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.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Diamond thinking

I started to read this article by Patrick Diamond and Michael Kenny - http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/sep/09/labour-leader-social-democracy - thinking I would hate it because the Guardian's news piece about it (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/sep/09/labour-party-urged-abandon-tribalism) had badged it up as attack on tribalism, and well... I'm a kinda tribal Labour tribally tribalist person - or rather I see no contradiction between tribalism (wanting to maximise Labour's vote and power) and pluralism (accepting when we don't have majority support and being prepared to work with other progressives to construct a majority).

But I was pleasantly surprised when I actually read it as most of it actually make a lot of sense ... though bits of it don't.

Have a read. I thought the bits about the "centrality of the democratic state to Labour politics" and "returning to the case for a far wider diffusion of property and asset ownership in Britain" were excellent, though I baulked at the conclusion of the third strand that "Many more collectively owned assets and institutions – parks, libraries and leisure centres – should be run by the communities they serve" - they already are run by communities - that's what elected local councils are -and a better third strand would be to outflank the Tories on localism by giving real extra power to councillors, thereby reinvigorating grassroots democratic structures, and giving new purpose and power to local political parties.

Overall though it's the best thinking I've seen during the course of the leadership contest, and the beauty of it is that the ideas are ones that could easily be run with by whichever candidate wins.


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