October 27, 2002
BLAIR VS. LABOUR:No 10 snubs Meacher 'anti-capitalism' claim (Francis Elliott, 27/10/2002, Daily Telegraph)
Michael Meacher, the environment minister, was left isolated by Downing Street last night after it refused to endorse his claims that the Government does not agree with capitalism.
Mr Meacher told BBC Radio 4's Any Questions: "We do not believe in capitalism. Capitalism is something that threatens inequality across the whole of society."
A Number 10 spokesman, however, refused to comment on the remarks, referring inquiries to the Labour Party, whose spokesman said: "Socialism or capitalism is a sterile argument. The world has moved on."
The remarks, however, delighted Left-wing MPs. "The party is moving away from New Labour back to its roots and I think Michael's remarks reflect that," said Paul Flynn, the Labour MP for Newport West.
One of the useful things about war is that, as the Marxists would say, it forces the contradictions. In Britain this means it is opening the divide that naturally exists between Tony Blair, who truly believes in the Third Way/New Democrat ideas that Bill Clinton dallied with, and the ideologically unreconstructed Socialists of the Labour Party. It's awfully hard to see him finishing 2003 as the head of the Party and then the opportunity exists for him to either switch to the Tories or, here's your even longer longshot, take on some role--official or unofficial--in the Bush administration, focussed on the war on terror. Posted by Orrin Judd at October 27, 2002 9:25 AM