Labour’s ‘New Approach’ Outlined by Cruddas

“Labour stands for big reform without big spending,” writes Jon Cruddas in the preface to his new pamphlet on the party’s recently completed policy review, a publication published today that claims to set out “Labour’s new approach in a time of financial constraint”.

One Nation renewal pub coverOne Nation: Labour’s political renewal is written by the party’s policy review coordinator along with writer and academic Jonathan Rutherford, who is part of the policy review team.

It outlines the political thinking behind the process, sets out what the authors see as the challenge facing Labour, and presents the case for the leadership’s ‘one nation’ approach to political and national renewal.

The policy review was “always about more than just developing a set of policies”, according to Cruddas: “We would rethink what Labour stood for and begin to redefine its politics in a time of financial restraint. Labour would transform itself from a 20th century political Party into a modern, democratic political movement for radical change.

“When Ed Miliband was elected leader of the Party, he said that Labour was beginning a long and difficult journey. We needed to do some hard thinking and set a direction of travel. The task of the Policy Review was to organise a political community to help build the One Nation political project and win in 2015.”

With that in mind, the review set to define policies for “a more human, inclusive, and sustainable political settlement”. According to Cruddas: “Labour is ready now to build an alternative to the political settlement pioneered by the New Right.”

The new settlement, he writes, will be built around “democracy and the power of association” – “the people’s protection against the power of both the market and the state”.

“A renewed Labour Party, together with an alliance of social forces, will build a new economy and a better future for our country. We win when we are patriotic and when we speak for a radical and promising sense of national renewal.”


One Nation: Labour’s political renewal, by Jon Cruddas and Jonathan Rutherford, can be downloaded here.

See also: ‘A Tale of Two Speeches’ by Barry Winter.

1 Comment

  1. Harry Barnes
    14 September 2014

    “One Nation : Labour’s Political Renewal” is a worrying document. It starts out from the claim that “Labour stands for big reforms without big spending”. Whilst some limited social reforms can obviously be achieved by altering certain spending priorities and advancing Government spending by small amounts, how can we tackle unemployment and deprevation without raising significant amounts of revenue (including preventing tax aviodance) from those powerful and privileged groups which Owen Jones describes in his new book “The Establishment and How They Get Away With It.” ?

    After a wordy coverage which seems to be intended to make Jon Cruddas and Jonathan Rutherford sound like they are intellectuals, they come up with five policy proposals that can appear on an unexciting pledge card at next year’s General Election. Labour will (1) establish Regional Banks, (2) devolve power and resources to City and County Regions, enabling them to enter into local enterprise partnerships, (3) build 200,000 (mainly private?) houses a year, with local councils negotiating rent levels, (4) make a “whole person approach” to health problemsl by interconnecting provisions for those with physical, mental health and social care needs; and (5) provide vocational education from 14 in partnership with business and local government, leading for those who follow this path to a Technical Baccularette at 18.

    Even if this modest five point programme is to work in any feasible way extra funding will be required for banking, local authority, building, health and educational purposes. Yet much more is needed. Labour needs to direct its attention to how it will acquire the resources to do the above and much more. For hopefully there is more in its National Policy Forum documents which will undoubtedly be endorsed in a week’s time at Labour’s National Conference. Yet if these are so sound, why have they not been launched this week In Glasgow? Either they are uninspiring, or we will have missed the boat in Scotland by just a few days.

    I suppose that it is now time for me to plough through the 218 page document containing the policy proposals which will shape Labour’s Manifesto. I hope that it is better than the Cruddas and Rutherford taster.

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