Sunday, 7 July 2013

Labour must not let the media dictate terms

What the country most needs now is for an alternative to austerity to be put to voters. It is a difficult argument. Most voters buy into the narrative of cutting the deficit, and they have bought into the welfare problem.  It is a false narrative because the deficit was not and is not the cause of UK economic woe, and nor is welfare dependency part of the problem.

Even the Centre for Policy Studies argues for an alternative to austerity. The right wing think tank argues for a growth strategy. Labour it seems has given up the argument against austerity. It appears to have given up arguments  for spending on growth. But now a greater danger looms. Macho politics set by the media. 

Here I have t make a confession. I was a Blairite before Mr Blair. I believed if Labour was to be a credible party of power it had to change. It had to abandon false tokens, such as nationalisation, which in any event did not define socialism. But this is not a Blair moment, and Labour should not allow the media to set the boundaries of the debate. 

Mr Miliband should show leadership, but he also  needs to be brave in setting out a genuine alternative to austerity. Else what choice will there be for voters in 2015? 

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