‘You claim you wanted strong leadership. I give it to you.
‘I have an overwhelming mandate from members to lead this party, and I am using it now.
‘I am purging all Blairites from the party. Resign or be sacked. The choice is yours. I give you one day to decide which it will be.
‘For those who require clarification of the term “Blairite”, I use the term to mean those apologists for neoliberalism who sought to align themselves with the so-called elite, to talk about the importance of appeasing big business and the markets, rather than of addressing the fundamental underlying cause of ever-widening inequality and the genuine suffering of many.
Collusion and fascism
‘You have colluded with the super-rich, who seek to scapegoat the weakest and most vulnerable in society for the consequences of their own greed and short-termism. This is evil, a word I use advisedly.
‘Your collusion has contributed to a drift towards fascism. You have let down the people of the UK, and the people of the world. You have no place in the Labour Party. Leave now.
‘For those who require clarification of the term “neoliberalism“, this poisonous philosophy, which we should have been much more explicit in explaining and condemning, has five main elements:
- the rule of the market,
- cutting public expenditure for social services,
- privatisation, and
- eliminating the concept of ‘public good’ or ‘community’.
‘None of these contributes to public wellbeing in the long run. All of them are claimed to help (at least) the short-term profits of multinational companies, but even this is questionable as a universal truth, and they certainly do not help them in the long run. I refer you to Ha-Joon Chang’s 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism.
The rancid heart
‘Neoliberalism is based on neoclassical economics, and this spurious “science” is a self-referent, hermetically sealed, theoretical discipline, based mainly on the assumption that people can be thought of merely as autonomous and selfish actors, interested only in their short-term material gain. It is not based on empirical evidence. Indeed, as Ha-Joon Chang and many others have demonstrated, it is nonsensical.
‘This nasty and false assumption – of the essential selfishness of people, and the non-existence of community – lies at the rancid heart of nihilistic neoliberal dogma. It is totally at odds with the founding values and traditions of the Labour Party.
‘There is no excuse for not knowing these things. There is no excuse for not acting on them. Alas, neoliberalism has also fostered a cancerous anti-intellectualism and so many people are now not only ignorant, but wilfully so, and this brings me to my next topic: education.
‘We shall simplify and reform the education system. Teachers will be given the best possible training, and then respected for the professionals they are, and largely trusted to get on with it.
‘Children will start formal education at 7. Before this age there will be informal, play-based education only. There will be an emphasis on outdoor education throughout. We shall drastically reduce the number of tests and exams.
‘We shall focus not on providing fodder for the ever-fickle jobs market, but instead on producing happy, resourceful, resilient and responsible global citizens, citizens who speak at least two languages fluently, and who are equally at home in – and see no boundaries between – the arts, humanities and sciences. Above all, we shall produce citizens equipped to tackle the real challenges of our century, not least climate change. Citizens, not consumers!
‘In this way we shall eliminate the silo mentality of so-called experts, whose blinkered views of one tiny aspect of a field do not allow them to see or address the wide consequences of their pet projects or see beyond their own short-term financial interests.
‘Such cancerous anti-intellectualism is demonstrated by the proponents of GM crops. These thin-end-of-nothingers are doing the biosphere a huge disfavour and bringing science into disrepute.
‘In conclusion, comrades – and I use that word advisedly – from now on we shall offer a solid, evidence-based alternative to neoliberalism rather than collude with it.
‘We shall address the real cause of people’s suffering.
‘We shall not shy away from explaining all this. We shall halt the pernicious dumbing-down of society. For now on, we shall “intelligent-up”!
‘Are you with me, or are you against me?’
Footnote: most Labour Party members are for him. Jeremy, don’t let them oust you because of Iraq.