Labour after New Labour: Escaping the Debt


  • David Coates


Overcoming the limits of the New Labour project requires both a re-examination of its strengths and weaknesses relative to those of Old Labour, and a serious reflection on the content of the Miliband–Poulantzas debate that established the international reputation of the present leader's father. From both sources, it is clear that this generation of Labour leaders need to turn party policy deliberately leftwards again, and to engage in a progressive hegemonic campaign in support of that shift prior to the next election. For only if Labour returns to office with an electoral base mobilised to support a fundamental resetting of power can the party ever hope to escape the ‘dull logic of Labourism’ so criticised by Ralph Miliband and his academic followers. The thesis of this article is that now is the time for one generation of a famous Labour family to disprove the pessimistic thesis of its earlier generation.