Labour lost the 2015 General Election because not enough people voted for the Party. Unfortunately recognising this self-evident truth does not carry us very far. Given the immediate resignation of Labour leader Ed Miliband the focus at the time of writing is on the election of a successor: competing candidates are seeking to present themselves as someone who can reverse long-term trends and bring Labour back to power. Sadly this contest has become a beauty parade with the underlying debate on the purpose of the party taking place in coded terms, if at all.
What is needed is a thoroughgoing reappraisal of how Labour’s values can be delivered in the modern economy. There are critical questions that must be addressed by the progressive left: in particular, how we can manage modern capitalism so benefits and opportunities are more equitably shared? It is far more important to undertake a wide-ranging and honest debate than to move to a quick solution that gives the Party face validity in its opposition role.
This argument is explored more fully in my discussion document Labour’s politics – the challenge for our next leader. This is attached as a word file below. It will be developed in short book on my experiences and perspective on Labour politics in the UK. The intention will be to publish it in electronic form, available free of charge in September.