Posts Tagged ‘Still Party Like It’s 1995’

The world has changed: but we’re still partying like it’s 1995

22/09/2011, 11:14:07 AM

by Peter Watt

Since the general election it is fair to say that the Labour party, probably the left generally, has been struggling with exactly what it is there for. In simple terms, what is it that the Labour party wants to do that the government doesn’t?

The problem has been that there has been a divide in Labour’s ranks over the handling of the economic situation, the cuts, the Blair and the Brown legacy. So when it comes to key questions we struggle for coherent answers. Would we have needed to cut? Should we tax more or less? Should we defend public sector jobs? What about the role of the private sector in delivering the public services? Is there a “progressive majority”? On so many issues there is a divide on the left.

The government, in contrast, seems to lack none of this uncertainty. It makes mistakes, but at its heart it is playing a pretty mainstream tune. Mainstream in the literal sense that its overall message resonates with, well, the mainstream of voters. It’s a message of economic prudence, balancing the books, prioritising spending decision and localising decision making. It celebrates family and tradition but looks to the future. It is comfortable with enterprise and would prefer lower rates of tax.

Those “right wing extremists” have become the mainstream and the Labour party is becalmed on the fringe, apparently struggling to find answers to the problems of the day. The government is a security blanket in a scary world. And that is before we know the full extent of the Eurozone crisis. (more…)

Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon