Labour: Was the Gain Worth the Continuing Pain:

What the New Labour Heresy Did to a Democratic Socialist Party and how that impacts on Corbyn's Labour Party today

by Gaye Johnston

Michael Meacher MP wrote in his foreword to the book: "This is a systematic analysis of the biggest internal coup d'etat in the history of the Labour Party. It exposes the mechanisms behind the New Labour take-over and focuses on the sinews of power and how they were perverted to maximise the Leadership's control for its own purposes. --- What makes this book so important is that it is an honest, detailed and highly readable account of what went so badly wrong and what safeguards need to be put in place to ensure that it cannot happen again."

The book examines the values, aims, policies, achievements and failures of the New Labour Project/Government and compares and contrasts these with those of the Labour Party and its governments in earlier years. "Old "Labour promoted values and policies designed to create a more socialist and equal society. However, the predominant aim of New Labour was winning elections as an end in itself. No price was considered too high to pay to achieve that end.

In terms of Party governance: New Labour was far less committed to Party democracy than were its predecessors. The contribution of grass roots and trade union members to policy making and party administration was severely downgraded to the resentment of those groups. There follows an in-depth examination of how the Parliamentary candidate selections were rigged up until the 2010 election and frequently afterwards. This explains the large Blairite /right wing majority in the contemporary Parliamentary Labour Party. Virtually all this information about candidate selections is new and has not been previously published.

More than 80 Labour Party members, from the New Labour era, were interviewed in depth. These included: 27 MPs, 27 Constituency Secretaries (from  most UK regions),7 trade union leaders (including Len McCluskey and Billy Hayes), 14 excluded (non-New Labour) Parliamentary hopefuls, former Party staff and grass roots activists. MPs interviewed included Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, Jon Cruddas, Clare Short, Michael Meacher, Frank Dobson, Lyn Jones, Katy Clark, Kelvin Hopkins and Graham Stringer.

For further information, please refer to the website: www.gayejohnston-writer.com

To buy the book at a bargain introductory price on Kindle go to:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01LYD2JK2