Jon Cruddas, MP and head of Labour's policy review, had a good article in the Guardian yesterday. His point is a simple one: as he puts it -
The task at hand is to rebuild this country.
But then he notes that all the signs are the Tories aren't going to do any such thing. Quoting from Britannia Unchained, written by five new Tory MPs he notes:
The reality is that Britain does, as these authors suggest, face a fundamental choice – whether to manage decline or confront today's global challenges.
Of course Jon is right, and if the authors stuck to that theme they may have an argument that Labour might even share, but as Jon notes, they don't because:
[A]t its core this book is not about social liberalism. Scratch off the veneer and all is revealed: a destructive economic liberalism that threatens the foundations of modern conservatism. The state is assumed always to be malign, and it's taken for granted that the labour market is not flexible enough (is it ever?). For reform read marketisation and intensified commodification.
And he rightly notes:
For these authors – all members of the party's right-leaning Free Enterprise Group – it is a binary world, where everything is forward or back, progress or decline, sink or swim, good or bad. They do not appear to see the world as a complex place. The choice is between regulation and dynamism: their ideal worker is one prepared to work long hours, commute long distances and expect no employment protection and low pay. Their solution to the problem of childcare is unregulated, "informal and cheap childminders". We need dramatic cuts in public expenditure, they argue, to be matched by equivalent tax cuts. The demonisation of the welfare recipient continues apace; a broad dystopian worldview dominates the future. The bottom line for these Tory radicals is that the notion of community, society or indeed country is always trumped by textbook economic liberalism.
This is the world of the right wing trolls.
This is the world that empathy forgot.
This is the world of the modern Conservative Party.
This is a world view that is repugnant.
This is the view Jon has to beat when undertaking his policy review. It's a job he has to succeed at.