Edward Miliband and other Labour MPs are keen to tell us that the now old New Labour Party (prior to 2010) “became too disconnected from the concerns of working people". Ed's New New Labour Party, instead, is offering us lots of vague and mushy alternatives to the previous bigoted dismissals of millions of British people.
The Shadow Prime Minister, for example, has said that immigration should now be "properly managed". (Sorry - did old New Labour say that immigration should be improperly managed?) Yvette Cooper has also called for a “sensible” debate on this controversial subject.
There is a problem here for New New Labour.
As soon as individuals or groups (such as UKIP; though many others too) offer the voters concrete – rather than mushy – proposals about immigration, they are still dismissed - by the Labour Party - as being... yes, you guessed.... “close-minded” (Tony Blair's word), “bigots” (Gordon Brown's word) or “racists” (every Leftist's favourite word). So there's no real change there then.
What we have here is the predictable, required and necessary acknowledgement that New Labour had gone way too far with its knee-jerk dismissal of millions of Brits. Indeed New New Labour has even admitted that Gordon Brown's infamously bigoted response to a Labour voter – which nonetheless simply encapsulated the Labour Party's general position – simply wasn't cricket. (Or at least it created too much negative publicity for the Labour Party and for Gordon Brown himself.)
So now the Labour Party is even trying to convince the gullible amongst us that - this time! - things are actually going to be done about immigration. After all, there's an election next year!
The other thing is that the Labour Party has talked tough before; usually just a few minutes before an election. (Not unlike the Conservative Party, then.)
Prior to the 2005 and 2010 elections, for example, the Labour Party gave us some hard talk about controlling the number of asylum seekers. Indeed Gordon Brown even talked about “British jobs for British workers”. (Even this wasn't what it seemed. It wasn't a call to stop immigrants taking British jobs. It was simply about improving the training of British workers.)
And on top of all that, it's still the case that Ed Miliband thinks that the list of “biggest issues” for the next election doesn't happen to include immigration. (It's not even at the bottom of the list.) That list includes, instead, schools, the cost of living and the NHS.
This shopping list for the election, then, appears to be a direct contradiction of the other things Ed Miliband has said on the issue of immigration recently (some of which are noted in this piece). So there's no surprise there then.
Essentially, the Labour Party is in a bind when it comes to immigration.
(The sincere and intricate emptiness of the Fabian Society's own recent pronouncements on immigration – which square very well with what Ed Miliband and co. have recently said on the subject - can be found here.)
Jon Cruddas's Marxist Analysis of Immigration
The Labour Party could go with the Marxist analysis of the immigration situation as offered by Jon Cruddas MP. (No; I'm not saying that Cruddas is a Marxist. I'm simply saying that his analysis is - largely - Marxist.)
To Cruddas (as well as many other Labourites and Leftists), “it's all about jobs, housing and training”. Basically, if everyone had a job, there wouldn't be any critical remarks about immigration.
But what if it isn't “all about jobs”? What if it's also about the behind-the-scenes experiment in mass immigration which the Labour Party carried out between 2000 and 2010, the countless Muslim ghettoes of England, “white flight” from London, Muslim grooming gangs, Roma criminal gangs, parts of England which now look like Karachi or Mogadishu, prejudice or indeed racism towards the white (non-Leftist) working class, the closing down of free speech against Islam and immigration and so on?
If it were all about jobs, then that would mean - on this crude though very common Marxist analysis - that all those who voice concerns about immigration would be unemployed. Yet that is palpably false.
Despite that, it should be stated here that many Leftists say that UKIP, for example, is a “multimillionaires party” (as the SWP-UAF's Sabby Dhalu put it). Of course such Leftists easily get around that small problem with the auxiliary Marxist hypothesis that UKIP - and other such parties - are indeed capitalist or bourgeois (in the old language) in nature: it's just that they manage to hoodwink many unemployed and working class people (all of whom suffer from "false consciousness") into supporting and even voting for them.
Yet that's manifestly untrue too!
