Thursday, 12 August 2010

New Labour "dazzled by power" writes Burnham

The third in our series of essays by the contenders for the Labour leadership is now up online at the Fabian website.

In his essay, Andy Burnham criticises the "upper echelons" of New Labour - and you don't need a degree in the prawn cocktail offensive to work out who these "upper echelons" refer to - saying "I do have a problem with people being filthy rich", and contrasts this with his own "aspirational socialism".
"We seemed dazzled by power, glamour and big business. There is a fine line between celebrating success and courting elites and to many people we crossed it. Unlike some others in the upper echelons of the Party, I do have a problem with people being filthy rich. This isn’t based on some working class knee-jerk reaction. It comes back to that sense of fairness, and the contrast between my constituency and George Osborne’s."

As well as bolstering his ‘working class hero’ pitch by drawing on his Scouse roots, the essay displays his passion for the National Social Care service - funded by a levy on estates - which provides his candidacy’s ‘big idea’. It’s perhaps the most concrete idea on the table in this leadership contest, as well as being a politically contentious one: the levy has been dubbed the ‘death tax’ by the Tories, aping techniques used by the American Republican right to (successfully) oppose inheritance tax.

The series will conclude with the brothers Miliband over the next few days.

1 comment:

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