Thursday, 28 August 2014

Of A Sort, Perhaps

I am active in Progress, Movement for Change, Unite the Union, the Co-operative Party, the Fabian Society, Christians on the Left, Compass, the Labour Representation Committee, the People’s Assembly Against Austerity, the People’s Press Printing Society, Blue Labour, and elsewhere, especially as Director of the One Nation Society, which is supported formally and informally by several MPs.

But due to an electorally poisonous local official whom I knew at school but who joined Labour long after I did, I am not a Labour Party member. I find that useful. I am the kind of person whom Labour needs to reach and retain in order to regain and retain office.

Apparently, that means that I cannot be a candidate for the Progress Strategy Board. It would be interesting to ponder if that would have been the line before the recent elections to the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party. But here we are.

Now, for whom to vote? Thom Brooks gets a God’s Own University pass, especially for being the only candidate from this part of the country and the only one who follows me on Twitter. But how to cast the other three? Which, if any, of them could say this?:

I stand on the centre ground.

The contribution-based Welfare State, with contribution defined to include, for example, caring for children or elderly relatives. Workers’ rights, with trade unionism. Community organising. Profit-sharing. The co-operative movement and wider mutualism.

Consumer protection. Strong communities. Fair taxation. Full employment, with low inflation. Pragmatic public ownership, including of the railways, utilities and postal service.

Local government. The Union. The Commonwealth. The national and parliamentary sovereignty of the United Kingdom in the face of all challenges. Economic patriotism, including energy independence and balanced migration.

Conservation and the countryside, especially the political representation of the rural working class. Superb and inexpensive public transport. Academic excellence, with technical proficiency.

Civil liberties, with law and order, including visible and effective policing. Fiscal responsibility. A strong financial services sector, with a strong food production and manufacturing base, and with the strong democratic accountability of both.

A total rejection of class war, insisting instead upon “a platform broad enough for all to stand upon”. A large and thriving private sector, a large and thriving middle class, and a large and thriving working class.

Very high levels of productivity, with the robust protection of workers, consumers, communities and the environment, including powerful workers’ representation at every level of corporate governance. A base of real property for every household.

A realist foreign policy, including strong national defence. A leading role on the world stage. A vital commitment to peace. And a complete absence of weapons of mass destruction.

This is the centre ground.


  1. On twitter a few hours ago, David Lindsay posted: "I am available to be the @Conservatives candidate at #Clacton. Beggars can't be choosers, @grantshapps."

    If you must give your enemies ammunition, I don't see the point of complaining.

    1. I don't think that that ... oh, why bother?

  2. David Lindsay in a later post on this blog: "I am still available, Grant Shapps. You know where I am."

    Given your difficulties rejoining the Labour Party, can you blame your readers for taking these comments seriously? Have you gone off the idea of a left-right alliance?

    1. I certainly can blame my readers for ... oh, why bother?

      Now, what to do if there is a desperate email from Shapps tomorrow?

      On topic, please.

  3. James from Durham29 August 2014 at 09:03

    Have you ever considered acquiring a sense of humour, anonymous?