Not all the supporters (not leaders) of UKIP are either unemployed or working class. In fact many Leftists - in other contexts and for other political/ideological purposes - have stated that themselves!
Now, if it's not case that all the people who have a problem with immigration are unemployed (or in low-paid work), then that must mean that there are other reasons why so many people are against further immigration. It's precisely those other reasons (as mentioned above) which are rarely – if ever – tackled by the Labour Party. And that's the case either because these reasons don't fit into the Labour Party's socialist/Marxist analysis of racism and immigration; or they are simply deemed to be unacceptable reasons.
John Cruddas further elaborated upon his class analysis of immigration in a 2010 New Statesman article . In that piece he said the Labour Party was “co-opting” the (racist?) “language” of the BNP when it talked tough (though still acted soft) about immigration. At the same time, according to Cruddas, the Labour Party only “pay[s] lip service to the 'white working class'”.
Diane Abbott MP
It's to be expected that an ideological zealot and career anti-racist like Diane Abbot will have none of this new (pretend?) soul-searching from the Labour Party. Predictably, then, this well-documented anti-white racist comes out with sub-Trotskyist stuff which should have died in 1984 (or even well before that).
In the spirit of Gordon Brown (circa 2010), for example, Diane Abbot believes that even to opens one's mouth for one second on the subject of immigration (unless to talk of its supreme and complete beneficence) is to do so from the “gutter”; not from, say, a large house in a leafy London suburb.
What if Dianne Abbot is saying what many Labour MPs believe but don't say? After all, if she were that at odds with Labour Party, she'd have been kicked out a long time ago. (Yes, the Labour Party's a “broad church”; though there's broad and then there's broad.)
You see, because immigration is a non-issue to Ms Abbot, then any talk about it that the Labour Party actually manages to get around to must – it simply must! - be, as she puts it, “in response to the supposed electoral threat from UKIP”.
Diane Abbot also commits this howling non sequitur in a Guardian article.
In response to Ed Miliband acknowledging the blindly-obvious fact that mass immigration is putting various kinds of pressure on many British people, Abbot said that there would be no NHS without immigrants working in it.
And keeping up the Dave Spart logic, Diane Abbot then went on to
(predictably) say the immigration is indeed all about race; just as all criticism of Islam and individual Muslims (according to The Guardian's Seamus Milne) is also... yes, you guessed it... all about race.
So immigration isn't all about jobs after all - it's also about race?... Hold on a minute. Marxism is even more reductionist and essentialist than that. Yes, it's far more neat and tidy.
As I said earlier, according to Marxist theory, people become racists (or, alternatively, become critical of mass immigration) simply because they don't have a job. Thus it's all about race because it's all about jobs.
Although Tony Blair is no longer at the heart of the Labour Party, he once was. And what he says today faithfully concurs with what many in the leadership (though not its “grass roots”) still believe on issues such immigration and the EU.
And like Cruddas earlier, Tony Blair's analysis sees it all in terms of jobs and the fear - or even the hatred - of the post-structuralist Other.
Only last month, for example, Tony Blair said that it is “dangerous and wrong” for politicians to argue - or even hint at - the idea “that what's holding [British people] back is that someone else is coming in and taking their opportunity”. Apparently, that's “not true". Now is that not true simply by (multicult) definition? Is it never the case that a new immigrant takes the job of a British person?
Thus, as mentioned in the Cruddas case, there must be an assumption here that it's the state's responsibility to provide literally everyone with a job – even the UK's very recent immigrants.
Then Tony Blair outdid Gordon Brown's 2010 Bigotgate racism (it would have been classed as “racism” if the collective subjects of Brown's displeasure weren't white) by saying that Brits need to rid themselves of their “closed-minded, anti-immigrant, anti-EU, 'stop the world I want to get off'” attitudes. Yes, according to Blair, Brits must collectively cleanse themselves of their false consciousness. We must become as “open-minded”, pro-immigrant, pro-EU, wise, inclusive, sophisticated, educated, tolerant... and pious and sanctimonious as, say, all Leftists and Blairites are.
We can only hope and pray.