Broad Left Blogging


Taking a broader perspective…

Labour has forsaken all bonds of fellowship….

By Darrell Goodliffe.

At the very end of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Aragon gives quite a rousing speech as he leads the combined forces of Rohan and Gondor in a seemingly suicidal all-out attack on Sauron’s Mordor. He talks of a day when all bonds of fellowship are broken and boldy intones ‘today is not that day’. However, for Labour today is that day. In Egypt, pro-Mubarak thugs are attacking the forces of democracy in a clear provocation which no doubt is intended to actively engage the army on the side of the regime. Meanwhile, in Westminster all Ed Miliband can do is prate about democracy and is too busy playing the statesman to express some real practical solidarity.

A Labour leader looking to express solidarity would have done alot more than Ed. A Labour leader doing this would, for example, made it quite clear the British government should break off all diplomatic relations with the Muburak regime. They would have insisted that the Muburak regime immediately be de-recognised as the legitimate government of Egypt and that Britain would only deal with a transitional government comprised of all the major opposition groupings. They may even have raised the possibility that Muburak be internationally indicted as the criminal he is.  They certainly would not have ‘pacifically’ questioned a Conservative Prime Minister to the point where even The Spectator is brimming with praise. The labour movement and the Labour Party was founded on the values of solidarity and internationalism – two values that the leadership is solely lacking.

No doubt some will praise Ed for his ‘statesman’ like behaviour but I cannot find it in my heart to care about his poll ratings and presentation points today. What matters is the lives of those who are currently being crushed under the jackboot in Tahrir Square and thats all that should matter to any Labour Leader. What the Muburak regime is doing is terrorism. Just because the state sponsors it in this case should not make it any less morally repellent than the other variety. However, it seems the Western ‘war on terror’ has hit the buffers in Egypt. We don’t like it when its on our shores but when its despots across the Arab world cracking down on our own people our governments simply seem to care and be prepared to settle for doing an awful lot less. Words are all we get and, let’s be honest, there is usually a qualification and caveat to them.

This double-standard will come back to haunt us as all our historical double standards currently do in the shadowy and barbaric guise of Al Quaeda . If the Muslim Brotherhood gains support in Egypt then we have nobody to blame but ourselves because when we had the choice our leaders were prepared to doing nothing practical to assist the Egyptian people in bringing the Muburak government down. They on the other hand have at least stood, fought and died for regime change; that is not to recommend their vile politics but is to recognise how these politics gain popular currency. Ed Miliband would do well to reflect on this today because today he let the Labour Party down and he also let the Egyptian people down….


Filed under: International Politics, Labour

One Response

  1. […] an era of democracy. The UK and the USA, the so-called ‘beacons of democracy’, have cowedly stepped back and called for a ‘peaceful resolve’ ignoring the wishes of millions of Egyptian people who have finally said, enough is […]

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