Tonight, Will Hutton will deliver a speech to mark the launch of the Labour Tribune MPs - check out a sneak preview of it below.
British society is in no great shape to handle the economic buffeting of the great unravelling. Inequalities of income and wealth between generations, between regions and classes are unedifyingly high – and the Brexit vote, closely co-related to those at the receiving end of Britain’s multiple inequalities and where immigration and imported goods had risen sharply over the last decade, can in part be interpreted as a call for a change of course, to be dealt into the prosperity of London and not to be forgotten or left behind. They are right. The question that needed answering is not whether Britain should remain or leave the European Union which until June 23rd was not even in the top ten of voters’ concerns . It is how can the mass of British flourish, and lead lives in Amartya Sen’s famous formulation that they have reason to value? The answer is not leaving the EU – rather it is a programme of reform of Britain's core capitalist structures , creative remodeling of most of our social and public institutions, the creation of a flexible cradle to grave system of welfare , re-imagining the way our labour market operates along with the re-imagining of trade unions and yes – refashioning the tax system so that it delivers the financial resource to finance the country-wide level of public services and public infrastructure that is plainly needed.
This should have been territory staked out by the Labour party: indeed I have spent much of the last twenty five years trying to persuade Labour leaders, and even some of the recent contenders for the Labour leadership, but with singular lack of success. The time has not been right or it might be judged to be anti-business: in truth it is about lack of intellectual self-confidence intertwined with political cowardice. So it is that Theresa May, in a Nixon in China moment, who has picked up many of these themes and policies. But she faces nigh insuperable obstacles in doing what needs to be done. Brexit means she has not got the financial resource she needs: her government will be implementing such policies, hard enough to devise and win support for, with its back needlessly against the wall, distracted by the mammoth task of organising the great unravelling, budgetary shortfalls and fire-fighting a succession of malign consequences of which Nissan is but the first. But secondly the atmosphere in Britain is poisoned by civil war. The legacy of the leave campaign is a cultural disaster.
The full speech will be published soon after the launch event. Follow @TribuneMPs to find out more.