Video: Reeves schooled during radio phone-in over lack of hope and vision

Vision vs vacuum: red Tory shadow chancellor reminded forcefully that the problems post-war government solved were far greater than now

Attlee and Reeves: vision vs vacuum

Right-wing Labour shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has been, at least briefly, forced to stare into the moral and political black hole that she and her boss represent when a caller to an LBC radio phone-in confronted the red Tory party over its lack of hope, vision or ambition – and with the stark contrast between their excuses for having no plans and the dire financial situation that faced the Attlee government that built the NHS and the welfare state in the aftermath of the Second World War:

Reeves – listed as a Tory MP by at least one major US news network – has frequently been slammed for her right-wing, heartless positions – including:

and more.

While it’s enjoyable to see her confronted by a dose of truth, there’s no doubt that she and her boss are no more fit to govern than the despicable Tories they are determined to emulate.

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  1. The clip leaves us hanging as to what, if anything Reeeves said in reply (I got the sense that Dale was closing down the speaker)

    1. Absolutely right Tim White – it looks very like Dale is covering for her- typical LBC.
      I would have loved to have heard her answers because the caller really did call her out on the Tory policies she and Starmer are pushing in their attempts to out-Tory the Tories.
      Clearly they have nothing at all to offer in the way of either policies or principles so we’ll get a Tory government whether Starmers Labour or the Tories win the next election.

  2. The Attlee government wasn’t perfect but it had what Starmer lacks: a moral vision. Reeves believes in expediency, as all economic determinists do. We don’t arrive at moral ends without making moral choices but Reeves sees economics as a push-me-pull-you, morality-free zone. The left needs to push the moral case for change: we share a common humanity and gross disparities of wealth and power are an insult to human nature. The rest is flummery.

    1. And Reeves is so dim, that in her Thatcherite betrayals – suggesting Labour is not the Party of the Welfare Poor – she is blissfully unaware that the post-war welfare system was the invention of Harold Wilson’s 1964 Labour government.
      Reeves could lose an intellectual contest with her own inanimate handbag.

  3. That most definitely wasn’t wee Stevie nonsense making THAT call.

    As for dale – he’s as fooking hopelessly dull as any smarmer utterance, and just as annoying.

    Boring tosser.

    1. Toffee – Did you listen to Dawn Butler’s excellent 1hr interview on Dale’s show at 8pm this evening? 😉

      1. I might not have pissed off to the Caribbean (allegedly) but for what it’s worth, I have something resembling a life.

    2. Thanks Toffee. I’d welcome the presence of a reasonable figure arguing from a centre right perspective but Dale continually both fails to acknowledge that his view is as partial as any other (his opening salvo on the Tate matter seeks to close it down rather than offer a counter-perspective) and is also subservient to his publishing business (that gave us the wholly unsubstantiated Cameron pig head story).

  4. I think the media are allowing these previously suppressed voices to ask questions because they’re sensing Labour’s lack of differentiation is going to become a real problem in any GE campaign. We’ve seen numerous normally Starmer supportive Guardian columnists producing columns recently, questioning Labour’s whole purpose; if not redistribution of wealth and power, then what does the party exist for? No one would invent a party that simply wishes to imitate their rival.

    Labour went from 25% to 40% after a short campaign in 2017, because they did have a radical programme offer, one that many voters, especially younger voters, liked the look of and were genuinely enthused by. 2019 was the Brexit election, barely any other issue could get a look in.
    Policies and differentiation really do matter, enthusiasm drives turnout. Today, Labour lead by an average of around 14%, which seems comfortable enough, but it’s a lead built on sand and it only takes a 7% direct switch to the Tories from Labour, and the two parties are suddenly neck and neck. A bad campaign, with Starmer floundering, having awkward run-ins with members of the public calling him a liar – to which he’s clearly unable to respond as it’s true. All this will see them falling back day by day, maybe he’ll also performing badly in a TV debate or two? This along with arrogant Reeves flailing about for answers like this embarrassing episode on LBC, and who’d bet against New Labour 2.0 throwing it away in the campaign, Kinnock style, à la ’92?

    1. Meanwhile, yesterday The Guardian published a letter by Mary Mellor, Emeritus Professor at Northumbria University, where she teaches social theory responding to this Guardian piece:


      “Both your editorial (The Guardian view on the UK falling apart: Labour must reject the orthodoxy that caused it to crumble, 4 September) and Owen Jones are right to be concerned that the Labour party is disappearing down a neoliberal rabbit hole. Unwilling to challenge the inequalities of market economics, Labour is only left with the hope of a level of growth that seems increasingly unlikely. A pluralist economics would recognise the weaknesses of a market that encourages greed and opportunism, while people drown in debt and a cost of living crisis. It would also be aware of the extent that the market relies on state investment and spending – witness the massive state rescues in the 2007-08 financial crisis and the pandemic.

      Neoliberals may reject this as believing in magic money trees, but the demonstrated power of the state to create and circulate such huge sums of money must be the key to an economics based on fairness and social justice. The aim would be to create true wealth as wellbeing – what could be called “wellth”.”

      As matters stand the so called “choice” on offer in the UK and throughout the collective West (a minority of the global population – but hey, don’t fret as we are apparently part of the ‘Garden’ rather than part of the ‘Jungle, which doesn’t count) is between several brands of the same failed and not fit for purpose product.

