Posts Tagged ‘centre’

Centrists need new ideas and purpose, not a new party

15/12/2015, 11:40:32 AM

by Jonathan Todd

Phil Collins comments in the Times on speculation within Labour of an SDP type breakaway. Those favouring this move believe that, “the volatility of politics makes 2016 a more propitious moment for novelty than 1981.” Collins, who remains a Labour member, is unconvinced. “The only reason to stay (in Labour),” he wrote a few weeks earlier, “is that it (the Corbyn leadership) can’t last.”

“Corbynism for a decade?” asks Stephen Bush in the New Statesman. “It no longer sounds ridiculous”. In the sense that it was until very recently a widely unanticipated outcome, which would leave many, not least the likes of Collins, distraught, it still sounds pretty ridiculous. But what Bush means is clear.

“Many more than the 66 (Labour) MPs who did vote for airstrikes were convinced on the case for extending British bombing against Isis from Iraq into Syria,” reports Bush, “but pulled back due to pressure from their constituency parties”. CLPs, which MPs need to support them if they are to remain so, are increasingly under the grip of Corbynism.

If MPs are prepared to place political self-preservation before voting with their consciences on Isis, there’s probably nothing – no indignity, daftness, or nastiness – that they wouldn’t endure to extend their political careers. If in the dark nights of their souls, they affirm that this makes them happy, we can only wonder about their souls.

They might read how Tom Harris is happier as an ex-MP than he was as an MP. And Harris got out before Corbyn began. You get the sense that he doesn’t envy Ian Murray, Labour’s only Scottish MP.


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Anthony Painter warns us off the non-existent centre ground

21/05/2010, 08:02:10 AM

Change is everywhere. And what could be better than change? It makes people wealthier, more free, more educated, enhances our status and opens boundless opportunities for all. Time for a change? It’s always time for a change.

The problem is that for a good portion of people ‘change’ is not something to celebrate. It is rather something to be anxious about. It makes you work harder. It means that a family needs two incomes rather than one. It generates insecurity and consumer demands that become increasingly impossible to meet. Not without maxing out on credit anyway. And suddenly not only your work but the entire financial structure of your life is at risk. Global financial crises tend to be local in their impact.

Change or change fatigue? Well, actually this election was a mixture of both. One Britain – change and comfort Britain – largely stuck with Labour. AB support for the party declined by a relatively modest 6% according to Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner and by 2% amongst C1s. Amongst C2s it fell by 13% and by 11% amongst DEs. The country was divided in two. (more…)

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