The dramatic leadership contest this summer has overshadowed Labour’s poor result in the General Election in May, but the war of ideas in explaining Labour’s defeat is still quietly raging. One of the latest explanations offered for this defeat – and a set of prescriptions for 2020 – comes from Oxford lecturer and former SpAd to Tony Blair, Patrick Diamond, in a book for Policy Network titled, Can Labour Win?
Diamond is a Blairite policy wonk through and through – he served as Chair of the National Organisation of Labour Students in the late 1990s and then held a variety of positions in the IPPR and Policy Network, also working closely with Alan Milburn in the run up to the 2005 election, and also as Director of Progress. The purpose of this latest publication is to diagnose the problems that the election throws up – something it does rather well, before assigning a set of policy prescriptions – specifically, recoding Blairism for a post-2015 Labour Party. Unsurprisingly then, the interviews with successful 2015 candidates on how Labour can win next time are conducted with Ben Bradshaw, Peter Kyle and Wes Streeting, three MPs firmly on the right of the party. Continue reading