A Level Politics

Improving your grade

Left winger attacks New Labour

Posted by Matt Walker on September 10, 2009

cruddas In a brief discussion with year 12 yesterday, we acknowledged the fact that political parties are broad coalitions of opinion, rather than a completely unified group of people. A good example of this emerged yesterday within the Labour Party.

Labour backbencher, Jon Cruddas, made a speech to the left wing think tank, Compass. According to a BBC article he:

 

… blamed New Labour for adopting a "sour, illiberal" form of politics which assumed the worst in people and "equated aspiration with nothing more than crude acquisitiveness". 

It also states that Cruddas called for:

more redistributive taxation, a fairer deal for Labour’s core supporters on housing and immigration, an end to airport expansion and scrapping Trident….

In other words, Labour’s values should move away from a preoccupation with consumerism and do more to help the core supporters which Labour was created to represent.

This is a direct criticism of   New Labour and its architects, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. The Left favour greater equality between rich and poor and are against Britain’s nuclear weapons (Trident). By contrast, New Labour, whilst favouring some redistribution of income, have never really attempted to close the gap between rich and poor. Where Cruddas and the Left favour community and the public sector, New Labour have often (but not exclusively) stressed their values in terms of the market.

Cruddas believes that Labour will lose the next election. He is setting out his stall early in an attempt to shape Labour’s  policy agenda which will undoubtedly be up for grabs if they do return to opposition next year.

Labour ‘lacks a compelling case’

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