Posts Tagged ‘compass lecture’

A centrist critique of David Marquand’s annual compass lecture

14/02/2011, 03:30:28 PM

by Jonathan Todd

The chair of last Thursday’s annual Compass lecture, Neal Lawson, closed proceedings by asking the speaker, David Marquand, to return in 10 years time, when Marquand will be 86 years old, to reflect upon developments in the intervening period. He also expressed the hope that at this time the respondents to Marquand’s address would be the most powerful people in the land: Ed Miliband as prime minister; Caroline Lucas as chancellor; Francesca Klug as home secretary; and Evan Harris as health secretary.

Earlier, Lawson had praised Marquand for arguing that, as social democracy will never reach its final terminus, the journey towards social democracy is more important than conceiving of its end. “The goal is nothing; the movement everything”, quipped Eduard Bernstein, the grandfather of social democracy, over 100 years ago.

Lawson would doubtless claim that much more openness and collaboration between parties of the left is part of this journey. But his imaging of the 2021 cabinet indicated where he wants this to be heading. It may cause people to wonder what exactly the parties of Miliband, Lucas, Klug and Harris stand for if they agree on as much as Lawson believes. (more…)

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