(Website: Progress Online)
“Progress, Labour’s new mainstream, aims to promote a radical and progressive politics. We seek to promote open debate and discussion of progressive ideas and policies.”
A year ahead of Labour’s successful 1997 election, Progress was created as an internal pressure group with the objective of ensuring that a Labour government did not stray from a right-of-centre capitalist-friendly stance. War-happy Blair and laissez faire financial deregulator Brown did not need much persuasion from Progress. They and their merry breed of centrist Herberts were happy to be a continuation of Major’s banality and to pass the unprincipled baton of administration onto Cameron (and Clegg).
Progress retreated into the arena of in-house chat room until Jeremy Corbyn was elected as Labour leader. Then, an explosion of bile, rancour and peremptory abuse erupted from the terrified Progress mob, so scared are they of the possibility of a Labour government with a left-of-centre core. Alongside relentless attacks on Corbyn’s (and McDonnell’s) every word, gesture and decision, including those said and made many years ago, Progress repeats frequently the claim that a left-leaning Labour is less electable than a more centrist Labour, despte the fact that the latter Labour type lost the last two elections precisely because it was not an alternative to the Tories. As Corbyn’s popularity increases steadily, the members of progress have been reduced to whining about abuse and ridicule directed at them by the former’s supporters.
Watch out for these Progress PR people on TV and radio, Richard Angell and Alison McGovern.
Several current and recent Labour MPs contribute to the Progress Online website, most notably
- Simon Danczuk
- Michael Dugher
- Dan Jarvis
- John Woodcock
- Wes Streeting
- John Mann
- Ian Austin
Each of the above offers nothing more than a decayed potpourri of bitterness, spite, condescension and patronising advice to the new Labour leader and his supporters. Progress is defined by the gracelessness of defeat.
Links to brief descriptions of other right-wing think-tanks
- Centre for Policy Studies
- Centre for Social Justice
- Tax-Payers’ Alliance
- Henry Jackson Society
- Freedom Association
- Policy Exchange
- Migration Watch
- Institute of Economic Affairs