The single objective of Policy Network is to obstruct, shout down, stifle and strangle genuine opposition to the status quo of capitalist exploitation. It exists as fake opposition as a ruse to vacuum up time and energy that should be applied to real opposition. It pretends to express opinions on a variety of issues and pretends to offer solutions to a variety of problems, but it is all purposefully hollow centrist tripe.
A couple of examples of Policy Network methodology
1) In a bizarrely titled article, Can Labour rally progressive Britain? (16th April 2018), Matthew Laza’s concern was how can the vacuous centre cling onto the coat-tails of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour. Through gritted teeth, he acknowledged Labour’s electoral improvement following Corbyn’s election as leader, but repeated the oft-refuted claim of a limit to the appeal of socialist politics. “As the Corbynistas and Momentum concentrate on winning total control over the party machine there is no fizz of new ideas,” he declared. The ideas – a socialist challenge to capitalist exploitation – may not be new, but they are new as a force in mainstream parliamentary politics in Britain and there is a lot more to come. Laza’s suggestion of a limit being reached is deliberate dishonesty.
Laza’s disdain for left-wing politics and his supercilious view of socialists punctuated the article. He spoke from a separated viewpoint: “Even if you don’t always agree with the way they [Momentum members] vote in internal elections no one should be anything other than pleased that Labour has gained new members and new traction” and “no one should be churlish in celebrating the extra Labour votes.” This theme defined his objective: He perceived Labour as a vessel where he and his fellow “progressives” can con their way in and asphyxiate everything in the party that is useful.
“The only way Labour can win a majority is by winning over some of the record numbers of electors who voted Tory last year” was a repetition of the dual con trick of the centrists that belittles the electoral potential of a left-wing party while suggesting that only a partnership with “progressives” can keep out the Tories.
Laza’s article elucidated the opportunism of Policy Network and its intrinsic dishonesty.
2) Progress MP Wes Streeting is a vicious opponent of Jeremy Corbyn and of Momentum. He stands for nothing. He is the template for suffocation politics. His history as an MP and his earlier role as president of the NUS are both full of resistance to genuine challenge and are dominated by con tricks. In his We need a centre-left revolution, not patching (22nd September 2017), Streeting wailed that “our politics is under assault from a centre right, stealing our clothes, a populist right, stealing our core voters; and a sectarian left, laying claim to our party structures.” By “our politics” Streeting meant some imaginary “centre-left” anti-ideology that he aligns with.
“For too long, in too many parts of the world, the centre left have been out of office and out of answers, ” he bemoaned. Yes, the politics of nothing, of crumb-grasping, of confidence tricks has been given the massive boot up the arse it needed to receive.
Streeting concluded his empty words by stating “we [the progressives] need to provide centre-left answers to this revolutionary moment.” No, the meaningless “centre-left” has no answers to anything and certainly cannot partake of any “revolutionary moment” in a positive way.
Policy Network’s president is Peter Mandelson.
Centrism is a con trick
Links to brief descriptions of other right-wing think-tanks