Socialism has not been a recurring present in Britain’s government. The 1945 general election led to the return of Britain’s first Labour majority government and an election manifesto that declared it to be a socialist party. The Attlee government established the modern welfare state, the NHS, and nationalized public utilities.
We have not seen a socialist government of this magnitude in power since. But why?
Andrew Murray was one of Jeremy Corbyn’s advisors whilst he was leader of the Labour party. He was seconded by Unite the Union to Labour headquarters in 2017 General Election.
“A socialist society is one of social equality, where everyone has the chance to make the most of themselves as a collective. I believe that can only be achieved when the economy is under public control”, says Murray, who argues that Britain needs to re-mould its concept of class systems and power.
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Murray claims that the Labour party has not established a realistic and efficient agenda and that Keir Starmer, their leader, is not a socialist. Commenting on Labour’s recent lead in YouGov polls, Murray said,
“I don’t want to be churlish, but that is almost entirely due to the car crash of Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng”.
Murray’s book, Is Socialism Possible In Britain? analyses Jeremy Corbyn’s tenure as Labour leader and the prospects for parliamentary socialism in a post-Corbyn Britain. The title of the book asks the same question as Friedrich Engels 130+ years ago. The co-author The Communist Manifesto, Engels took umbrage on the concept of English socialism, which he referred to as “that abomination of abominations”.
The book explores whether Labour is a suitable vehicle in pursuit of socialism. It also examines whether institutions like the British Parliament can ever achieve a balance of equality and social justice.
Murray was available to answer questions about whether socialism is possible in Britain, and why he believes Labour as it exists today needs to be improved.