Saturday, 14 May 2011

Turning the air blue

In recent months there’s been a lot of discussion about the concept of Blue Labour, which seeks to return the Labour movement to its roots in working-class communities, voluntarism and mutualism and rejects the top-down Statism and multiculturalism of the Blair and Brown era.

Now, many will dismiss the idea as a pack of nonsense on a par with Red Toryism. But I was very interested to see an interview in today’s Times (hidden behind the paywall) with Lord Maurice Glasman, leading proponent of Blue Labour, in which he says:

I would bring back smoking rooms in pubs. The idea that you meet your mates and you can’t have a cigarette with your beer is the most authoritarian, nightmarish, anti-English and anti-pleasure thing.
It’s widely thought that Labour was kicking its traditional working-class support in the teeth by bringing in the blanket smoking ban. But if I ever see that in a Labour manifesto then I really will bare my arse on the Town Hall steps.

1 comment:

  1. Oh this does so smack of the "it will never happen, but it might just pick us up some votes" - just because they are claiming a "return to the roots" you think that is going to change the mind set ... here is a Glasman's Blue Labour fan talking about what it should mean :

    http://www.leftfootforward.org/2011/05/chuka-umunna-my-vision-for-one-nation-labour/

    and oh look at just one of the choice phrases used

    "At the root of this is a belief in our innate mutual dependence. We believe individuals should be given the freedom to flourish, thrive and prosper, not just economically but in spirit and heart too. This can only be achieved in the context of a strong, cohesive society supporting each of us and our families in that endeavour, promoting the common good."

    Spot that "dependence" ? Dependence as in "The state of relying on or being controlled by someone or something else"

    I wonder which "someone else's" Chuka has in mind?

    Even if (and what a big if that is) it does ever make it all the way to becoming a manifesto pledge, commitment, undertaking or promise and "Blue Labour" gets elected, and Maurice Glasman is given the combined Cabinet posts of Chancellor of the Exchequer, Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Justice nothing will change ....not even if it is with a 250 seat majority and every single Blue labour MP elected was photographed during the election campaign signing a pledge to "bring back smoking rooms in pubs and private clubs - just the like the one they have in the House of Commons..."

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