Compass on the right lines…but it’s vital that the left delivers its narrative with care

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I was asked to sign Compass' letter in the Guardian today. I couldn't because of the way it was worded when in draft (although it improved quite a bit before being published, I note).

But I do buy the Compass plan for growth - indeed part of it is the Green New Deal, whilst what is unfortunately called fiscal rules in the letter (which we don't need) is actually about parliamentary oversight and enhancing the role of the PAC, which I warmly welcome.

Neal Lawson has written about this in the Guardian this afternoon, saying:

First, [we need] a big and bold stimulus in green and social infrastructure to get people into jobs, increase taxes, reduce benefits and give hope to millions of young people. Second, because we have to borrow to fund (incidentally at record low levels of interest) we have to be credible in terms of paying back when the economy is growing. So we are calling for new powers for the public accounts committee to have strong democratic oversight to ensure both good spending and good borrowing. Third, in order to repay, we set out a number of progressive tax increases as well as cuts to a range of wasteful public spending projects — such as PFI and Trident — that are wrong in themselves and don't create jobs. Finally, we make the case for the reform of the state and public services — putting change in the hands of front-line workers and users so that innovation, accountability and therefore increased productivity is built into the system every minute of every day, rather than imposing wasteful changes on them by the target or the market.

That's a strong plan with which I have little problem. It's shame that the Guardian letter wasn't as clear when I'd have been happy to have had my name on it.