2020 double vision

Drat and double drat. I’d wanted to attend the launch of Charles and Alan’s website, 2020vision.org. It was Mrs Watson’s birthday yesterday and for the first time in years, we went dancing. It was great fun but made the website launch a less than attractive proposition this morning.

What do I think about it?

1. Great idea if they’re serious about an online debate. You have to take the rough with the smooth with blog-style discussions and I hope they don’t moderate the thing to death.
2. It might have been better to run the debate through an existing think tank. I’m sure that Progress would have done it.
3. They are totally right about the Labour Party having to discuss it’s future. They should encourage the deputy leadership contenders to enter the debate. Now that the national Labour Party has foolishly failed to listen to John Spellar, who wants to abolish the job of deputy leader, there is no point in beating about the bush. The candidates should be prepared to enter into a debate and win some hearts and minds.

Peter Hain, Jon Cruddas and Harriet Harman are prepared to speak out about their policy ideas and aspirations when they address local party meetings. Alan Johnson and Hilary Benn are not doing so at present. It’s too early to tell how Hazel Blears is going to play things.

4. Colleagues tell me that only about a dozen MPs attended the launch. I’m pretty certain that this was becasue most MPs are suspicious that Alan Milburn is mischief making. I think that this is the wrong analysis and an unfair view of Alan’s motives. He’s been talking about this debate for a good 18 months and he’s right to do so. There’s no point in conducting a proxy debate through deniable news stories in Sunday papers. Lets just get on with it and have the discussion.

9 comments ↓

#1 el Tom on 02.28.07 at 3:04 pm

Forgive my pluggery, but more here: http://newerlabour.blogspot.com/2007/02/2020-vision.html

#2 Andrew Brown on 02.28.07 at 5:37 pm

As you say debate is good, and we do need to be thinking about what we might want to do with power. And having people like Clarke and Milburn in there arguing for what they believe with the rest of us strikes me as being a good idea too. They’ve got enough experience of what’s possible given the constraints of government as well as a clear view that we win when we articulate the centre ground of politics and that’ll be helpful.

I hope your right about mischief. I don’t mind if they want someone other than Gordon to stand for the party leadership, but they should say so, or do it themselves.

#3 John Rowan on 02.28.07 at 5:38 pm

iwelcome any debate within the party for new ideas for future Labour Governments, but I question why it is being done now, when we have Elections in Scotland, Wales, and Local Government Elections in England . I think this should be the priority of every party member to focus and campaign in these very crucial elections and get our very positive message over to the Electors and return a Labour Government in Scotland and Wales and hold on to to as many Councils as possible in England

#4 Robert on 02.28.07 at 10:09 pm

Yep I remember these two MP’s drolling over Blair not to Long ago, they thought he was the best thing to happen, not anymore, perhaps they will droll over Brown next until he sacks them.

#5 miketually on 03.01.07 at 10:02 am

2020vision.org gets me something about energy and security…

#6 miketually on 03.01.07 at 10:05 am

It’s http://www.the2020vision.org.uk/

#7 susan press on 03.01.07 at 11:41 am

My suspicion is this will not be an open forum. Call me paranoid but have been denied access. Three times. Could this be because I am no friend of New labour. I didn’t even get to make a comment of any kind.Saw these jokers on Newsnight last night.Would not trust them to look after my cat.

#8 Tom on 03.01.07 at 3:43 pm

There’s a very amusing piece on Austin Mitchells blog about the meeting. Apparently Austin turned up to write about it for his column in the Grimsby Evening Telegraph:

http://www.austinmitchell.org/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=251

#9 Croslandite on 03.01.07 at 7:17 pm

I have just reread Orwell’s essay, ‘Politics and the english language’. His criticisms of political writing in the 1940s apply equally to the waffle that is set out on the website.

In particular it is full of what Orwell called, ‘pretentious diction’ and ‘meaningless words’.

The declaration just proves Orwell’s point that poor politics inevitably lead to unreadable drivel.

Newspeak to New Labour Speak, how appropriate.

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