‘Aspirational socialism.’ Again.

The big mistake political campaigners often make when they come up with slogans for their candidates is hubris.

They assume that the pithy little phrase they have dreamt up to encapsulate their candidate’s credo is an original. A gem they have found in the rough which they will polish until it shines.

To her detractors, she’s the ‘continuity Corbyn’ candidate, but it seems Rebecca Long-Bailey might be drawing inspiration from more mainstream Labour figures.

On Saturday, during the leadership hustings in Liverpool, she referred to her beliefs as “aspirational socialism.”

It’s a neat little line, combining, as it does, the ‘S’ word, which pleases the grassroots, with something vague and modern sounding. Who could be against people having aspirations? Rather than levelling down – the traditional criticism of left-wing politicians – it implies levelling-up. ‘You can still do well, but we just want more people to do well.’

Well, for someone deeply committed to Labour’s Green Industrial Revolution, Long-Bailey clearly practices what she preaches when it comes to recycling.

‘Aspirational socialism’ was used by Andy Burnham in his 2010 leadership campaign. The one where he came fourth in a field of five.

Perhaps, though, there’s an older vintage?

Here’s Long-Bailey’s predecessor as MP for Salford, Hazel Blears, back in 2010: “New Labour is about aspiration and ambition, which is absolutely how I come to be doing what I do, because my parents were ambitious and aspirational for me.”

Continuity Corbyn or Version 3.0 New Labour?

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5 Responses to “‘Aspirational socialism.’ Again.”

  1. John Reid says:

    I do ic thing about butnham coming forth in 2010 was the things he was saying if he’d said those things again in 2015 he’d have won, by that stage he was trying to appeal to Kendall voters and his lot voted Corbyn, he was my choice in 2010

  2. Alf says:

    No more cheap gimmicks and empty slogans. I’m backing Keir Starmer, the Progress/Labour First candidate, this time.

  3. John P Reid says:

    https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2020/01/will-keir-starmer-be-labours-hero-of-retreat/ the backing of Starmer by the so called Corbynite Guardian readers show that Starmer isn’t left wing at all ,he’s liberal ,and his posturing on Liberalism shows the middle class interpreted Jeremy as a lefty, he wasn’t he was a left, Lisa is the leftwinger

  4. steve says:

    The Right have nothing to fear from Long-Bailey – aspiration situates her offer firmly within the Blairite project.

    Can’t be very long before Rob Marchant pops up to write a Long-Bailey eulogy. After all, lets face it, ‘gifted communicator’ Jess Phillips is anything but and Keir ‘2nd Referendum’ Starmer despite his resources and experience, struggles to put a coherent sentence together, let alone a worthwhile policy proposal.

  5. Tafia says:

    ‘Aspirational Socialism’ – Completely meaningless bollocks that mean all things to all men and nothing to everyone and nobody’s quite sure which way up it should be. Same as that other load of drivel that’s suddenly started being uttered by Labour’s halfwits – ‘Progessive Nationalism’.

    Stop dreaming up meaningless phrases. If someone who left school at 16 with no qualifications and works in a warehouse or in a supermarket can’t understand exactly what you mean, in relation to their day-to-day life then they are not going to pay any attention to it let alone vote for it and you would have to be one thick barsteward to think otherwise.

    Politics is now a pre-packed, of the shelf, ready-to-go consumer experience and if the customer doesn’t understand the product instructions at first glance then they aren’t going to buy it.

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