The big problem with Owen’s downbeat article is a complete failure to grasp the nature and implications of the political and economic landscape unfolding. His analysis is fixated on the here and now, when the backdrop against which Labour will fight the next election is about to change pretty dramatically with unavoidable political consequences.
The global economy is on the slide, with the large economic blocks such as the US, China and Europe going into reverse with severe consequences for prosperity, not just in those countries and continents but on a global scale thanks to interdependent markets.
We still have the looming problem of toxic European banks, ticking time bombs which in some cases see institutions teetering on the brink of collapse. An event likely to spark a severe slump, but also a wave of increased austerity even if the ruling class succeeds in propping up these institutions with liquidity, transferring the debt and toxicity from the corporate private sector to the nation state yet again.
We have the local EU Brexit short term jolts to the economy which will cause panic over the next few years with volatility in the markets and increased prices for the essentials of daily life. Let’s be clear, the brexit economic effect will likely be neutral over the medium-long term — the far greater threat coms from the underlying crisis within the economies of the main economic blocks, but brexit will cause short term pain.
We have the impact of this toxic mix of global and local factors on jobs, and will see (official) unemployment begin to rise over the next few years as investment into the real economy falls even further.
And finally, we have a Tory party about to be ripped apart by infighting as the various factions joust for supremacy on the terms for Brexit.
These factors — in unison — mean the current poll position of the Tories cannot hold, and more importantly that the political mood within the country, formed by material events will move into flux.
As the combined effects of these negatives begin to severely impact the lives of working people and the poorest, so anger and the desire for a radical solution will grow.
Workers still hurting from the pain of the 2008 crash and recession will not meekly accept Tory attempts to make them pay again.
So Labour must be bold, it must hold firm to the new anti-austerity and pro massive infrastructure spending agenda, and above all it must present a radical socialist platform for change.
The Party has never been larger with membership exceeding 650,000.
Owen rightly points to the difficulties of overcoming massive media bias.
So we use our army of members, many enthused to join the Party in the desire to see a radical alternative, and push forward to a million+ members, out in the communities, in every street, on every estate campaigning for the radical socialist alternative.
That’s how we grow Labour, that’s how we rise in the polls, that’s how we change ideas and deliver a worthwhile Labour government.