Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Social Democratic Party Leader Warns, “Britain is turning into the Eastern Bloc.”

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In Spiked SDP’s William Clouston Warns of “rise of Pravda-truth.”.

The Social Democrat Party (SDP) was a centrist break-away from the Labour Party founded in 1981. It was created by the ‘Gang of Four’, Roy JenkinsDavid OwenShirley Williams and Bill Rodgers. A central plank of their platform was to defend “moderation” against Labour left influence, and to offer a balanced alternative to Tory and left-wing extremism. Many made their pro-European views well known as points of principle.

Stuart Hall called them the “little Caesars of Social Democracy’. The theorists of ‘Thatcherism’  said that for all their talk of “participatory democracy” they were “at present devoid of any single vestige of popular politics or popular mobilisation”. In place of pitting a simulacrum of the “people” against the “power bloc” and offering national unity around a free-market programme, they offered “participation’. This presented a potential “cross class” centrist politics. They tried to manufacture  a “compromise” to replace Thacher’s uncompromising government. (In the essays collected in The Hard Road to Renewal. Thatcherism of the Crisis of the Left.  Stuart Hall. 1998).

28 Labour MPs joined the Party, and one Tory. There was support in the Guardian. A prominent student Communist (ex-NUS President), Sue Slipman, and the SDP’s student organiser John Mumford, an ex Young Communist, joined. There were efforts from that quarter to justify their membership, and, despite Hall’s analysis, some around Marxism Today appeared to consider the “reformers” (as opposed to the ‘centrists’) in the SDP a potential part of a “broad democratic alliance” against Thatcher. It was suggested the SDPs tradition, if the economics was faulty the original ‘revisionist’ Crosland’s social programme was still of value.

The departing Labour leaders of the new Party  formed the SDP-LIberal alliance in the year they launched. At one point they were polling ahead of both the Labour Party and the Conservatives.

The SDP’s never achieved anything other than helping keeping Labour out of power. After poor showings in repeated elections it merged with the Liberals and became the Liberal Democrats in 1989.

Man of Destiny, social marketeer, David Owen lumbered on, creating the Continuity SDP .

The party was dissolved in 1990 in the aftermath of a by-election in Bootle in which the party’s candidate was beaten by Screaming Lord Sutch‘s Official Monster Raving Loony Party.

That is, if one does not count the  SDP (Canal Historique).

This has its own Wikipedia entry: Social Democratic Party (UK, 1990–present)

One reads that,

The SDP is a centrist political party combining traditions of the centre-left on economics and centre-right on defence and social issues. A formal statement of its values and aims were set out in the SDP’s New Declaration in October 2018.



David Owen has moved to the sovereigntist right.

This is a pronouncement he issued this year (if anybody was listening):

I will celebrate with the all-Party Vote Leave referendum campaigners on Friday evening and in particular with those who spent the last three and a half years, at personal cost in time and money, dealing with the Electoral Commission and those who tried to use the law in the hope of overturning the people’s decision.

Interest has been created by the SDP move to the right, and further.

They backed Brexit. Strongly.

They live, like the People’s Brexit Backers, live in that special world where Brexit was going to a launchpad for social progress.

With their celebration of sovereignty and national identity they have entered into the confused area where left has and embraced the right: red-brown politics.

One not too far off the kind of Blue Labour ‘anti-woke’ politics of Trade Unionists Against the EU Paul Embery, backed during the Referendum by the Socialist Party and other ‘Lexiteers’.

Pouting Prelate Giles Fraser, once a leading supporter of ant-globalisation protests,  is now a member.

Rod Liddle, Satan have mercy on his soul, is another.

Rod Liddle – Journalist and SDP Member

Rod Liddle is a journalist and author. A previous editor of Radio Four’s Today programme, he is currently a columnist for the Sunday Times, Sun and Spectator, of which he is associate editor. He is a member of the Social Democratic Party

I expect a Newshawk will find some link with the Full Brexit but for the moment….

And there is this in Spiked.

Britain is turning into the Eastern Bloc

William Clouston is leader of the Social Democratic Party.

On TV, on social media and in the workplace, Britons feel they cannot openly speak the truth.

Thirty-five years on, Eastern Europe and the UK appear to have swapped places. I first saw glimpses of this after the 2016 Brexit vote, when Leave-supporting friends in academia said they were too scared openly to endorse a view held by 52 per cent of the electorate. They feared being socially ostracised, condemned as racists or sacked from their jobs.

Many of us fear speaking out precisely because we feel alone and isolated, which has allowed the forceful minority of hyper-progressives to dominate our public discourse. The most potent way to disempower them is to show to those around you that decent, level-headed people do not need to play the game of Pravda-truth.­­­

How true, how very true.

Everything evil eventually lumbers its way to Spiked.



Written by Andrew Coates

July 31, 2020 at 11:57 am

One Response

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  1. I don’t think this venture will get anywhere as the programme is essentially New Labour which is more or less where Starmer is leading Labour back to. After the defeat of Corbyn and the marginalising of the far left, at least within the Parliamentary party, there is no need for an SDP and its original declaration now, of course, seems entirely reasonable especially when compared to Momentum which is still, albeit, in various versions controlling much of the party.

    Dave Roberts

    August 1, 2020 at 6:54 am

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