Monday 4 January 2010

The 'renewal' red herring

The Fabian Review New Year special is out now, and it previews the major political schisms of a pivotal political year.

Whatever the outcome of this year's election, the air is going to be thick with renewal. James Crabtree has some interesting advice in the magazine for lefties seeking the next big thing: don't bother.

"Hoping for a British Obama to turn up is even less likely than wishing for some kind of super-charged Geoff Mulgan-on-steroids to dream up an entirely new vision of social democracy."

So rather than spending the year searching for a saviour and what Crabtree calls "Big Renewal" or "waiting for another Crosland to turn up", the left should put its energy into the new institutions of political ferment - mostly internet-based - where a multitude of ideas and campaigns can merge to create the political energy the left has lacked for a while. In a separate article in the New Statesman, Crabtree predicts that 2010 will be the year the right's dominance of the blogosphere is halted and 'progressive' netroots start to bloom.

The world is a complicated place and increasingly so; we've been waiting a long time for the next Future of Socialism, and perhaps that kind of inspired synergy is no longer achievable. Crabtree's suggestion is that we let it go and get on with using the tools at our disposal to promote the ideas we already have.

Read it here.

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