What next for Labour?
Now is the time for a real debate about the future of the Labour Party and its decisive role in British politics. Labour needs to restore trust, build confidence and reconnect with voters - particularly the five million who abandoned them between 1997 and 2010.
The way to achieve this is to provide an objective critique of Labour’s record in office and consider openly and honestly what the future for Labour is. So what is next for Labour? It is what everybody wants to know. What is clear is that any debate about the future of the Labour Party has got to include those on the left and right of the party or the ‘Blairites’ and ‘Brownites’. There has been much talk of blue, purple, green, one nation and even compassionate Labour - I think any contribution towards a much needed debate should be welcomed.
Whilst some might not agree with aspects of blue Labour it should not be dismissed because some parts may be controversial. The Labour Party needs to use its time in opposition wisely - for the first time in over a decade the party has an opportunity to engage in an open and honest debate about the past, present and future.
I have co-edited a book that is rather appropriately titled What Next For Labour? The book brings together ideas from prominent figures on the left and right of the Labour Party including MPs, peers and front line activists. The aim of the book is to contribute to the debate the Labour Party needs to have.
People want to know what the Labour Party stands for and who they represent. Ed Miliband has a mountain to climb - being leader of a party that has lost power after 13 years is rather like a poisoned chalice - he has to prove the Labour Party made the right choice by selecting him and he has to prove to the British people that he and his shadow cabinet are a credible government in waiting.