The Great Blue Hope
I wrote a little while ago about the ‘common ground’ in British society uncovered by a Labour Party listening exercise. It found that Brits wanted
“tough on crime (and to hell with the causes), a preference for money to be spent in the UK’s roads and schools before those of India or Nigeria, a crackdown on benefit cheats and lazy arses who don’t want to work, and a strong desire to see the NHS and school system work properly. Add in a little mild xenophobia towards the continental Europeans and a visceral loathing of MPs and bankers”
I went on to say
“For all the fuss about ‘Blue Labour’, there is only so far Labour can move towards this common ground without breaking apart”
It seems that I overestimated how far Labour could move in this direction. This week Maurice Glasman, the guru behind ‘Blue Labour’, gave an interview to the Telegraph in which has said
“We’ve got to re-interrogate our relationship with the EU on the movement of labour…Britain is not an outpost of the UN. We have to put the people in this country first. The EU has gone from being a sort of pig farm-subsidised bloc to the free movement of labour and capital.”
He went on to say
“We should be more generous and friendly in receiving those [few] who are needed. To be more generous, we have to draw the line.”
All sensible stuff and well in tune with what the Labour party’s listening exercise told them about the feeling of the British people.
But on the issue of immigration Labour remains firmly wedded to the principle of the open door. As reported in the New Statesman today Blue Labour is about to be “effectively disbanded” for Glasman’s heresy over immigration.
So, already, we have found just how far Labour are prepared to go to meet the British people and it isn’t very far. They should listen when Glasman says of the public and Labour “They’re in the right place — it’s us who are not”