The Labour party has a dual personality - Jekyll and Hyde. On one hand is the humorous working class respectability (well till recently anyway) epitomised by John 'shagger' Prescott (and at the edges is Dennis Skinner), and it is fair to say they represent parts of the left wing of capital. On the other, there are blatant pro-capitalists such as Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. This has been the case since the 'working class aristocracy', the skilled artisans, mainly, set up the Labour party around 100 years ago, but the practice is more blatant now.
Bureaucrats are now tasked with promoting every initiative as something creative, new, that gives 'best value', and is really in the interests of all of us – despite all the contradictory evidence that this is not the case. In the process of Government this means that when New Labour promises 'independent' research processes, inquiries and consultations, it really means the agenda has already been set, and what counts for evidence and 'who speaks the truth' has previously been decided.
Official politics today is 'Machine politics' - the professionalism of party politics took politics away from the people. Now spin doctors, advisers and researchers spend millions on presenting the decided image of the moment, this is very top down politics and the people are not meant to have any say in the intrigues of those politicians, all of them, who value themselves and their opinions above ordinary people. Instead of democracy, what there is, is an 'Elected Dictatorship', where Blair can do what he wants regardless of the wishes of the people.
The Labour Party has always compromised with the capitalist state
This state of affairs has had a prolonged shelf life partly because the working class radicals within the Labour party mistook the appearance, for the substance, of power. In other words, mesmerised by the potential of exercising limited power they were like rabbits staring into headlights, and so there was little discussion ensuing about the long-term implications of managing the capitalist economy post World War II as the juggernaut of global capital rolled over and past them. This is either in terms of what is the purpose of political activity, or about the real nature of socialism.
Our founding ancestors, those who struggled to form Trade Unions, who resisted the enclosures, who smashed machines because they took their jobs, who formed the 'Triple alliance', who took part in the General strike, who fought against the Nazis, who struggled in situations of dire poverty and so on... Did not do so to see their vision of solidarity, equality and liberty (in short, authentic socialism) sold out by New Labour bosses.
Everything that has a beginning has an end
As time wore on, the very nature of the Labour party relationship with the unions, based as it was upon a false and contradictory premise, became clear. That there can never be a long term negotiated peace with capital. Not all is lost however.
Now with several unions and many individual members are refusing allegiance with the modern corporate 'New' Labour party and other signs of the British '2 party constitution' being brought into crises. The future of revolutionary and radical working class politics has opened up once more, away from bureaucratic sell-outs and towards working class self-determination. Progressive forces must try to seize the moment and become part of the realignment of radical politics that is happening right now. Let's do it.