Editorial: end of an era

I don’t think that anyone can doubt that Blair is a very good speaker. His speech was quite moving to those who were in the hall. It contained some things that even the jaded hacks of The Daily would endorse, such as the need to find constructive ways to get people “off the sick” or the importance of tax credits etc.

It was also moving, after so many years under Tony to hear him acknowledge that this will be his last speech, and effectively say goodbye to the Party.

However, as with all of his conference speeches, there were some things that can just drive me mad. For example, the line “not until we shake ourselves free of the wretched capitulation to the propaganda of the enemy, that somehow we are the ones responsible.”

It’s one of those things he says where he never says what he means, but you know he’s verbally stabbing you in the back. Is he implying that to criticise elements of UK foreign policy and its knock-on effects in strengthening terrorist groups is to “capitulate to the enemy” He didn’t say it, but you always know what he means.

So, we’ll miss the drama, we’ll miss the showmanship and the oratory, but we won’t miss the veiled attacks. Tony Blair’s time in the Labour Party is coming to an end and it’s time for a new way of working in the party where instead of the party telling members how they need to change, the party listens to what people in their communities all over the country are saying and makes its voice heard.

One Response to Editorial: end of an era

  1. Tim Swift says:

    Your last sentence is all very well as long as it is read and followed with care. I agree that Labour has to continue to recreate itself as ‘the voice of our communities’ but that does not mean that it is at the moment. I cringe when I hear assumptions being made that the Labour membership is in any state to speak authoritatively about what our supporters – those we have and those we have lost – in communities want and believe. And I worry even more when those claims are made on behalf of the minority of us who are daft enough to go regularly to branch and party members.

    Recasting the party to be more inclusive yes, but let’s start with a recognition of the obligation this places on active members to recruit more, and to work in a way that makes us genuinely in touch with, and able to speak with and for, our communities.

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