Jimmy Chen rejects the tyranny of the prefix

As I watched the results come in on Election Day, I knew from quite early on that Labour was heading for defeat.  Given the poor performance of the Liberal Democrats, it was also clear that the numbers didn’t add up for a Labour-Liberal alliance; and that sooner or later, David Cameron would take over from Gordon Brown as Prime Minister.
Of course, I would have preferred if Gordon remained Prime Minister. I believe that he was instrumental in saving the world, yes, world, economy from a much deeper recession, or even depression. His actions have been recognised by many foreign governments, but alas, our own electorate did not do so. I am happy that Gordon has decided to remain a backbencher for the time being, but nevertheless the future of our party remains uncertain. 
As Gordon made his resignation speech, the media was reporting that the era of New Labour was over. In my opinion New Labour never existed. For many Labour grassroots supporters, during the last thirteen years we were still the Labour Party. This is to take nothing away from the achievements of the Labour governments from 1997 to 2010: the minimum wage, peace in Northern Ireland, NHS waiting times cut dramatically, and many more.
This leadership election is the first since 1994, a generation ago. The leadership candidates call for renewal of the Labour Party. Renewal of our party does not mean prefixing it with something else. Despite being a supporter of David Miliband, I do not take to his tag of ‘Next Labour’; enough is enough. We always have been the Labour Party, and we always will be the Labour Party. Renewal means engaging each and every member of the Labour Party; renewal means a realignment of our party so we once again reflect the People’s interests. Renewal means forgetting about our differences and instead focusing on what unites us.
Finally, our leadership election needs to be a wide and far-ranging debate. Not only are there good ideas from the centre of the party, there are also good ideas from the left and right. Whichever direction our party takes, the new leader needs to keep our party united by taking good ideas from each part of the party. We need to keep ourselves away from the civil wars we had in the 1980s while Thatcher and co. were destroying the country. As Abraham Lincoln said before the steps of the Capitol in Springfield, Illinois, “A house divided against itself cannot stand” Likewise a party divided against itself cannot stand, never mind win elections.

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3 Responses to “Jimmy Chen rejects the tyranny of the prefix”

  1. Gordon Brown says:

    I agree with Nick.

  2. Nick Clegg says:

    Bug off Gordon.

  3. Anon says:

    I think Nick is generally wrong, and Jimmy is generally right. Very good article.

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