Kellner thinks spending cuts rather than tax increases are now permanently the order of the day. Just wait for austerity to bite good and hard after 20 October. Kellner wishes away inequality, the fault-line of capitalism, as mere lack of opportunity. Just try living (as 2-3 million still have to) on £5.93 an hour. Kellner argues (like today the Tory Suffolk County Council) for privatising and outsourcing virtually all public services and making people pay for what you receive, either what you can afford on a minimum wage of £200 a week or the de luxe version if you’re chief executive of a major company on £72,000 a week.
What is most remarkable, and objectionable, about Kellner’s outburst is his obeisance to the current deeply unjust power structure and its neo-liberal economic prop. Not a word is said about the abuses of unrestrained markets, deregulation of finance, hire-and-fire labour exchanges,and inequality more extreme than any other country in the Western world bar the US. Yet the whole point of the Labour Party from its inception was to contest the values and laws set in place by the dominant elite in their own interest. This is a validly and vitally necessary role: if the Labour Party abandons it, then sooner or later another party will rise up to take on the role.
We should thank Peter Kellner for exposing so clearly why the Labour Party, post-Saturday, must embark on a course of fundamental change if it is to survive.