Now that the dust is settling on the new politics my eyes have been truly opened to the sneering tribal quasi-religiosity of Labour diehards. They act as if they’re of a superior sect full of entitlement. They simply don’t GET the modern world.
That being said we now need to act very carefully to divorce the two different sets of `leftisms`. There’s the Labour leftism that has a couple of defining characteristcs:
1. Their desire for Swedish style services without the corresponding taxes
2. Their view of human beings as objects in a `quasi-marxist determinist project` to be used as pawns in a centralist project
3. Their view of the economic structure as `lollipop political-economics` ie `here’s another lollipop – now vote Labour again`
There will now be a huge fight over the word `Progressive`. We must deconstruct the three points above and fashion the word in our own image for both reasons of party survival and for delivery in the Coalition.
Labour have done three things that debauched our society:
1. Built up a massive debt (again Swedish services at US tax rates)
2. Used targets, means-testing and anti-libertarian measures to beat down on the mass of people
3. Tried to cheapen the political esteem of low income people by sucking them into a system of `lollipop` benefits that seem unsustainable in the long-term
These have all been called `progressive` and indeed the national minimum wage, sure start and other things are. We have to prove to lower income people that we can do better.
What we should say `Progressive` means:
1. It is more progressive to raise the threshold to 10k than to provide more `lollipop benefits`
2. It is more progressive to strengthen our economy by strengthening the private sector and creating jobs – if that means bearing down on the deficit quicker then so be it
3. It is more progressive to be honest with people about what’s REALLY going on in the Economy than pretending everything’s hunky dory
4. It’s more progressive to give deprived youngsters the fairest start in life through the pupil premium – providing the discipline and the nurturing kids need. the lower class sizes will pinpoint those with most difficulties. Once it becomes apparent which parents need assistance the school and other agencies are more able to assist.
NO CHILD SHOULD BE LEFT BEHIND – if the state is the only entity on his /her side then so be it.
5. It is more progressive to have stable house prices and well-regulated banks – that way families can plan for their futures without having to factor in house prices bubbles and tiny interest rates.
Apart from delivering on this `fair and free`agenda – we need to claim back the vernacular for ourselves.