David Osler: 'Labour Party plc - New Labour as a Business'

Martin Spellman mspellman at cix.co.uk
Tue Jan 14 08:00:31 MST 2003

	David Osler, a former Deputy Editor of Tribune, has just published this
book (Mainstream Publishing Company, 1 84018 600 3, UKP 15.99)

	It is a solid piece of research, detailing the links with business. While
Osler is astute the conclusions and analysis are sparse. He says:

	"New Labour is institutionally corrupt, in the same sense that the
Metropolitan Police are institutionally racist. That is not an easy or
comforting thing to say, but after a thorough examination of the evidence,
no other conclusion can logically be reached. It's not enough to take each
individual scandal in isolation, point to the various inquiries that have
exonerated the individuals involved, and argue that no Labour politician has
ever faced criminal charges in any of these cases."

On the oft asked question:

	"There has been much debate in the left press over whether or not Labour
can still be described as a workers' party. The answer is probably  still
'yes'... but only just. Political and financial links with the trade unions,
while much attenuated, remain in place.
	"Moreover, despite its best efforts, Labour is not THE party of business.
Neither are the Conservatives any more. Both can fairly claim to be parties
of business. Britain now has a system not dissimilar from the US..."

 	He argues that Labour's problem is, while the Tories have establishment
networks that go back centuries, Labour has no real organic links with the
ruling class: "most of the controversial donations have come not from the
FTSE 100 crowd, but from the sort of business wide boys still anxious enough
about their social position to pay to shore it up. In many cases they have a
definite policy agenda."

	I'm sure many members of this list will find it a worthwhile read. It is
indexed with two appendices of Corporate and individual donors to Labour

Martin Spellman

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