Deliverance Day minus 8. History has a habit of repeating itself, but with a new twist. Jimmy Carter was a one term President of the USA from 1977 to 1981. Within the Democratic Party there was some dissatisfaction and in 1980 he was strongly challenged for the nomination by Edward Kennedy. Carter beat Kennedy but then went on to lose the presidential election to Republican Ronald Reagan. Democrat Barack Obama was elected in 2008 and inaugurated as President in 2009 for a term expiring in 2013. There will be a US presidential election in 2012 and it is beginning to look as though there will be a repeat with a one term Democrat President. The questions about Obama’s birth and eligibility have not subsided, and Obama and the Democratic Party are not coming up with any satisfactory answers. A number of States have brought in legislation that will ensue that these questions will have to be answered before Obama’s re-nomination can be endorsed. Those on the inside of the Democrats organisation are worried that if it is found that he was not eligible it will bring in to question his actions as President over the whole of his term and could create a constitutional crisis. To avoid this Hillary Clinton is being encouraged to make a strong challenge for the Democrat nomination just as Edward Kennedy did. The twist will be that where Kennedy failed, Clinton will win. But will she go on to win the presidential election? It all depends on who the Republicans nominate. Nobody thought that Reagan, a Hollywood actor, could beat Carter but he did because he had a popular grass-roots appeal. Sarah Palin has that same appeal and this is being cultivated. Liberals in the UK cannot comprehend this and the Secular Coalition for America has launched an all out attack on her. Clinton is not only disliked, she is detested and to such an extent that many people and groups would coalesce around Palin to keep Clinton out of the Whitehouse. If Palin wins, major constitutional changes will follow with Tenth Amendment transfer of powers back to the States from the Fed.
In the UK we are also likely to have a similar historical repeat experience. When Gordon Brown succeeded Tony Blair to the Leadership of the Labour Party in June 2007, by making sure that no one dared to stand against him, pundits talked about him doing a John Major. Major had succeeded Margaret Thatcher as Conservative Leader then went on to win a General Election in 1992. Gordon Brown was at the height of his power and his reputation for financial management was then untarnished. We did not see it that way and planned on the basis that he would do a James Callaghan. Callaghan succeeded Harold Wilson and then delayed calling the 1979 General Election as long as he could before losing to Margaret Thatcher. Brown had the chance to go for a mandate from the people in 2007 but followed the example of Callaghan and has waited until the eleventh month as the economy deteriorated. The twist in 2010 is that Labour will lose the total popular vote as in 1979 but could end up with a disproportionate number of seats in the House of Commons. They might end up clinging to power as part of a coalition, but like Callaghan their Leader will not continue to be Prime Minister. This will be the catalyst for major constitutional and electoral reform but it will not be for the purpose on empowering people. It will be about political parties doing what is best for them. The constitutional changes in the US will be about empowering people.
There is also something in common. That is, party names have just become labels and no longer reflect the historical ideology of the founders. So, Obama Democrats are not the same as Kennedy Democrats. Obama is very socialist and some even claim marxist. This is reflected in the make up of his administration, the people and groups that are his backers, and the extreme policies that are being pursued. A socialist fist in a liberal glove. This is designed to make him palatable for the voters.
In the UK we have had a similar experience. In order to make the Labour Party palatable Tony Blair made an issue of replacing Clause IV of Labour’s constitution. This clause was Old Labour and had been drafted by Sidney Webb with common ownership a feature. People like the socialist workers of militant tendency had interpreted that as communism as they tried to wrest control of the party. However, Labour’s traditional core supporters are working class but conservative, and more co-operative with John Lewis Partnership type aspirations. You would have thought that Blair’s changes to the Labour constitution were intended to reflect this. This is a great mistake because the public are ignorant of the content of Clause IV and the clause that replaced it.
The original Clause IV, part 4 says:-
“To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service.”
This was replaced by:-
“The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party. It believes that by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone, so as to create for each of us the means to realise our true potential and for all of us a community in which, power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many, not the few. Where the rights we enjoy reflect the duties we owe. And where we live together, freely, in a spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect.”
Some say that the change was pure spin intended to con the voters in to believing that Labour had changed from Old to New. Having defeated the infiltration by the militant tendency, it opened the way for infiltration by the liberal tendency. Whether Blair and Brown have lived up to, or achieved, the aims and values that they espoused will be the subject of future study. Blair’s and Brown’s Labour is not the same as Wilson’s and Callaghan’s Labour.
The main point is that before Blair and Brown the Labour party was not socialist. After them it officially was but with a liberal facade. A socialist fist in a liberal glove.