Red Toryism and Blue Labour are not progressive

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Red Toryism and Blue Labour are not progressive


Nostalgia for a "golden age" of British communities has no place in truly progressive politics

Philip Blond’s Red Toryism and Maurice Glasman’s Blue Labour contain essentially the same sentiments: nostalgic communitarianism. These new narratives are understandable attempts to show empathy with those who feel left behind and short-changed by the Thatcherite revolution, to reconnect with those who shunned politics and stopped voting some time ago. Hungry to hoover up potential electoral support, the ideas have gained currency among Westminster strategists.

But these philosophies risk lionising some dated and illiberal assumptions which do nothing to help the most vulnerable flourish in today’s society. Peter Mandelson, in The Guardian yesterday, was right to say: “Blue Labour’s…romantic ideas about working class people turning back the clock is misplaced.” Though certain elements have appeal, the overarching narratives of Red Toryism and Blue Labour are not progressive. They may even be dangerous.

Both celebrate

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  1. July 28, 2011

    David Ward

    Of course, it’s naive to imagine we can recreate the 1950′s in 2015.

    But what’s unreasonable about the ordinary employee having more control over their company, including an ownership stake? About finding ways for the bottom 90% of income earners to redress the reductions in output they earn each year?

    Or taxing land and capital gains more than we do now.

    These things can be done, and won’t be “dangerous”.

  2. July 28, 2011

    Robert Eve

    We know that ‘progressive’ means left wing.

    Do you want to use a different word?

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