I still have a well-thumbed first edition of the earlier publication, personally signed by Gordon many years later when we were both members of the parliamentary Labour Party. Much of that 1975 Red Paper reads like a recipe for full-blooded socialism which, by comparison, makes the recent version a very pale shade of pink. In the original version, Gordon wrote: “The Scottish Labour movement is uniquely placed today to convert the present discontent into a demand for socialism: we will fail only if we ignore the challenge.”
I see little sign of today’s Labour leaders rising to that challenge but, of course, they would argue that times have changed.
Politicians have also changed and I am not just referring to Gordon. One of the contributors to the original Red Paper was that erstwhile “socialist”, Business Secretary Vince Cable, now an ardent disciple of neo-liberalism. Better Together? Aye, right!
Labour leader Ed Miliband’s denunciation of a “race to the bottom” in tax rates (your report, 21 March) indicates that he believes an economy can be taxed into prosperity, an obvious impossibility. Together with Scottish leader Johann Lamont’s demand for redistribution of wealth and the Red Paper’s call for price controls on energy, the Labour Party has formally rejected the laws of economics in favour of Marxist class war, showing that the party is constitutionally unfit for government at any level.