There is no effective Hard Left in British politics

In the blog Left Foot Forward, London-based journalist David Osland writes, “Strictly speaking, Corbyn and McDonnell are not even advocating socialism in the strict sense of the term, namely the dominance of social ownership of the means of production.”

His analysis is correct; the application of Keynesian economics and the re-nationalisation of the railways is radical, but hardly hard left.

No one is calling for the nationalisation of the land, or the seizure of all major industries without compensation and under workers’ control.

The Hard Right

The real issue is the emergence of the hard right, with neo-fascists determined to establish a one party state. They are achieving this by changing the rules on voter registration, gerrymandering the distribution of Parliamentary seats to give them an electoral advantage, and depriving the major opposition party of funds.

They are leaning on the BBC, at a time when its charter is due for renewal. In panic, the BBC labels a Corbyn-led Labour Party as hard left. It is fearful of all those who threaten its status as a publically-funded independent corporation.

As politics lunges to the extreme right, there is the perception that the philosophical centre ground must move with it. But while political alignments might shift, values do not.

‘Moderates’ must reassert their position

The moderates in the Parliamentary Labour Party warn that we must get rid of the Tories to check the damage they are inflicting on the Nation. That is indisputable – but it is does nothing to destroy the economic structure that sustains our increasingly unjust society. The moderates want to maintain the status quo, though with a little more compassion. In effect, they have become the alternative conservatives. In the political spectrum, they are now centre right.

It is the moderates who need to reassess their position. How do they plan to restore economic and political power to the British people? If they were to devote their energies to serious thought rather than to conspiracy, they may discover that there is very little between them and the aspirations of the vast majority of the Labour Party membership.

For earlier articles on this theme read It’s the Economy Stupid and The Great Leap Backwards.