'Blue Labour' Lord Glasman speaks of Labour's need to reconnect with its roots.
Photo courtesty of The Telegraph
Maurice Glasman, Labour Peer was in Watford to talk to Party members on the need for Labour to reconnect with its core supporters and its traditional values. He coined the term 'Blue Labour' to describe the view that Labour needs to return to its pre-1945 roots of political action through working with voluntary and community groups, trade unions, football clubs and faith organisations. He described his experience of working with faith leaders in ' London Citizens '. He said they were in some senses more radically political than MPs by campaigning for and winning the living wage for many tousands of working poor Londoners. He rejected the criticism that he was being divisive by talking about immigration claiming that this subject was taboo in many Labour circles but it was the issue out there that our core supporters were concerned about. He said it was undeniable that mass immigration (from Eastern Europe) had driven down wage rates and excluded many young people from the labour market. He also was critical of the Labour government's failure to deal with welfare reform saying that working people did not feel it fair that unemployed people should get 'something for nothing'. He said work gave people dignity and benefits should be designed to get people into work not keep them at home. A great supporter of traditional apprenticeships, he pointed to Germany's sucessful economy built on vocational training and trade union participation compared to Britain's low wage and unskilled economy. In answer to the question as to what should be Labour's 'offer' to people he said it was to create a broad based alliance for the common good. Labour's strap line should be 'Making Things Better', he concluded.