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Sigmar Gabriel and the Labour Party - Why the SPD has to move left - Tagesspiegel
Radical socialist Jeremy Corbyn could become Labour party chief. In 1997 Labour already showed the trend for the SPD. And in fact the SPD has to stop trying to curry favours with the CDU.

... Blair created a new image for his stale union party and announced a "New Britain" alongside "New Labour". The SPD was never as cool but there are parallels in ascent and descent.

Neither Blair nor Schröder became icons of their parties - there was too much Hartz IV or support for the Iraq war, too much admiration for questionable potentates. Like the SPD Labour has arrived at under 30%. There is even a kind of Linkspartei, only it's called the Scottish National Party.

... Even Oskar Lafontaine looks like a rightwinger compared to Jeremy Corbyn, 66, backbencher, avowed socialist... Corbyn leads with more than 20%... Especially young people... Blair is shocked...

Gabriel has possibly led the SPD into a dead end

In Germany the Linkspartei has established itself. SPD chief Sigmar Gabriel has made the conclusion to make his party into a second workers wing of the CDU. It's questionable whether that will work. With 42 bis 43 percent the CDU could govern alone. ...

2013 Gabriel led the SPD per party vote to the side of the CDU, possibly into a dead end. If the SPD becomes an opposition party with 25% in 2017 he will have to resign as chief. There are a lot of indications that the SPD will move left like Labour that it won't want Schröder epigones like Olaf Scholz or Frank-Walter Steinmeier. A Labour chief Corbyn wouldn't lead his party back to No 10. He simply overshoots too much. But his success stands for a socialdemocratic rebirth, for an attempt to end the alignment to the once dominant neoliberal zeitgeist. In fact the financial crisis of 2008 has shifted the quadrants of the party system to the left not only in Britain.

It seems out of touch for the misplaced economics minister Gabriel to try to gain points as a "comrade of the bosses". It's not about clumsy capitalism bashing. But it's a self deception of the Schröder-Blair generation that only ever more liberalisation will lead to a better standard of living for everybody. The development of wealth has been decoupled from the real economy since the 90s... For the social democrats it means that the promise of prosperity through work has lost credibility.

The SPD can't pretend to be not on the left

Of all people, Peer Steinbrück showed his party the way when he recommended a doubling of the estate tax. Gabriel on the other hand does without tax policy. He believes that the minimum wage is enough. ... SPD cannot only be about redistribution rhetoric. It has to be a party of growth. But it can't pretend to be not on the left. Elections are won in the middle. But they are also won by motivating people to vote because they see an alternative.

It's a riddle why Gabriel is afraid of more left-wing politics which would be politics for the middle class. Presumably he is still caught up in the logic of the Schröder years. The left wing was seen as a danger to chances at government by the Agenda2010 wing. The voters were also skeptical. But the middle has shifted to the left in the meantime. The chancellor had already recognized that when she moved away from the market radical Leipzig program. Gabriel still seems to cling to old patterns.



Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Thu Aug 6th, 2015 at 04:42:11 PM EST
Would be nice if the SPD found its Corbyn, but I think the current SPD elite is (still) not as disconnected from the (remaining) party base as the Bliarite Labour elite. Thjough, if Gabriel marches further right in the next two years, it might happen.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Aug 11th, 2015 at 05:33:29 AM EST
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Bliarite.  Excellent.
by rifek on Mon Aug 24th, 2015 at 11:25:57 PM EST
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epochepoque:
It's not about clumsy capitalism bashing. But it's a self deception of the Schröder-Blair generation that only ever more liberalisation will lead to a better standard of living for everybody.

Embodied in the French PS by the Hollande-Valls-Macron generation (although you'd be hard pressed to find any strong opinion in Hollande). Sadly, no Corbyn in view...

by Bernard on Sat Aug 29th, 2015 at 04:05:08 PM EST
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Is Melanchton any help?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Aug 30th, 2015 at 06:51:39 AM EST
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Mélenchon? He's pretty much blown as a leader of the left. He's a poor communicator. Too much framing things in terms of the history of the Republic (which most people don't relate to), too much time and energy wasted in picking fights with politicians and journalists, too much ego. He comes across as a member of the elite. Too late now for him to claw back the lost ground.

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Sun Aug 30th, 2015 at 11:08:46 AM EST
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Who is or could be the leader of the French Left?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Aug 31st, 2015 at 04:32:50 AM EST
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Two pols have the charisma, but are to be ruled out for different reasons. Dany Cohn-Bendit is too economic-liberal, and anyway has retired from active politics. José Bové is perceived as a sectorial (agriculture) unionist.

For reasons stated here by Bernard and myself, Mélenchon and Montebourg don't have the makings.

<scans the horizon> No one else in sight, unless I'm mistaken.

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Mon Aug 31st, 2015 at 08:19:13 AM EST
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If it's any consolation, there was nobody in sight until Corbyn popped his head up

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Aug 31st, 2015 at 02:31:04 PM EST
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They's claim that he would be unelectable. And at least it wouldn't be as ridiculous as hearing the same argument from Miliband supporters is.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Aug 30th, 2015 at 06:57:47 AM EST
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wasn't Montebourg supposed to be this?
by IM on Sun Aug 30th, 2015 at 01:18:32 PM EST
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Not Montebourg, nor Mélenchon: one is busy mostly outside of politics, cultivating his ego (he's always been a poseur), and the other is picking up fights with journalists and Germany at large.
by Bernard on Sun Aug 30th, 2015 at 03:40:42 PM EST
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Of course the previous weekend Varoufakis was at the Fête de le Rose invited by Montebourg and met with Mélenchon.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Aug 31st, 2015 at 04:35:07 AM EST
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Varoufakis for leader of the French left!

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Mon Aug 31st, 2015 at 05:31:18 AM EST
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He has a connection to Paris Match; that is a start.
by IM on Mon Aug 31st, 2015 at 05:36:53 AM EST
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