....for all the left’s remarkable resurgence, it still has no idea what it stands for. The post-industrial, post-cold war left remains, as this work incontrovertibly illustrates, a decidedly reactionary tendency, a loose bundle of issues and grievances having as much to do with one another as, well, as adjacent stories in a newspaper....
.... the newsprint theory of social progress – the creation of a progressive majority organized against a series of immanent, rightist wrongs, and sharing nothing so much as common heading, the obvious being obvious, that of the New York Times.
It does - for me - raise a bit of a question: How far was the liberal capitalist consensus - the one that has broadly engulfed even ultra-pristine organs such as My Very Own Labour Party (removes cap, stands up straight for a moment) - one that was the product of political devilment, and how far was it simply a consequence of the popular narrative?
I ask this because, I suspect, that many of these liberals are feeling a bit hard-done-by at the moment? After all, they - y'know - opposed the bail-out - y'know, deep down. And it was the fault of the government dontcha know?
Has the left failed to frame anything of a narrative because of a lack of a following wind? And will this all change - now that The Witch is Dead? Can we expect an end to this nonsense and a growing realisation that there is a need to develop an understanding of how collective action works and how it can be translated into a programme?
Is this the reason that Labour really needs at least one more term?
I think - and I hope - that a programme can only be developed once you have a following wind. I say this because I think we (the left) have one now for the first time in a long time. Just look at how Thatcherism developed as an example. It was sort-of serendipitous for them in many ways.
Mrs Thatcher only really stumbled on council house sales and privitisation largely by accident. Looking back now, it's hard to believe that it wasn't all hatched in the basement of the IEA in the early 1970s, but in reality, it wasn't in the 1979 manifesto, and only cast a pale shadow over the 1983 one....