A long road ahead on the economy….
Although recent opinion polling has been good for the Labour Party, I have consistently argued against complacency and continue to feel indeed that this is the biggest potential threat to our chances of winning the next General Election. The reality is that it is hard to discern a definite mood amoung people, they are confused mostly by the collapse of old certainties. This is totally natural. We have been told consistently for a good long while that there is no alternative to neo-liberal economics but yet the failure of said economic model is plain for all to see.
No doubt this plays a huge role in the often contradictory nature of opinion polling on the economy, something Anthony Wells outlines here. Indeed, as Anthony notes, the prevailing mood is one of wanting to have our cake and eat it all at the same time. However, confused and confusing times call for strength and clarity, people want an alternative but they are not prepared to make a massive break with the status quo in lieu of a viable alternative. Currently, our economic narrative is not to providing a bold alternative, it is more like managerial tinkering at the edges.
This may have a certain ephemeral appeal in the circumstances as outlined but, as they say, fortune favours the brave. The same is true of politics. It is the bold parties, the ones that capture and shape the popular imagination, that prosper in the end, no matter how isolated they look in the short-term. It is not as if we don’t have the building blocks in place either, a strong background in co-operative values, we as a Party are the progenitors and true heirs to the real ‘Big Society’, and I don’t mean the slash n burn variety as espoused by Mr Cameron and company. We could offer a vision, a co-operative and mutual vision, of a society and economy transformed, a phoenix risen out of the ashes but a sustainable one. All we need is the courage to strike out, yes probably alone at first, and show we are the only Party that can resolve this crisis and return Britain and indeed Europe to prosperity, but sustainable prosperity. So, Mr Miliband, Mr Balls, the ball really is in your court now, the heritage of the Party you belong too points the way and Britain expects and needs nothing less.