Why is Tristram Hunt in the Labour Party?

The short answer to the question of Tristram Hunt’s presence in the Labour party is simply ideological inertia and the retention of power by the remnants of New Labour. Blair took the party significantly to the right when he became its leader. There was a game at the time that rearranged the letters in politicians’ names into a suitable anagram. Michael Portillo, for example, came out as ‘a cool, limp Hitler’, while Anthony Blair was ‘I Am Tory Plan B’. Or something like that. Blair’s electoral tactics were based on making the party acceptable to a small group of swing voters in key marginal constituencies. Hence the move to the Right and the attempt to appeal to ‘Mondeo Man’. He was also part of a general trend amongst left-wing parties across the world, including the Democrats in America, who attempted to respond to the popularity of Reaganism and Thatcherism by frantically embracing the market. This started off in New Zealand in the 1980s. Blair has gone, as has his collaborator and successor, Brown, but the mind-set is still there, as are some members of the New Labour clique. This includes Ed Balls, and explains why Ed Milliband has stated that he will not reverse the Tories cuts, as well as his reform of trade union power, and statement that he wishes Labour to appeal to the middle classes. This is an attempt to reclaim New Labour’s position of trust by the middle classes. Before the election Cameron had the problem in that the Labour party, not the Conservatives, were seen as the more economically sound party. Blair famously took over a set of policies discarded by the Major administration, and took on, as their advisors, Arthur Anderson, who had also just been rejected by the Tories. This seems to have bred an attitude in the Labour party that they can only gain power by stealing the Tories policies and appealing to much the same constituency.

As for why anyone should vote Labour, this is a very, very good question. One answer is that they are still, even at this level, to the Left of the Conservatives. However, Hunt, Milliband and other key figures in the party have shown such a willingness to adopt contemporary Tory policies that this will probably remain true only in relative terms. They will remain slightly to the left of the Tories, but will still move further right-ward as the Tories become more extreme in their policies. There is thus no absolute reason, given the Labour leadership, why anyone on the traditional left, who is being penalised by the Coalition’s policies, should vote Labour if the party is not willing to change direction and move back towards a more centre-left, rather than centre-right stance.

Vox Political

'U' for effort: Why should parents vote 'Labour' if Tristram Hunt won't repair the disastrous harm that Michael Gove has been inflicting on our school system - and our children's future? ‘U’ for effort: Why should parents vote ‘Labour’ if Tristram Hunt won’t repair the disastrous harm that Michael Gove has been inflicting on our school system – and our children’s future?

According to shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt, Labour will not repeal Michael Gove’s major – useless – changes to the British school system if it wins the next election. In that case: Why vote Labour?

Gove has proved to be the stupidest education secretary of recent history. His divisive ‘Free Schools’ vanity project is a disaster that has increased costs for children who must get their education miles away when there is a school next door to them, while standards of teaching have plummetted at the new establishments – with unqualified teachers and calamitous Ofsted inspection reports.

Not only has he created appalling imbalances in the school system, but Gove has also de-stabilised his own department, bringing in unqualified ‘advisors’…

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One Response to “Why is Tristram Hunt in the Labour Party?”

  1. matt Says:

    Tristram Hunt , is that rhyming slang?

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