Is the Blank Sheet of Paper Half Full or Half Empty?

Fifteen months out from a general election campaign, Labour is holding a symposium on what they might do in Government.

The event to be held on Jan 28 is billed as a Policy Review Symposium entitled ‘Renewing the Economy and Reforming the State’.

Big job, that.

The invitation declares that the “Symposium will bring together council leaders, MPs, members of the Shadow Cabinet, policy makers, academics, and those working in the third sector, to address a number of inter-related questions.” 

These six groups will consider “… how shall we reconfigure the relationship between central and local government, social institutions and the market  in order to help generate innovation, growth and jobs in our regional economies?”

And then:

“How do we reorganise our public services around people, households and local places rather than administrative silos and institutional hierarchies?”

And third, “how do we shape this agenda into a compelling One Nation story, both to win the election in 2015 and to provide the groundwork for a radical reforming government?”

Led by Jon Cruddas the Coordinator of the Labour Policy Review, the symposium will spend an hour and ten minutes before lunch working on

“Reforming the state and rebuilding the UK economy.”

After lunch another hour and a bit will take care of

“Reconfiguring the state and reforming public services.”

Then after a cup of tea, session 3 will last for an hour and a half and consider;

“A new model of One Nation statecraft.”

Hilary Benn MP will say what One Nation statecraft is and how the new model of it will differ from the old model. Then there will be questions.

The most urgent one being – how can they possibly get this show on the road in time for a general election?




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John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University, says….

“The UKIP vote is going to the Tories. That’s the story of the first week of the campaign.”

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