Kendall’s “Of the People, for the People, by the People”?

Yesterday Liz Kendall failed to oppose the Tories so-called Welfare Bill. This was not an unexpected action given that she had already publicly defended Harriet Harman’s decision not to oppose some government welfare cuts, including the cap on household benefit income.

But demonstrating the power of rhetoric over action, on the same day that Kendall accepted the Welfare Bill’s attacks on some of the poorest and most vulnerable citizens in our country she gave a speech in Brixton titled “Of the people, for the people, by the people.” Below are a selection of quotes re-appropriated from from Kendall’s empty ode to socialism.

Kendall’s New Labour

“Government of the people, for the people, by the people”. “Spoken by Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg, these words… summarise a commitment to trust the judgement of the people come what may. It is a commitment that’s been central to radical politics for more than 600 years. It is a commitment Labour must now renew.”

Sadly, under Margaret Thatcher’s guidance “the politics of division dominated our country,” while those who had the least were “abandoned, communities divided, and families deprived of the chance to get on.”

“So whilst the Tories leave those are weak on their own, help those who are already strong, and hoard power with a narrow elite – Labour will put power into people’s hands so they can help themselves, and one another too.”

In the distant past, “Our party was created to be the national voice for the workplace activists, community organisers and civic leaders who were fighting against poverty and injustice.” “There was a democratic culture in which people felt they could have a say, whether at public meetings or when politicians toured the pubs.”

But in recent decades the processes of globalisation are “leaving too many people behind.” During this time the Labour Party lost our way politically, because: “We didn’t trust the people of this country.”

“Our politics must be of the people, for the people, and by the people.” “That’s why my vision, our vision, is for people in every corner of our country to have the power and control to shape their own lives.”

Together “we’ll build a more equal society” That why Labour, from now on, “will always stand for progressive taxation and redistributing resources from the wealthy to the poor.”



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