Tuesday, 25 June 2013
Thursday, 28 February 2013
I've read that the great Catholic Trade Unionist Jakob Kaiser’s http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jakob_Kaiser had a vision for Germany which was a Christian Democracy that looked to early days of the British Labour Party for its inspiration in developing Catholic Social Teaching which in turn put great emphasis on co-operatives, the public ownership of key industries, extensive social insurance. So it was with some interest that I've been reading "The Labour Tradition and the Politics of Paradox” which stresses the importance of the early days of the British Labour Party under the leadership of George Lansbury
"The Labour Tradition and the Politics of Paradox” sets out the ideas of the Blue Labour Group. Blue Labour is an idea developed a few years ago by Maurice Glasman. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Labour
Blue Labour is strongly against the neo-Liberal, ultra free market globalization which New Labour sadly embraced. It basically seeks to return the Labour Party to it radical working class roots by promoting a revival of things like Guild Socialism, Credit Unions, Mutualism, the co-operative movement and localism. Blue Labour is not very keen on the overreliance of the welfare state or blackleg labour. Indeed, it advocates some form of protectionism of the national economy and British jobs. It is also quite traditionalist in outlook in that it seeks to uphold traditional values such as family and faith.
The inspiration for Blue Labour is the former Labour Leader George Lansbury and also Keir Hardie. Most people in Inverlcyde are of course familiar with Keir Hardie and most people in Inverclyde are aware that Keir Hardie Street in Gibshill is named after him. But perhaps less people know that Lansbury street is named after George Lansbury. You can read about George Lansbury and his relationship with Blue Labour here http://labour-uncut.co.uk/2011/05/08/george-lansbury-the-unsung-father-of-blue-labour/ in a tribute by Jon Cruddas MP. Lansbury is unique because he was a Socialist and a sincere pacifist whose ideas were underpinned by his Christian beliefs.
I am not a memeber of the Labour Party, and can't ever become a member while the party remains essentially pro-globalization, pro-militarism and pro-nuclear. However, Blue Labour is a very interesting idea, which in my opinion offers the best way forward for the Labour Party. For example, it is true to say that many Scottish Working Class people have a natural inclination towards both social conservatism but also radicalism. Perhaps, this makes
Just as Blue Labour draws upon the influence of great figures such as George Lansbury, so too can Scotland look to early Labour Movement figures such as Robert Owen and his Co-Operative and Credit Union ideas. More so, Scots can also look to the influence of early Christian Socialists like John Wheatley. The approaching Independence Referendum offers a stark choice between a Yes Campaign who in my opinion are projecting a vision of Scotland (which may indeed be further Left than the “Better Together” campaign) but yet could also lead to a bigger, more centralized State. Indeed, there is the real possibility that
Wednesday, 20 February 2013
On a related topic I received this very interesting and really nice note below from the excellent West Ham Pals regiment blog as a reply to an old post about Anglo-German folks in the West Ham Pals regiment...
GIESS (two brothers, VOGT, VAUS, ZIMMER, SCHULER"
This is an extract from the orginal post...
The unveiling, by Sir Trevor Brooking at the Boleyn Ground, of the Memorial Plaque dedicated to the service and sacrifices made by the Men of the 13th (Service) Battalion (West Ham) Essex Regiment ('The Hammers') took place on Remembrance Sunday, 8th November at 10.55am.Among the West Ham pals was Ernest Sherman, born in Whitechapel, who was originally a Corporal in the 2nd battalion Essex regiment. He was severely wounded by accurate shellfire during the Battle of Arras in April 1917 and was awarded the Military Cross at the age of 20.
It is interesting to note that, Sherman was of German origin, German immigration into the UK was very common in the late 19th Century because of the Royal family's strong German connections.***See note on family history**** Most Germans like my Great Great Grandfather Bernhardt came to work in the Sugar wharehouses in Greenock , Liverpool and the East End of London. This was because Tate and Lyle was formed from a merger between Abraham Lyle of Greenock who had expanded into the east end of London and Henry Tate, who had set up a sugar refinery in Liverpool. Lyle himself brought quite a few Scots to the East End .
By the time the First world war arrived the Royal Family switched to an English-sounding name because of anti-German feeling, as did some of their subjects. For those ordinary German-Britons who did not change their names like my own family there was then additional pressure to prove ones loyalty. The best way to do this was to enlisted and many German-Britons did just that...
In fact, a battalion of the Middlesex Regiment was formed to accommodate men with German names from London, and was promptly christened "The Kaiser's Own". A number of German names can be found in the pages of the London Gazette as receiving decorations