An open letter to the British Comrades of the New Left, Victory For Socialism, Tribune, etc.

Adrive has now begun in deadly earnest, within the establishments of the major political parties, to make more rapid and drastic the already existing tendency towards the ‘Americanisation’ of British political life. By this I mean that the political parties shall not represent inherently distinct ways or visions of life, but will exist primarily as institutional shelters for various pressure groups contending within an increasingly ‘pluralistic’ society.

You can’t see the sky for the kites.

Since the election, it has been urged—loudly from without, discreetly from within—that the Labour Party should disengage itself from the vestiges of socialist content in the party programme.

The prospect that, by this means, the Labour Party will transform itself into a vote-gathering organism resembling the Democratic Party in my own country, does not faze Mr. Jay and his kite-flying colleagues on Hampstead Heath. Indeed, they appear to welcome the change: they believe it corresponds, one supposes, to the fact (now “proven” by October 8) that British welfare capitalism has a permanently viable destiny.

Such a transformation in the Labour Party will be a catastrophe, not only to itself, but the entire nation.

Because I am writing for this magazine I am going to take the liberty of assuming the anti-Jay position as more or less implicit, and to go on to touch on the ways in which I think it is bad.