The Thick of It


Thursday, May 08, 2008

Bold Labour

I wrote yesterday of how I spoke on BBC Radio Five Live of the need for Labour to be bold, mark its territory set out a clear Labour vision.

I am a big fan of James Purnell and in the latest New Statesman he argues the very same thing. It is another as to whether Labour will successfully do so. Set out a bold vision showing that Labour really wants to remove children from poverty to open up opportunity. Because we believe this to be morally right, not because we think it will make people vote for us, like Cameron's Conservatives.

Be bold, be Labour, then make a concerted effort to show why a Labour government will be better and different from a Tory government that pays lip service to social justice. It pays lip service because New Labour has shifted the centre of political gravity after ten years in power. Don't forget that. Otherwise, why would the Tories even be talking about poverty? When I grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, they denied it was even an issue.

Marking out clear divisions between Labour and Tories might also help recapture voters who have become cynical of political parties and have ceased to engage in the political process. This is the challenge for Brown. He needs to meet it, otherwise I fear for the future.

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