Labour Party is now an empty shell

PUBLISHED: 13:56 22 September 2006 | UPDATED: 19:48 01 June 2010

TONY Blair once famously declared: I have taken from my party everything they thought they believed in. I have stripped them of their core beliefs. What keeps it together is power. Now it is the prospect of losing power that is leading the Blairites and

TONY Blair once famously declared: "I have taken from my party everything they thought they believed in. I have stripped them of their core beliefs. What keeps it together is power."

Now it is the prospect of losing power that is leading the Blairites and Brownites to turn on each other like rats caught in a trap.

In particular, it is the prospect of disastrous results in next May's elections to the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly, and English local authorities that has triggered the recent civil war.

It is most likely that Gordon Brown will become the next Prime Minister, for no other reason than most Labour MPs believe he is the best chance of rescuing their careers.

Mr Brown has argued that Britain has a responsibility to continue the brutal occupation of Afghanistan, although he is more equivocal on Iraq. It is possible he could try to gain popularity by withdrawing British troops from Iraq.

The Labour Party today is an empty shell. One left-wing MP has estimated the real membership at an all-time low of 100,000 and the active membership at 10,000.

Since 1997, the trades union leaders have given more than £100million of their members' money to New Labour.

It hasn't bought them a fiver's worth of influence.

Trades unionists and left-wing Labour MPs should draw the necessary conclusions and throw their weight behind the building of a new mass workers' party, a party that stands for the millions not the millionaires.

JOHN SMITHEE

Kingsley Avenue

Wisbech

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