Posts Tagged ‘into the black Labour’

Socialism is the language of priorities

07/12/2011, 10:06:30 AM

by Jonathan Todd

I had no idea that policy network was going to publish “into the black Labour” at the end of last week. Its stress upon fiscal credibility, however, chimed with one of the themes of my piece for Labour Uncut earlier last week. My other theme was the economic incompetence of the government, which Cormac Hollingworth argues was not shown in “into the black Labour” and needs to be demonstrated for Labour to return to government.

I see no contradiction between demonstrating both the government’s economic incompetence and Labour’s fiscal credibility. In fact, the whole point of my piece last week was that both are essential. There is every chance that the government’s incompetence will come to be more widely accepted by a frustrated public. However, we delude ourselves if we presume that this will be enough to return us to government. We will not win by default. We need to make a positive case for Labour that includes lessons learnt from the last general election.

“Into the black Labour” is right to see fiscal credibility as central to this positive case. To make this case, Labour needs to follow through on the policy changes that increased fiscal credibility requires and to repeatedly stress these changes in the way we present ourselves.

We need to change and be seen to have changed, such that by being this change we personify the answers to Britain’s problems. And Britain faces no bigger problem than finding the resources to pay for public services. Yet, as “into the black Labour” recognises, “it is precisely the vagueness of Labour’s position over its short to medium term plans for the deficit that confirms the voters’ worst suspicions about the party’s lack of commitment to addressing the fiscal crisis”.


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