Labour’s slogan from yesterday is one Conservatives can welcome as well. What was odd about the conference was the statement that Labour will not now stoop to personal abuse, and will debate in a grown up way. This was juxtaposed in the same speech with old anti Conservative rhetoric that was harsh and untrue. We had to listen to the lie that Conservatives seek to “protect the few and to tell all the rest of us to accept what we are given.” That was a bit rich, when this government is all about getting more people out of low income and off benefits, by creating the conditions for more jobs and for better paid jobsand encouraging more home ownership. One of the main themes of today’s Conservatives is to boost real wages and the productivity which underwrites them. Working smarter for more money is exactly what we are striving to achieve for the many.
I like the idea of a grown up debate. Could we start by all using the true figures of public spending, which show modest real growth in public spending over the last five years? Can we acknowledge that real wages are now rising and more people are in work? Could Labour understand that demanding more homes for people whilst demanding more migrants come to the country makes it difficult for housebuilding to catch up? Do they accept that more homes are now being built than in the later years of their government?
A grown up debate means recognising that both Conservatives and Labour want higher living standards for all, and proper care and support for those who cannot support themselves. The arguments about means are important and can be fierce. Doubting people’s aims is not part of a new politics, but part of the old negative spin politics that many dislike, and which gets in the way of understanding.
I thought the bits of the speech that Mr Corbyn borrowed from Mr Heller were well written, but displayed their age from the pre kinder politics era. If you want a new kind of politics, it helps to write it in your own words and show us how it can be done. As readers here know, I seek to avoid abuse and dishonest statements of the attitudes and actions of others.