A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The noise of hatchets being buried

The rapprochement between Blairites and Brownites heralded by Peter Mandelson's return to Government seems to be accelerating with the news that one of the most thoughtful former Blairite Special Advisers, Patrick Diamond, who previously worked for Blair, Milburn and Mandelson, is leaving the EHRC and returning to No10 to work for Gordon Brown. This is good news as Patrick is an ideas man and likely to generate the kind of fresh thinking on policy that might really help at the moment.


Anonymous neil harding said...

you have me worried. If you think it good then it must be bad news for us lefties.

7:30 pm, March 21, 2009

Blogger Mark Still News said...

Time to get the right wing crap out of the party?

8:47 pm, March 21, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

an ideas man,lol has the labour party got so few ideas that they have to bring somebody in to think of some you could not make it up lol

7:38 am, March 22, 2009

Blogger Robert said...

Brown has none he said a number of times wait until you see my vision, god I'm glad I did not see it, otherwise what a nightmare.

10:13 am, March 22, 2009

Blogger Mark Still News said...

We need more John McDonnell's in the LP. His web site link below


6:55 pm, March 22, 2009

Anonymous Well said...

How about an elected ideas man.

Party renewal should be coming from elected members and not people apointed by the PM.

This is suposed to be a democracy not the fucking board of Marks and Spencer.

10:55 pm, March 22, 2009

Anonymous Rich said...

Even if Labour manage to win another term, which I doubt they will, how on earth are they going to keep public services and low taxes when there is over a trillion in public debt.

The tories must be sweating at the moment too as even if they win they also face difficult decisions with respect to tax and spending.

Gordon must admit some fault here. His management of the economy has put the whole public sector at serious risk. Gordon has virtually zero options, the money has been spent.

I just can't see how a new man can throw new ideas in this environment. There is no money for new ideas and staying afloat is the main priority.

11:11 pm, March 22, 2009

Anonymous Dave H said...

I remember when the Millbank machine thought that Patrick Diamond was a dangerous subversive!

9:42 am, March 23, 2009

Blogger opus said...

Re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic comes to mind.....

11:11 am, March 23, 2009

Anonymous nigel griffiths said...

I've always found Patrick to be quite delightful! He's like sooooooooo hot! He can come to my office any time!

4:37 pm, March 23, 2009

Blogger Duncan Hall said...

Slightly amused by Dave H's comment. Is this the Labour Students coup? I guess he was the Ellie Reeves of his day... although I do believe there was some consternation as he was not 'Buggins' and it was not his turn.

But then the best of them ended up in a smoke-filled room plotting something or other with the likes of me once in a while. Weren't we at a weird meeting in Hull once, Luke? I seem to remember members of Socialist Action trying to persuade me to vote for you for something!

10:29 pm, March 23, 2009

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Patrick was backed by a coalition of Blairites and the left for NOLS Chair. Joe McGowan was backed by Brownites/the old Labour right. Sort of Progress + Compass versus Labour First.

In my day as National Secretary we never allowed such indiscipline as two moderate candidates running against each other ...

12:11 pm, March 24, 2009

Blogger Duncan Hall said...

No, but a little before you became National Secretary, a rather similar coalition...

Anyway, I digress.

I recall Patrick's election very well. Nothing like Compass existed then (Labour Reform did - but not at youth level) so we had to create it. The ADLC. Then make a 'grassroots alliance' with it. All a terrible faff. And the Blairite aspect of this was quite well hidden until AFTER the election...

Not something I look back at with a great deal of satisfaction, though I think we got more Young Labour Left members on the NC than previous years.

2:51 pm, March 24, 2009

Anonymous James Thurston said...

Oh no!

The last thing the Labour Party needs is 'Old New Labour' retreads': cue even more disaster for our electoral fortunes!

The issues affecting the UK today and the political landscape it now has moved way beyond 'Blairite' solutions. Labour needs a totally fresh review of its policies and needs to pursue a radically - NOT HARD LEFT - different direction. It needs to develop a brand new coherent 'Post Blairite' direction/ philosophy which combines the strengths and more moderate aspects of both 'Old Labour' (eg the the Public Ethos and non profit making principles of the Public Sector) and New Labour (Efficiently run Services).

It is essential that we avoid at all costs reverting back to the failures of 'Old Labour' but more importantly to move away from the now outdated 'New Labour' model.

Indeed, if you study the Books written by the leading lights of 'New Labour' during the period of its infancy (some written by Tony Blair himself)'New Labour' actually highlighted the failures of the internal market in the NHS for instance heavily criticising the dire effects it wrought on patient care. This stance is one which is totally at odds to the reality we have today, 13 years on.

That is not to say that 'New Labour' has largely failed it needs to evolve. Indeed, in order to sustain its future sucess Labour needs to re-visit the roots of 'New Labour' and emerge as a new all powerful political force by being re-born as 'New New Labour' not 'Old Labour' Old New Labour', but 'New New Labour'.

We can be the Party of change. The Conservatives cannot. All they can offer is 'Smoke and Mirrors while still being committed to the now utterly discretided 'Thatcherism' of old.

3:19 pm, March 25, 2009


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