I will be speaking on a panel on that theme at the King's College London conference Uses of the Past next Monday 14th June, a day long conference looking at the uses of tradition in contemporary politics. More information
The conference aims to discuss "how do traditions shape present-day political behaviour; and how far are those traditions are invented and deployed to suit political needs today".
Dr Maurice Glasman is also speaking on the panel, which takes place in mid-morning (11.40-1pm) on Monday 14th.
The Fabian Society has made several attempts to provide some historical context to contemporary debates, particularly our recent major project on contemporary poverty and inequality, which looked marked the centenary of the 1909 poor law minority report and so asked what taking the long view of poverty prevention could tell us about poverty prevention strategies today.
New Labour had rather more history than it let on. It grew out of the party's revisionist tradition, and was very much rooted in an account of the party's history, even though it often presented itself as a 'year zero' project. So my interest is particularly in whether and how Labour traditions could or should inform the party's future as we move out of the New Labour period. How can parties and political traditions learn from their past without succumbing to the fear that they will be trapped in them?
The conference is free to attend and there are a few remaining places.
Please email Ian Barrett on firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in attending the conference.