Posts Tagged ‘internationale’

Wanted: a 21st century internationalism for Labour

20/03/2013, 02:16:22 PM

by Rob Marchant

Society, and not just in Britain, is increasingly dividing up into two parts: the first, those who work in a national context: public sector workers, most lawyers, a lot of media and small businesses. Those for whom “abroad” mostly means a holiday. Their day-to-day is dealing with other Brits, who in turn deal with other Brits. That’s one part.

And the second comprises those who work in an international context. This need not mean people constantly jetting around the world or spending their lives in videoconferences. It also means people in ordinary jobs working for global businesses (an awful lot of us) whose livelihoods depend on international sales; on dealing with other countries; on understanding how things work there.

If you are a UK manufacturing worker, you may be aware that raw materials are arriving in your workplace from Russia, part-made goods from the Far East and that the finished product is destined for, say, Dubai, and you don’t so much as blink.

The risk is for Labour, that some of those opinion-formers it needs to win back, like some of the Tory switchers from 2010, are in the second bracket: people who are more aware, if sometimes only by osmosis, of the world outside. Myopia can scare off these people.

One Nation, as I have commented before, is a great strategy for Labour. It is a unifying banner, around which its core supporters, along with those Labour needs to win back, can rally.

The Tories, by contrast, as evidenced by Cameron’s weekend speech (and previous conference speech), are staking their claim in two ways: one is through “aspiration”; the other through the “global race”. These are the battle lines, already starting to be drawn for 2015.


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