Labour: The Way Ahead
Paul Mason

The “Questions to be answered” article by Owen Jones posed legitimate and important questions for the Left in Britain to address if it is ever to be able to govern. There is criticism of Jones for what some see as a negative approach. That is mistaken criticism. If his article is read in conjunction with this one, it is possible to see an achievable rationale laid out in front as a road to follow. I have battled for too long and too unsuccessfully throughout my life (I am 62) to dismiss new and invigorated political thought coming from the Left. We need solutions and quickly. Although you touch on it, there is one aspect of this article and that of Jones which is, to my mind, missing. Corbyn has introduced the two symbiotic notions; that of Connection and Change. Each of these is necessary in order to create the social movement and would, likewise, probably have an effect on voting intentions (which both you and Jones see as central). As I understand Corbyn, the Connection is that between the LP and the population — the understanding that that LP has something to offer “me”. The Change is one which requires LP politicians at the local and national level to be of the highest possible integrity. Corbyn has well articulated the general sense of malaise with our political “class”; I believe this to be one of his most potent offerings. People are so fed up and/or cynically accepting of the “snout in trough” explanation for the behaviour of politicians that it is fast becoming, or indeed has become a bizarre kind of social norm. No-one is surprised! I believe many, many people (not just of the left but right across the political spectrum) will respond very positively to the unmasking of and rejection of “snout in trough” political representation. I may have added very little to this discussion but I feel that it is important that these notions of Connection and Change are emphasised. I also think it would be a good idea if Paul Mason and Owen Jones sat down in a room together, co-operated and thrashed out an integrated workable plan for the LP. Politically speaking there doesn’t seem to be more than a fag paper between you — though I may be wrong. Thanks for the article.

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