      You can have any brand of cola but water is off limits as its “unrealistic” on the grounds that throughout the West, as Caitlin Johnson observes of the USA:

      “The US doesn’t have political parties, it has narrative control ops disguised as political parties. One of them overtly promotes capitalism and imperialism by appealing to Americans’ worst impulses, the other covertly diverts healthy impulses back into capitalism and imperialism.

      An elephant and a donkey fight in a puppet show and the crowd cheers for one or the other while thieves pick their pockets. And when people start to notice their wallets are missing, they’re told they can stop the pickpocketing by cheering louder for their favorite puppet.

      People ask why the Democrats never codified Roe vs Wade into law, and the answer is, because that’s not their job. Their job is not to enact the policies you elected them to enact. Their job is not even to win elections. Their job is to keep you staring at the puppet show while the empire has its way with the world.”

      A puppet show where, as economist Michael Hudson observes, the State is subordinate to an Oligarchy and its minority interests rather than the other way around – which is the way a system with realistic efficacy works.

      “Winning” for winnings sake and continuing with the same failed assumptions and approaches ain’t going to change that reality no matter how much spin and bullshit the hard of thinking try to put on it with their perception management.

      Now what was that observation often attributed to Einstein?…………

      1. “An elephant and a donkey fight in a puppet show and the crowd cheers for one or the other while thieves pick their pockets. And when people start to notice their wallets are missing, they’re told they can stop the pickpocketing by cheering louder for their favorite puppet.”

        Absolutely and apologies in advance if I now go on to do no more than say the same thing less succinctly. It is difficult to assign the terms ‘left’; and ‘right’ to mainstream politics as the two opponents have now joined forces and, comfortable in the knowledge that power will oscillate between them, have conjoined into an entity that ensures that it is ever thus. The limitations of a two party system degenerate into paralysis when there is actually just one party, with politics reduced to a less colouful version of WWE. The counter to this is creating consensus around the polarities that have driven parties into power previously, not just ‘Kick out the Tories’ but also ‘Keep out Labour’ and from this nurture many disparate entities that necessarily have to acknowledge and accommodate perspectives outside of their belief system. And such is the fragility of this that the interests of the people need to be understood and pursued rather than simply ignored. I would conclude with the sentiment ‘Let a thousand flowers bloom’ but that didn’t turn out so well.

      2. The economic realities are one thing, that is if we believed there was ever the real intent, albeit frustrated by financial realities. But there isn’t such an intent, Starmer has taken off the mask and has stated openly that he never intended to do those things he pledged in the leadership campaign. Most obnoxious of all, is him rowing back on progressive policies that are either cost neutral or actually save money. These despicable U-turns leave the door open to the Tories to return in five years.

        Starmer has U-turned on cost neutral democratic /constitutional reform. He won’t allow primaries of open selection, instead protecting bad MPs by giving them ‘safe’ seats for life. The US uses FPTP or winner-take-all too, but they at least mitigate it with primaries, whereby lousy, unpopular unrepresentative politicians can be replaced in a fair democratic contest.

        HoL reform and his promise of abolition.. dropped. He won’t countenance PR for Westminster despite members and unions voting for that – apparently, his is the only vote that counts. He won’t commit to a Corbyn-esque dovish foreign policy, one less subservient to the global hegemony seeking US (4% of the world’s population – yet they act like they’re 94%) It’s their broken two-party system that spawns such ‘exceptional’ arrogance. There’ll be endless money from Starmer and Reeves for wars and proxy wars at the hypocritical US’s behest, no doubt. Russia’s brutal occupation condemned; Israel’s brutal occupation applauded. Consistency zero, it’s pure smirking hypocrisy. And it’s why most of the world despise us.

        Starmer’s duplicity is off the charts, literally everyone should be demanding that he steps down. If members had an ounce of courage he’d be gone. I can’t imagine any other European country giving a supposedly leftist party leader the luxury of lying to become leader then allowing them to push ever further right. So why this silly deference for such a rotten man?

  5. who’d bet against New Labour 2.0 throwing it away in the campaign, Kinnock style, à la ’92?


    And with the right dug in like an Alabama tick, who’d bet against keef’s replacement having an ideology discernably and obviously different from the greasy one?

    Some called Ed Moribund ‘Red Ed’ … And what did he offer? Yep. ‘Austerity lite’.

    And he’s supposedly ‘soft left’ these days, despite being just another smarmer suckhole.

    No. The party – as it was brought into existence to be – has gone. It won’t be coming back.

  6. Guardian

    Zelenskiy and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday discussed ways in which Israel can support Kyiv in its conflict with Russia.

    Imagined phone call….

    Zelensky : “You know a lot about brutal illegal occupation, where a more powerful army attacks a near defenceless population, yes?”

    Netanyahu : “Er…well, how to conduct that yes, how to stop it, err…sorry no.”

    Western hypocrisy … The purest hypocrisy in the world.

    And Labour want to be part of that hypocrisy.

  7. I didn’t see the interview, but I am told that Reeves wittered on about “economic growth”.
    They seem to think that the situation the UK is in can be remedied by more wine bars and Prat a Mangers. And borrow, borrow, borrow. Meanwhile, the price of food, fuel and accommodation goes up and up.

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