Last week, in the wake of the return to power of the party of Wounded Leaders, Labour rolled out their leadership campaign. They all seem like nice people, but, as a well-wisher, I found the event, particularly the BBC Newsnight debate, deeply depressing.
A pragmatic commentator the day after said that, even though the audience responded well to Jeremy Corbyn’s old-fashioned compassionate message, he would never persuade more than 10% of the British public, never mind whether he had a hope of being selected by Labour.
The reality is that right now Labour don’t have a plan and that’s the problem: they badly need a new plan not a new leader.
In fact, they could easily carry on for more than 4 years with their own leadership coalition, while they work it out, and have a frontrunner emerge ready for the next election. They’ll need something good and they’d do well to spend more time reflecting, because it looks as if we could have the Wounded Leaders (who do have a plan, and it is all about cash flows) in for a generation if no one else has a plan.
Whilst personalities can lose an election, something that sounds like a real plan could actually make a difference – and in five years time we are a going to need something, I suspect. And yet the obvious observation is that all candidates except Corbyn sound pretty much the same. But so will any serious contender of any party until they get themselves a plan to differentiate themselves, because fighting over the middle ground is all that is left under the current political mindset and under the prevailing economic realities.
The reason that the contended ground is always the centre now is because all parties have to end up as the business-friendly party because of globalisation. The last 35 years of libertarianism, market domination, and rule by what John Perkins calls the ‘Corporatocracy’, means that national governments have become impotent and in consequence party-based democracy increasingly irrelevant.
A man who does have a plan is John Bunzl, whose ‘Simultaneous Policy’ campaign seems to be the answer to get round the hegemony of ‘Destructive Global Competition’, as he calls the over-arching problem that dominates all parties, government, corporations and every citizen on the planet. Simpol wants to put people and policy back at the helm: check out the friendly website and see what you think.
Come someone please alert the Labour leadership to this surprising simple idea that is already up and running? Here is a plan that looks really capable of serving the planet!