Electric cos it’s a total view rather than here’s a policy idea I just thought of.
This ain ‘t “Freudian fixation”.
It is appreciation of a former leader with something to say, in this instance, 7 tests of what constitutes being radical with a purpose.
And guess what – I don’t agree with it all. But do think we should learn from it.
So what is the analysis?
Don’t go back in time. Do resolve to win – cos that how we enable. what the labour movement wanted from the party. We lost cos we had a leader and a manifesto that voters thought unacceptable.
And the framework?
1. Progressives win from the centre … the centre does not mean the status quo. … redefine “radical”, … fashion a new policy agenda, particularly mastery of a 21st-century technological revolution … and … from that to programmes of social justice and transformation, including on climate change and inequality.
2. progressive politics works best when in the name of changing the world, we don’t promise the world … For many … our manifesto did not ignite hope. It ignited fear…. Free this, free that. …
3. parties that govern are not the same as protest movements. …. [winning] means appealing to people not living on the breadline, as well as those who are.
4. make it easy for people to come over to you. … our leadership was so sectarian
5. patriotism matters, … its basics … pride in our country; support for the armed forces; being strong on law and order. The progressive view … will add an emphasis on values of tolerance, equality and a commitment to social justice. But the basics can’t be absent.
6. if we denounce our own government’s record, don’t be surprised if the people conclude we shouldn’t be put back into power. …
7. decide whether it’s … about the people or about making us feel good about ourselves.
So what’s to disagree about?
1. the centre kinda is shorthand for the status quo. A better way of talking about it is to develop a new hegemony, much as New Labour did – it was just wrong on tolerance of inequality, housing and constant re-organisation of public services – but this is not a denunciation.
5. George Orwell explained patriotism better (“The Lion & The Unicorn”); but I wonder if there’s something else at play? Something like we’re always providing for those other people who don’t play by the rules. (Recent example – new housing promised in The Meadows will go to I;;heal immigrants.).
My pledges would be 1.NHS; 2. stop austerity cutting jobs; 3. re-claim tax breaks given to bankers and corporations; 4. (something on Europe – but we are such a stale of lux); 5. action on climate change.
What what to say about patriotism or its proxies beyond Blair’s basics? – Tentatively, something like helping the country out – reporting crime; not missing NHS appointments; taking part in in decision making (People’s budgets, registering to vote and voting); and George Orwell’s favourites – avoiding barbarity in the way we write and speak about others (c.f. lampooning); oh, and liking flowers.