Let me begin with an apology. I have never met Stella Creasy nor heard her speak. She does however come highly recommended by those who have and is evidently a competent and capable person with a contribution to make to the future of the Labour Party. I was contemplating voting for her and still well might. However the latest communication that I have received from her is depressing and serves as to illustrate my concern about the quality of the overall Leadership and Deputy Leadership debate.
It is, I appreciate, very difficult to make a mark in a crowded field. What Stella Creasy has done is to demonstrate her comfort with ‘new technologies and new techniques’ by ‘launching an innovative forum to ask you all how we can best work together’. Whoever designed her website has done a good job: it is well presented and offers anyone (and I do mean anyone) the opportunity to submit online a response to one of seven questions.
Such an unstructured exercise was never going to produce anything worthwhile. She has received a ragbag of submissions. A number of respondents have used it to express support for the retro-Labour candidature of Jeremy Corbyn. One person reproduced the old Clause IV which was removed from the Labour Party’s Constitution in 1995. The latest e-mail that I have received from Stella Creasy assures me that she has taken time to read all the comments and she reproduced three favourites. They include the following ‘Make stuff and flog it. The constituency next to mine made a charity cookbook type of thing called ‘Labour Saving Recipes’ and sold copies at the May Day March as well as at party events, I think they made a good bit of money from it.’ Our political response to the contraction of our traditional base should be to go out and make cakes.
I would urge Stella and the other Leadership and Deputy Leadership candidates to raise their game. I want them to inspire us: I want them to articulate a vision of the future. Accordingly I have sent all nine the following e-mail:
In my view the major task facing our new Leader and Deputy is the formulation of a coherent over-arching economic policy narrative for Labour in the 21st century, which, in co-operation with others, can be translated in to vision that inspires. What is required is a clear statement of how modern global capitalism can be organised to deliver growth without producing obscene levels of inequality, and how that growth can be harnessed to fund a well-managed welfare state.
Are you able to direct me to any of your thinking and writing on this topic? I look forward to hearing from you.
It will be interesting to see if I receive any answers. If so, I will report in a future blog.