Tradition and Change: Four People A Response to the Politics of Paradox



Helen Goodman, the Member of Parliament for Bishop Auckland has responded to the Blue Labour Publication The Politics of Paradox, with Tradition and Change: Four People. Blue Labour's thesis is that a return to the ideas and practices prevalent at the foundation of the Labour Party—solidarity and reciprocity, can form the basis of significant social change. Helen views the thesis from the perspective of two communities—first the hill farmers of Teesdale, a paradigmatic community whose rights and way of life on the Commons have existed for over 600 years. Then she looks at the Durham Miners’ Gala and the needs of the former coalfields. Helen argues that in both cases, only government can take the national and international action they need. Secondly she looks at the stories of a mother and a priest. The importance of the welfare state in providing security and opportunities becomes clear. Helen confronts Blue Labour's criticism of women's independence and prays in aid the Archbishop of Canterbury on the need for a feminist analysis. She accuses Blue Labour of ‘drum and trumpet jingoism’.