In praise of the 40 ‘radicals’….
LabourList has the details of the platform supported by over 40 Labour MP’s which calls for a ‘radical and redistributive’ Labour manifesto. There is alot of the platform that is praiseworthy and in my eyes fully supportable such as, the insistence that;
The recession should be tackled not with cuts in essential public spending, but by massive public investment in house-building, infrastructure and the de-carbonisation of the economy.
To my mind this is not only the ‘right thing to do’ but also economically the best option for the government to pursue in this current climate. Similarly, further demands around breaking-up the banks and an expansion of public services are welcome. In fact, it’s hard for me to find things to disagree with which might be in danger of making this blog a little dull.
However, it is worth considering the context of these demands and there aptness in the current political climate. Lest we forget that Labour is looking for a fourth term and, naturally, people feel an itch for change. This cannot be forgotten and it should be remembered that Labour has begun to do better as the ‘underdog’ as opposed to the incumbent.
Therefore, it would be wrong for the leadership to become complacent after the latest opinion polls which have shown the Conservative lead ebbing. The latest ComRes poll has the Conservative Party lead down to just 7% and it fits the pattern of a shrinking Conservative advantage (the last three have shown leads of 9,7 and 9%).
However, this is as much to do with Cameron’s current problems as it is a swing back towards positive support for Labour (though doubtless some of that will exist). Rather than being seen as the definitive proof of recovery; it should be seen as a glimmer; an expression of Labour’s potential should it successfully convince people change is best achieved by re-electing it to government.