The cost of liberal democracy/capitalism is that there are economic losers. "Old" Labour was about tackling class, i.e. the injustice of grossly unequal income distributions. Even if Socialism's not your thing, there's still no reason why capitalism can't be forced to accept corrective or attenuating measures such as social safety nets, meaningful regulation, exponentially progressive income tax, etcetera. That's basically how Britain ran for most of the 20th century. At any rate, you'd expect a party with the word Labour in its name to focus principally on economic inequality and class.
How frightfully naive of you. Whatever "New" Labour is (was?) about, it certainly hasn't done much of the sort. According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation's Poverty Site study on income inequalities, "The gini coefficient measure of overall income inequality in the UK is now higher than at any previous time in the last thirty years."
The cheapest way to "be seen" to be tackling this is to separate class out into as many "cultures" as possible, and to reformulate inequality as discrimination. Then all you need do is "celebrate diversity", because if it means we get rid of all discrimination, everything is magically solved. So the reasoning goes: everybody gets "respect"... and the rich get to keep their money. Everybody's happy! Especially the "Old" Tory right, as the Left is now essentially doing their work for them: maintaining - even widening - class difference.
Unfortunately, after a decade or so of this, the majority poor abandon New Labour and vote BNP. Who - apart from being authoritarian Holocaust deniers - are made to appear like the closest thing on the menu to Old Labour.
The real horror of the BNP's rise is the horror of New Labour's scam. Goes to show that using fancy on-message jargon (for old political parties, perennial social problems, etcetera) might be a great ploy for immediate power-gain, but the long-term costs can be devastating.
And you thought Post-Modernism has no tangible effect on society.
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