by Kevin Meagher
Whatever happened to Blue Labour?
That was the voguish creed advanced by Lord Maurice Glasman and Jon Cruddas, among others, during the last parliament, seeking to anchor Labour in its earlier traditions of community, mutualism, localism and self-help, rejecting the excesses 1980s neo-liberalism and 1960s social liberalism alike.
As a concept, it got lost somewhere during two leadership elections, the return to red-blooded socialism under Jeremy Corbyn and the hoo-haa over Brexit.
Now, with the party at risk of losing touch with its working class base across most of England, it might have some suggestions worth listening to.
That’s the hope of organisers behind tomorrow’s ‘Blue Labour – Forging a New Politics’ conference at the People’s History Museum in Manchester.
The day will explore ‘post-liberalism’ – the generic theory of the Blue Labourites and those in other parties who are challenging the centralising, elitst thinking that has come to dominate British politics, with a greater focus on family, place and reducing economic inequality.
It will also see discussion about the threat Labour faces from UKIP – now the main opposition in 41 of the seats the party holds – and whether or not Labour can replant itself in political ground it looks to be losing.
With Labour now beached on the voter-repellent hard left until the 2020 election defeat, the party needs all the intellectual life it can muster.
(*Tickets for the event are still available by following the above link).
Kevin Meagher is associate editor of Uncut