Saturday, 19 May 2012

Can history man Cruddas shape Labour's future?

Dagenham MP Jon Cruddas has had reasonably a good press this week following his acceptance of Ed Miliband's offer to take charge of Labour's policy review.
This Guardian article focuses on the man's strengths. A Labour history academic, he can bring intellectual depth to a party, which currently finds itself short of gravitas among its younger intake of MPs.
But you can have too many grey cells in politics. For example, this admission by Cruddas in a recent speech: "What interests me is not policy as such; rather the search for political sentiment, voice and language; of general definition within a national story. Less 'The Spirit Level,' more 'What is England'." Chancellor George Osborne ridiculed this waffle in the Commons.
Labour needs five good ideas that work on the doorstep to take it forward. Cruddas may be the man to provide them. Cetainly his constituency ensures he won't lose touch with Labour's rank and file electorate.
He can make mistakes though. He backed David Miliband for the leadership; he saw that Gordon Brown was destined to lead Labour to disaster but failed to act; and, as he bitterly regrets now, he voted in favour of the Iraq war.


  1. I like the quote in the article "To retreat into purity will bring impotence".

  2. How does one throw a load of intellectual crud at an electorate that only reads the football pages?


What do you think? GC