“We should have done more to increase the supply of decent affordable housing, and continued our programme of welfare reform.” Ivan Lewis – Another Crypto-Tory HACK! Wrap it up guys! We need a REAL PARTY of the labour movement (labour movement – with a small ‘l’)
In a book due to be published next week, Lewis also warns that too many voters felt the party “looks like and speaks on behalf of an urban metropolitan elite”, creating “a fog of cynicism” about anything it proposed.
In a chapter for Purple Labour, a collection of essays written mainly by senior figures offering new policy ideas for the party, Lewis says Labour’s commitment to globalisation allowed too many communities to be destabilised in the name of economic progress.
“The party’s instincts to be internationalist, liberal and champions of multicultural societies jar with the growing sense of insecurity of citizens buffeted by rapid economic and social change.
“Mistrust about Labour’s instincts and values on identity is one of the reasons why voters have rejected social democratic parties all over Europe,” he adds. “In an age of austerity that suspicion will remain unless we are willing break free from outdated comfort zones”.
The party has to insist there are no policy no-go areas, and must do more to build a new one-nation instinct in the country, he says. In an increasingly globalised world, he argues, “voters yearn for a sense of identity and belonging”.
In a damning checklist, similar to some of the Blue Labour critique, he admits the party should have introduced a points-based system for immigration earlier, adding that Labour “underestimated the scale and impact of the influx of eastern Europeans and should have done more to address the effect this had on local communities, public services, and jobs and wages of UK workers”.
He continues: “We should have done more to increase the supply of decent affordable housing, and continued our programme of welfare reform. Labour and the previous Tory governments should have acted earlier to tackle radicalisation in some Muslim communities by adopting a zero tolerance approach to anyone including religious leaders who preached hate, and by refusing to legitimise organisations unwilling to condemn extremism or the use of violence.
“As market forces reshaped high streets and closed post offices we should have given communities greater support to take over facilities and community assets. Too often it was the state, the market or nothing. What about the community?”
The sense of injustice was fuelled, Lewis claims, by “a system which to some appeared to favour receiving benefits and choosing not to work and irresponsible bankers who caused the financial crisis but continued to receive excessive payoffs and bonuses while everyone else was paying the price of their recklessness. Others felt migration was changing the nature of their community and undermining Britain’s way of life.” He also the EU is deeply unpopular institution run by a remote and bureaucratic and political elite. The public do not understand “why UK taxpayers should fund the cost of prison places for foreign nationals”.
He also urges the party to understand “how large numbers of our fellow citizens feel removed from the cozy concensus of Britain’s elite and a Labour Party activist base that while becoming diverse still does not sufficiently look like Britain”.
He says great british institutions such as the NHS the BBC and the army must be opened up. He also proposes a rite of passage for all teenagers so they undertake an educational project learning about their communities, family history and strengthen their knowledge of British history.