Blue Labour on the BBC

The BBC has trailed tonight’s edition of Radio 4’s Analysis which looks at Blue Labour, the left’s response to the Big Society.  The programme will examine the tensions in Labour between a liberal wing which emphasises equality and diversity and a conservative strand, newly resurgent, which emphasises instead solidarity, mutuality and community.

As the BBC article makes clear, the “intellectual godfather” of Blue Labour is the Labour peer and academic Maurice Glasman who is a Fellow of the Contextual Theology Centre.

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One thought on “Blue Labour on the BBC

  1. Yernat says:

    But it is over-simplistic. Unless you think that Britain in the 1980s was a country that was in love with the bomb, enhlasiasticutly europhile, yearned for cuts in public services, adored privatisation and loathed workers in traditional industries. Now you and I were only young at the time, but I don’t think that was the country I grew up in.In fact polls show a much more complex picture, suggesting that Britain’s love affair with Thatcher was a much less clear-cut business.Yes, Labour recovered psephologically through the later 80s and 90s, but again I think it is simplistic (and complacent) to put that down to changes of policy, or of personality.There was a vicious campaign against the left from both within the party and outside (in the media) in the early 1980s. This was because parts of the establishment were frankly terrified by the prospect of a genuinely radical government of the left (many of the same parts of the establishment that contemplated a fascistic military coup against Wilson – these are no friends of the labour movement; after all some who had moved to the right, like Kinnock, didn’t escape the media assassination attempts).By 1992, Tony Benn was probably one of the most popular labour movement figures with the general public, from being painted as a democracy-hating demagogue in the early 80s. His views had changed very little (and any change was leftward). Conversely Thatcher had gone from being a popular war leader in ’83 to being an enormously unpopular figure. To put these seismic changes down to red roses, abandonment of unilateralism or Militant expulsions is nonsensical. Once the ‘threat’ of a democratic socialist government had been eradicated, by the campaigns against the left, against the miners and against the labour movement – left-wing personalities could once again be publically presented as amiable eccentrics. While they were dangerous they had to be painted as dishonest.Luke, there are many changes I would like to see in society, but I don’t stand waving some utopia and believing the people would love it if only they could shed their false consciousness, etc. In fact, if you take things policy by policy, large parts of this country appear to be with me on a hell of a lot of issues. There are other arguments where I’m in a minority, of course. That’s politics. That’s democracy. But I don’t believe Thatcher’s hegemonic control of common sense really changed people or their wishes so very much. I think most people want to live in a society that is fair, that works together to further the interests of those who would suffer alone, and not in the interests of the already powerful. I think most people want to live in a society that is honest and want a politics that is honest. That’s the society I want to live in too.

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