Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Story of the Blues - what Blue Labour isn't - come and join us next Saturday

I get a bit weary explaining that Blue Labour isn't about becoming more Tory. It absolutely isn't.

When Maurice Glasman came up with the name he was thinking about the blues, about blue collar issues, not the colour of another party.

Anyway, I'm involved in this event next Saturday in Manchester which I think is an important opportunity in our politics.

Since 2009, Blue Labour has been exploring and detailing the growing disconnect between the Labour Party and those whom it has traditionally sought to represent. This has included wide-ranging analyses - from welfare to economics, mass immigration to family policy - but at its heart has remained a consistent, core insight: an all-out embrace of liberalism, both social and economic, has alienated the Labour Party from its traditional working-class support. This conference aims to further explore those key insights, discerning where common cause might be found beyond the confines of current party orthodoxies, assisting the Labour Party in once again becoming a broad coalition of diverse interests and aims.

We've got a wide range of speakers - MPs Lisa Nandy and Graham Jones, controversially we've also invited Stephen Woolfe, who was elected a UKIP MEP. There will be a smattering of thinkers and writers including Maurice Glasman, Philip Blond, Nora Mulready and Rod Liddle. But more than anything we want to properly start a hard conversation about our politics and what's going to be important. There's one thing I can guarantee, there are no easy answers.

I'll leave you with a word from the wiseguy, Pete Wylie, from Story of the Blues, part 2:

"Well that's my story and I'm sticking to that. So let's have another drink and let's talk about the blues. Blues is about dignity, it's about self-respect, and no matter what they take away from you - that's yours for keeps..."

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