International socialism revisited?

The barrage of e-mails continues and makes me more depressed. Like many Labour Party Members I am looking for someone to offer some new thinking, a vision that inspires, and an indication that some thought has been given as to how we may get there. Instead I am getting a load of marketing tat.

Last week there were two stories that, to me at least, underline the argument for democratic socialism and the need for a fresh approach to its delivery. The first concerned international money laundering and its consequences. On Tuesday, speaking in Singapore, Prime Minister David Cameron argued that foreigners must not be able to buy UK homes with plundered or laundered cash as part a global effort to defeat corruption. He suggested that London had become a place to stash dodgy cash. Luxury properties in our capital have escalated in value while remaining unoccupied

The second story broke the following day. It was revealed that one of a Minnesota dentist had paid $50000 to destroy a lion for pleasure in Zimbabwe. It was disgraceful on so many levels.

There are important links to be made. Obscene wealth is not only toxic in its consequences but must be seen as an international problem.   The Labour Party must develop a clear statement of how modern global capitalism can be organised to deliver growth without producing obscene levels of inequality. Such a statement and the related policies can only be developed on an international basis.

So far none of the candidates have convinced me that they are even thinking about the topic. However here is a quote from a recent newspaper interview with someone who is not running. What is needed is, he said, is:

‘a confident internationalist, European outlook, learning lessons from the SNP in Scotland and Syriza in Greece’ and ‘the party should be arguing for a progressive and interventionist state to support citizens and communities in confronting the challenge of globalisation’.

The interview was with Tristram Hunt, MP, who served as Labour’s Shadow Education Spokesperson. He failed to get sufficient momentum to run for the Leadership – rumour has it that Liz Kendall moved earlier in securing support from a receptive group of MPs. This is a shame. Articulating the problem is a long way from offering a coherent solution, but it’s a start.

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