Blairite

No compromise with reality?

First published in Progress magazine

No one has levelled with the public about what drives migration to this country

‘No compromise with the electorate’ was Ted Knight’s infamous opinion when he and his hard-left friends ran Lambeth council into the ground in the 1980s. After the 2015 general election, a senior Labour member of parliament who has long been associated with Progress said to me, ‘On immigration, you are as bad as the Trots – no comprise with the electorate.’ Recently another MP remarked how bizarre it was that, as they saw it, ‘Tony Blair and Diane Abbott basically have the same opinion on immigration’.  The former prime minister’s mantra of ‘fair rules without prejudice’ is certainly a position I – and most Labour party members – can get on board with. But the initial comment made me think.

Is there a neo-Blairite/neo-Bennite, liberal metropolitan elite view and is it just a modern form of Knight’s philosophy? Do they have a point? (more…)

Modernising modernisers

PROJXXXX_Mag_October_22.09.15_FrontCover_RGB_SFirst published in Progress magazine and on the Huffington Post

The result of the Labour leadership election was hurtful – to pretend otherwise would be untrue. I think the candidate that I supported did a brilliant job – tough though her task was. As Jeremy Corbyn said, Liz Kendall ‘absolutely stands up for what she believes in’. Yvette Cooper came out and changed government policy on refugees. Andy Burnham showed he was one of the nicest guys in politics. Congratulations are due to Jeremy Corbyn and his team.

It is horrid losing elections. Internal ones are often more painful. While May’s general election result was hard to take, losing within the party for which you have worked your whole adult life is more personal, especially when your very motive for doing so has been brought so firmly into question. (more…)