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Red Tory - Blue Labour

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posted on Dec, 11 2011 @ 12:26 PM
There are two political ideas that I have really grown fond of and am saddened that there is very little knowledge of them. They are known as ‘Red Tory’ and ‘Blue Labour’. Red Tory is also known as ‘Progressive Conservatism’, ‘One-Nation Conservatism’, and ‘Tory Democracy’. They are described as a third way alternative to the neoliberal economics of the Right and the statism of the Left. I would like to start by quoting two Wikipedia sources:

The grouping advocates the belief that working class and 'squeezed middle' voters will be won back to Labour through more conservative policies on certain social and international issues, such as immigration and crime, a rejection of neoliberal economics in favour of ideas from guild socialism and continental corporatism, and a switch to local and democratic community management and provision of services, rather than relying on a traditional welfare state that is seen as excessively 'bureaucratic'.

Blue Labour

Promote a radical communitarian Traditionalist Conservatism which inveighs against welfare state monopoly as well as market monopolies. Instead, it respects traditional values and institutions, localism, devolution of powers from the central governments to local communities, small businesses, volunteerism and favours empowering social enterprises, charities and other elements of civil society to solve problems such as poverty.

Red Tory

The names are such because in most countries throughout the world the color Red denotes Socialist/Leftist tendencies while Blue denotes Conservative/Rightist tendencies. So by labeling a Conservative movement Red it claims itself as an ideological combination of the two sides, thus a more centrist yet Third Way position.

Within these two rather similar, yet still different, camps is the general idea that we must find an alternative to the free-market and the welfare state to create a more just society. When we allow monopolies to form, permit the market to ruin lives and harm the national interests then it must be become subordinate to the interests of the society at-large. And when we allow the welfare state to become excessive, permit the bureaucracy to grow and create a nanny state then it must be broken down so that more people can be the masters of their own lives.

This is not Libertarian speak, as it sees the rise of individualism as a major contributor to our social ills. Because our society focuses too much on the individual our communities suffer the consequences from higher uses of drugs and alcohol, to prostitution, divorces, child abused, dependency, immorality, and moral degeneracy. All of these issues must be tackled on a local level by the community to strengthen and lift us up. It means a return to the things which brought our communities together; church, guilds, unions, and other voluntary associations that strengthen our towns.

The enlarged state and the unleashed market encourages us to lose our communal spirit, thus it is a destructive force. So the two champions of these ideas at the moment, Maurice Glasman (Blue Labour) and Phillip Blond (Red Tory), are trying to expand these ideas into the mainstream of both the major British political parties. Glasman’s book advocating Blue Labour actually had a preface by the Labour Party leader Ed Milliband:

Even in the aftermath of a profound economic crisis, politicians of all parties need to realise that the quality of families' lives and the strength of the communities in which we live depends as much on placing limits to markets as much as restoring their efficiency. And for social democrats in particular, the discussion points to the need to ask how it can support a stronger civic culture below the level of Whitehall and Westminster."

(Blue Labour link)

Read more below:
ResPublica (Red Tory)
Exchange between Blond and Glasman

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