The Social Democratic Party was founded in March 1981 by four senior Labour Party ‘moderates’, Roy Jenkins, David Owen, Bill Rodgers and Shirley Williams.
They were joined by 20 or so Labour MPs. Wikipedia says
“The four left the Labour Party as a result of the January 1981 Wembley conference which committed the party to unilateral nuclear disarmament and withdrawal from the European Economic Community. They also believed that Labour had become too left-wing, and had been infiltrated at constituency party level by Trotskyist factions whose views and behaviour they considered to be at odds with the Parliamentary Labour Party and Labour voters.”
The current situation is not a direct parallel. The Labour Party’s membership and MPs are pro Europe and the party is not infiltrated by Trotskyist factions. However, the current leader, Jeremy Corbyn, does support nuclear disarmament but it is not party policy.
The similarity between 1981 and now is that the Labour Party is deeply divided. The difference is that the majority of MPs are at odds with a much smaller group of MPs that include the leadership. The difficulty for the majority is that most members of the party do not support the leadership.
I wish this Blairite majority would go and start SDP2. Below is a comment I made on the Labour Party LinkedIn pages which partly explains. It starts with a quote from a previous comment.
A LinkedIn Comment
“what example is [Corbyn] offering the rest of us when we’re on the doorstep trying to get people to vote Labour?”
Sadly Mhari Black was right, when she said the Labour Party left her. I look forward to a Labour Party that can renounce the past of Blair and Brown when inequality was multiplied by the housing market, PFI put us in hock and Academy Schools took off.
- “It is the Labour Party that left me”
- “We cheated the young“. (and the poor)
- “Crippling PFI deals leave Britain £222bn in debt“
- “How School Bosses Spend Your Millions”
Also sad is the fact that no politicians, even Labour ones, understand the combined effects of the AI revolution and climate change.
I look forward to SDP2 to start afresh and get a few MPs that have wider experience than the present narrow band swamped by Oxford PPEs. Some might even know about climate change.