1. Adam Ramsay said:

    Hi Tom,

    Thanks for this.

    I basically agree – this is a series that we plan to develop, and the next pieces will look at things you may see as more relevant (or maybe not) including failure to work with people standing up for themselves, etc.

    However, I would just chip in that, when I said ‘we’, I should have been more specific. I didn’t just mean the more specific lefty blogger/old P&P network that I inhabit. I include in that unions, the Labour Party progressive Lib Dems, most NGOs etc – what has historically been the broader left/progressive movement.

    And the implication of this is that I don’t believe that we could ever have had the kind of reforms I would like to have seen come from the credit crunch – mutualisation of the banking sector, etc etc. However, that we have seen a cut in corporation tax and the rate of privatization increase is, I think, fairly extraordinary, and that is what I mean by saying that we have lost.



    24th September 2010
    • Tom Chance said:

      Thanks Adam, since you are spending a lot of your time organising I had hoped you’d move onto politics in a subsequent piece.

      I do think, with Aled, that your use of “we” is mistaken if you intend to group everybody together into a “progressive” alliance or movement. Disquiet over the messaging and leadership of the Coalition of Resistance amongst many Greens shows how diverse we are. The danger of aligning everyone in terms of their agreement on one issue is that they might not all think your issue is their priority.

      For example, everybody might oppose the privatisation of the Royal Mail. But the lefty Lib Dems seem to be more concerned with civil liberties, Trident and housing, so being pragmatic folk they have gone into government and sacrified that issue.

      Or take corporation tax – in building a coherent narrative in response to the financial crisis you might expect that “we” would all agree fair taxation is a necessity. But Labour are the only party capable of getting their hands on those levers, and in power they cut it to suit their political economy.

      Narratives are well worth thinking about once you have chosen a policy or issue to prioritise. But the real world of politics will always confound you if you try to put narrative first.

      24th September 2010

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