Labour’s conundrum

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The antidote to Gordon Brown's caution | David Wearing | Comment is free | .

David Wearing, writing about last weekend's Fabian conference has said:

The conference finished with a "Dragons' Den" for a major idea that could beat the right at the next election. The pitch receiving the most enthusiastic response from delegates was to adopt a radical "Green New Deal" for reordering the economy to deal with the challenge of climate change. This was clearly a reference to the plan of the same name drawn up by the New Economics Foundation, involving major structural changes to the financial system and serious investment in green industries to create new jobs.

Revealingly, the pitch was opposed by one "dragon", Brown's pollster Deborah Mattinson, who said that, while climate change was clearly "the biggest issue facing humanity", a "Green New Deal" was not an idea she could sell to voters.

This encapsulated the impression that I took away from the conference: a grassroots bursting with enthusiasm and ideas about how to respond to the new economic realities, versus a frustratingly conservative and cautious leadership. It's a picture that is unlikely to change before the general election, but the subsequent battle for Labour's future could make for an interesting contest.

I agree

We know what people want

The Labour leadership just needs to deliver

Amazing that they won't

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