Tuesday 31 March 2020

Clarity’s the key for the long haul

The purpose of the Radical Party is to stimulate discussion on what an evidence-based, egalitarian, democratic, humane, progressive, left-of-centre and electorally credible political agenda could look like – a task which someone must get a grip on. Most of our policies could hardly fail to fall somewhere within the spectrum of views encompassed by the Labour Party. But, in contrast to the Labour Party’s programme, they do propose a progressive vision which is coherent and defined. The problem with the Labour’s offer is that it embraces such a wide range of views – from Blair, who courted Bush and Berlusconi, to Corbyn who admired Hugo Chavez – that it doesn’t offer any clear idea of the kind of society that, given the opportunity, the Labour Party would work to create. The Party’s ambiguity over the Brexit issue illustrates the consequence in terms of electability and the same is true of other issues that are crucial for potential supporters, such as defence, immigration, electoral reform and energy. Before the General Election, trying to pin down what a Labour Government would actually do was like shaking a kaleidoscope. Sadly, the signs are that, as leader, Keir Starmer will prioritise papering over the differences between two philosophically irreconcilable wings of the Party over offering any specific and workable alternative to Toryism – with predictable results in five years’ time.