internationalism

Bedtime: Time to put the last Labour government to bed

Bedtime

Kitty Ussher, Jacqui Smith, Anne Begg, Stephen Twigg and Mike Gapes assess how Labour did. Richard Angell explains the motivation for this new assessment, and argues that the last Labour government should be the inspiration to be in government again – not the inspiration for the next government.

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Introduction Time to put the last Labour government to bed Bedtime it might be, but only so the Labour movement can awaken as a party of government again, writes Richard Angell

The mantle of credibility Trust in Labour on the economy was hard won, deserved, then needlessly lost, suggests Kitty Ussher

The bedrock of social justice Labour rejected the fatalistic assumption that public services could never really deliver higher standards or fairer access, reflects Jacqui Smith

The escape from poverty Labour made strong progress in the battle against poverty and unemployment, finds Anne Begg

Equality for all We must not forget the equalities legislation passed under the Labour government, writes Stephen Twigg

A more progressive world The new Labour government in 1997 was immediately internationalist in its approach, recalls Mike Gapes

Conclusion Principled and proud The last Labour government should be the inspiration to be in government again, not the inspiration for the next government, argues Richard Angell

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Why It’s Time to Put the Last Labour Government to Bed

First published on the Huffington Post

BedtimeBeing backward-looking is a curse in politics. We need to know our history, so that we do not repeat the wrong bits. But pining for a bygone era, or looking to recreate something that has been and gone, never works. Worse still it stops you being able to shape the future. As centre-left people who want a Labour government, this is our task.

Today, at the Labour pressure group Progress where I am director, we launch Bedtime our stocktake of the record of the 1997-2010 government. It takes an audit of those thirteen years across five big areas of public policy: the economy, pubic services, welfare, equalities and human rights and foreign policy. We do this not to harp on about bygone days, but to help put those days firmly behind the Labour party – and to play our part in helping it move on. To put behind us, the inheritors to the party’s modernising tradition, once and for all, the idea that we are simply looking to pick up where Tony Blair left off in 2007 or Gordon Brown left off in 2010. (more…)