Thursday, 2 September 2010

Not New Labour, not Old Labour - Now Labour

I’ve not read Tony Blair’s account of his time as Prime Minister - I shall read it though, and look forward to it. I listened to his BBC interview with interest. Much of what he says is true - he’s no liar, after all. Working with others, and following on from John Smith, then Neil Kinnock, he brought the party into government and led a government achieving many things to be proud of.

But even Tony Blair is still using old arguments on which to build his way forward. That we must build on New Labour and continue to develop in a New Labour way.

He’s wrong. So are people in the other camp; that we need to return to our old ways.

What we need is to develop a new way forward, considering our strategies and policies afresh and in the light of life in 2010 and beyond.

We must reinvigorate our relationship with traditional labour voters and members; and we must attract like-minded people who are entrepreneurs or in higher-paid jobs. We must look at the cost of Trident. I’ve been into many successful (highly successful) academy schools, LA schools and grammar schools; how can we build and spread upon best practice and rescue education from Gove’s free-market education system? How can we ensure education and training that is appropriate for post 16s? The NHS is transformed, our GPs practices are transformed within this; how can we improve and work with (assuming it happens) the sweeping change that is about to take place? How do we sustain a vigorous and exciting arts policy - importing a system from the US won’t work. And so on . . .

This is not New Labour, nor Old Labour, it’s Now Labour. The leadership debate shows what fine people we have in Parliament - and of course we have many not in Parliament, too.

Let’s live in today and get on with it.

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