A dark day for Labour and even worse for the vulnerable.............
This was the statement made to me earlier today on Twitter from Lynn Henderson, Scottish Secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union. (and best wishes to civil service workers on strike tomorrow).
Todays vote in the House of Commons which saw the Labour Front Bench abstain from the Workfare vote was yet another dull thud on the bruised body of the wider labour movement. A timely reminder that the shiny shiny New Labour bureaucrats still have their clammy hands on the tiller to make sure that their managerial agenda for servicing business first, working people second, isn't too compromised in opposition by such tricky things as principled positions.
To stand back whilst the Tory Government unilaterally and retrospectively change the law to ensure the continuation of unpaid labour, and see workers wages undercut by Workfare is a dereliction of duty and against the very principles of the Labour Movement and the historic aims of the Labour Party.
Todays events remind me of Jimmy Reid when he said "I didnt leave the Labour Party, the Labour Party left me", I am sure that there are many who feel like that today. Co-inciding with the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War , it's an unfortunate reminder for many who've stuck with the party despite everything - it's not that there ever was a golden age and the battles between left and right in the party are legendary, but the rights of working people were one of the key principles that the 20th century Labour movement held dear and fought hard for. The Labour party in the 21st century is a different construct and no amount of singing the Red Flag and celebrating its history can hide that, waving banners and turning out to parade on May Day is a faint echo of past struggle rather than a proud celebration of current principles. (With some exceptions that prove the rule).
The Labour Party has a great history, but surely now for many - the party is over