The need for workers to have a collective voice, first industrially and then politically has shaped the Labour movement in this country for well over a century now. But in the century ahead, changes in the way the economy will operate means that work will not exist in the same way as in the past, and there will quite possibly be a lot less of it about than now.
Constitutional change is perhaps not the sexiest subject in British politics. It is, however, of critical importance if Labour is serious about transferring power and democratising our country.
Over two years has passed since the EU referendum. And in that time, millions of hours and columns inches have been spent debating both its causes and its consequences. Though any desire to find a single common cause will always result in either frustration or over simplification, I do believe that one phrase had particular significance, that of “taking back control”. This phrase didn’t just resonate with the millions who voted Leave, it also resonated with millions of people who voted Remain. And the reason it did, was less to do with our membership of the EU, than it was the resentment people feel towards the economic and political status quo.
Karl Marx is back in fashion. And for good reason. The 200th birthday of Trier’s greatest son was the trigger for an extraordinary wave of re-appreciation: ‘Happy Birthday Karl Marx. You Were Right!’ ran the New York Times; ’more relevant than ever’ said the Financial Times. ‘Surprisingly relevant’ wrote the Economist.