Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Labour must "excavate its liberal treasure"

Later: You can now read the full article on Prospect's website.

This morning's Guardian had a story promoting an article in the June issue of Prospect. It is by Philip Collins, a former Blair speechwriter, and Richard Reeves, an academic who recently published a book on John Stuart Mill.

That article is now on the Prospect website, but unfortunately it is only available to the magazine's subscribers. So it looks as though I shall have to buy a copy.

Because the Guardian article suggests its analysis of Labour current problems is spot on:
He (sic) takes a swipe at Brown and his allies who place their faith in the "benign" power of the central state. "Ed Balls [the schools secretary] wants a national play strategy. Such gestures remind us that Labour's faith in central government draws from the deep, poisoned well of its Fabian tradition.

"Labour has been in thrall to the Fabian branch of its history for decades, even as its purchase on the world has loosened ... Labour's future, after three terms, looks bleak. The only hope for the party is to excavate its liberal treasure."


dreamingspire said...

You may not be so keen after you read David Osler's take on Collins over at Liberal Conspiracy. But he hasn't read the full article yet, either.

Jonathan Calder said...

I have already read Osler's article. I thought it was very weak.

asquith said...

If Labour have a liberal streak, they're hiding it extremely well, is all I can say.

Though having said that, the original Labour were not statist and worked in tandem with the old Liberal Party. I, Asquith, should know...

The cooperative movement is not alien to us. I believe we can make alliances with sections the left, and with right-wing libertarians. Today, we're seeing a situation where people form alliances on a case by case basis. People who agree with me on one thing will disagree with me on another, so I haven't got fixed friends or enemies in politics.

And I like that situation.