Labour leadership: We need a bold leap to the future and a decisive break with the past

The 2020 election will be fundamentally different to this one


If he’s true to his word, we won’t face David Cameron – rather an invigorated Johnson, May or Javid. We face a politically gerrymandered boundary review, ‘English Votes for English laws’, radically different public services and a government with a tiny majority that will increasingly abandon parliamentary accountability for the safety of executive fiat.

But two events in this parliament will be the most significant for our country and it’s place in the world for hundreds of years: the risk of leaving the EU; and of a second chance to break up our own 300-year-old union fuelled by Scottish but also English nationalism.

These things could shape the destinies and opportunities of the British people even more fundamentally than five years of Tory consolidation of power or brutalism in our economy.

Another related theme underpinning these events is the increasing ascendancy of selfish and fearful individualism – not just reflected in our increasingly fragmented and unequal society, but also in how we act as a country in the world. We could utterly fail to respond to the challenges of the world by leaving one union and breaking up another.

The rise of nationalist Russia, the chaos in the Middle East, climate change, unmanaged migration and the continued global economic shift to the east could change the prospects and opportunities for future generations of Britons – the list is endless. None are questions that are answered by turning in on ourselves and breaking apart. They are only answered by collective, progressive politics – a politics which believes we achieve more together than we achieve alone.

However much some colleagues on the Labour left might fantasise about a ‘common ground’ commitment to centre-left economic policies, we must not be fooled – the SNP remain committed to one goal only: independence. Their project is clear – and decisive – and is anathema to our own Labour vision.

For all the reasons we fought and won the referendum last year we cannot give up on our union. And equally we must avoid the easy response to the clever but irresponsible Tory (let alone UKIP) stoking up of English nationalism which ends in the conclusion: ‘just let the Scots go’.

Meanwhile leaving the EU – rather than seeking its radical reform – would have devastating consequences for jobs, on prospects for our young people and on our relationships with key partners in an uncertain world. At a time of increasing global instability and rapid economic shifts, we could within five years be a broken, irrelevant and marooned rump on the fringe. With our place in global trade and diplomacy no longer secure, let alone our armed forces slashed and our national confidence critically wounded, the consequences for the British people could not be more serious.

Much of the post-election debate will focus on errors in policy, message and organisation. But any candidate for the Labour leadership who is serious about putting Britain back on a progressive path cannot seek merely to imitate Tony Blair, nor to regurgitate and repackage an economic and political offer which large swathes of the electorate have brutally rejected.

Instead they need to tell us how they would lead and win through two referenda, cope with the aftermath and reverse the worrying individualistic and nationalist shift in attitudes corroding the heart of our country and it’s future prospects.

Our country and our party need strong leadership and a global vision for the imminent and brutal battles of the late 2010s – and the radically changed world of the 2020s – not the 1980s or 1990s. We need a bold leap to the future. And a decisive break with the past.

Stephen Doughty is Labour/Co-op MP for Cardiff South & Penarth. Follow him on Twitter

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57 Responses to “Labour leadership: We need a bold leap to the future and a decisive break with the past”

  1. Leon Wolfeson

    You said it, you’re raging because I called you on it.

    I don’t, like you, condone pedophiles if they’re white.
    To you, this makes me an extremist. Because I don’t excuse white criminals.

    As you rant on about your monoculturalism – which means you are completely intolerant of Jews and Muslims, as I said, can’t allow them in Britain.

  2. David

    “You said it, you’re raging because I called you on it.”

    Do you letters “FU ” have any meaning to you?

    “I don’t, like you, condone pedophiles if they’re white.”

    “To you, this makes me an extremist. Because I don’t excuse white criminals.

    I have no doubt that you are given you constant lying here about what I said.

    “As you rant on about your monoculturalism – which means you are completely intolerant of Jews and Muslims, as I said, can’t allow them in Britain.”
    Again you are just lying about what it was I said.
    I never said that anyone should be excluded from anywhere unless they are going there to create havoc. If England and Europe cannot get a handle on Islamic extremists living there then I figure Europe will be part of the Islamic state presently. And few including Muslims and certainly Jews will not be better off for it.
    However the UK just elected the Tories so I suppose that the big reason for that is idiotic Liberal multicultural policies that have failed miserably.
    Despite all your lying about what I said — YOU LOSE 😉

  3. Leon Wolfeson

    So you call it idiotic to tolerate Jews and Muslims. You are saying not to exclude people, but to kill them, I get it. “Havoc” is seeing a black face, I hear you. I was too mild, my bad! I do this sometimes, thinking people are better than they really are.

    As you try and claim the Tories are following your creed. They are not.

    And of course you want to “F” me, and that you think you “win” as I’m Jewish and you consider yourself as a White Englander superior to me, not subject to criminal law.

    Look, let me give you an address. You can go there, and repeat your hate – 21 Fortune Green Road, West Hampstead, NW6 1DX

  4. David

    You are such a damn liar. I never said anything like you are saying I did. Your straw man arguments don’t work with me.
    I am not Jewish I am not from England. I think progressives and socialists are the greatest evil in the history of the Human Race — The only “Race” of humans that exists. The idea of different “races” being a made up social construct meant to divide people into groups that can thereafter be made to hate each other . A concept that leftists– progressives and socialists made up so they can feel superior to the other “races” People that they can feel that “they know best what to do with their lives for the “Greater Good” along with class warfare.
    Multiculturalism is dead. This does not mean people can’t value where they are from or their experiences. Just to say they have to value the things that those around them value as well to a large degree. But I hate to tell you but everything you seem to be saying you value as far as multiculturalism goes is dead. It simply can not work the way you imagine it should. But keep on dreaming straw man. May you have sweet dreams until you wake to a nightmare of your own making.

  5. Leon Wolfeson

    Ah yes, I’m Jewish, so you I’m inherently a “damn liar”, as you line people out to be burnt, calling them “straw men”.

    As you make excuses for i.e. Hitler, as you try and pretend at this late stage you’re not racist, as you make excuses for your hate, and blame the left for everything. Your war isn’t based on class, right, it’s based on corpses and you won’t let the Other live.

    Your monoculturalism…your clear and repeated “dead” call to murder every last person who is not just like you. That unless they value your hate…as you keep saying “kill them all”, and Britain can’t be allowed to work like other countries.

    As you threaten me, of course, saying I made you try and kill me. Time to take this to the police, American. You’re a foreigner making threats against a British citizen…

  6. David

    “Ah yes, I’m Jewish, so you I’m inherently a “damn liar”,”

    Doesn’t have anything to do with you being Jewish It just means you are a damn liar. Jews are fine by me. I don’t think much of liars.

    “As you make excuses for i.e. Hitler, as you try and pretend at this late stage you’re not racist”

    So what would you do with the lives of “racists” like me?

    “As you threaten me, of course, saying I made you try and kill me”

    “As you threatened you”

    I did no such thing.

    “I made you try and kill me”

    Exactly when was that?

    Be my guest and call the police liar. I would like to see you explain that lie.

    You know I just realized the problem here is at you are absolutely nuts.

    Anyway sorry you are taking the election loss so hard.

  7. Leon Wolfeson

    “UR MAD JEW”.

    As you make up nonsense about my “election loss”, when there was no party standing for me.

    As you lie and lie and lie – you made a threat, you lie about your hate of Jews, you try and make out I’d do anything but talk honestly about your views (which I am, and you hate it, and have resorted to threats).

    You then ramble on, when it’s facts I’ll be giving the police. Your eugenics, your far right beliefs….it’s all plain.

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