Sunday, September 24, 2006

New Statesman Sept 25th Labour Conference

It's the New Statesman's Labour Conference Special Issue. They've got a speech they're sorry a new incumbent leader and PM isn't making, but it doesn't announce awithdrawal from Iraq. Neal Lawson from Compass offers advice on debating progressive policies in a globalised economy. Martin Bright interviews Tessa Jowell, 'I didn't come into politics to sort out gambling', but I didn't come here to read Tessa Jowell. Richard Reeves writes about David Cameron, 'Could he just be Labour's future'. Martin Bright has a story about 'Cash for peerages: the new evidence' (which is going to be a Dispatches documentary on Sept 25th). Kira Cochrane on 'How to turn women off'.

In a section called 'The Search for Ideas' Anthony Giddens writes 'Europe: teaching us a lesson' (he's got a book out on Europe in the Global Age next month, and is co-editor of Global Europe, Social Europe). Giddens wants to move from 'Made in America' to Europe for political and policy ideas. From the US Andrew Stephen writes about 'America: where normal is extreme', starting with Senator Jay Rockefeller saying that the US 'would be safer today if Saddam Hussein were still inpower'. This is considered an ourageous breach of wartime consensus. Amongst the Democrats Hilary is still in the lead as presidential nominee, but slipping; and she is pro-war, just arguing that the Republicans are mismanaging it. Meanwhile the Democrats have a policy vacuum on domestic issues. Stephens cites Paul Waldman's Being right is not enough: what progressives must learn from conservative success, arguing that American politics is about "identity... symbolism and narrative." The questions aren't about policy, but 1) who do you identify with? 2) Who can you trust? 3) Who is strong and who is weak? Image. The range of potential candidates that Stephens runs through isn't inspiring. Stephens also suggests that not doing well in the mid-terms won't be a worry: the Republicans didn't gain from their 1994 congressional landslide and the candidate in 2008 would like unbroken Republican government as the thing to campaign against.

Robert Taylor writes about Sweden, the narrow defeat of the social democrats is here called 'A vote for no change'. The Moderate Party is promising to improve the Swedish model, not replace it with neo-liberalism. Are there lessons for the future of British politics?

And at last the New Statesman gets around to the SSP with a BBC journalist's account 'Splitting in Scotland', but Stephen Low doesn't have much to say here. There is a BBC Radio Scotland story somewhere.

Mark Lynas bemoans Hereford as a clone town. Tell us about Mark. An old theme, which he extends by calling for friendly bombs to fall on Hereford and Exeter.

Tony Barber writes about Italy and Berlusconi: it's all down to deep infrastructural weakenesses that Prodi will never solve.


Post a Comment

<< Home