Talk:Blue Labour

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Maybe this topic needs an article of it's own.

Here are some references: Riversider (talk) 13:23, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

I've been bold, and started said article. Riversider (talk) 13:23, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Economic stance[edit]

In a revert-cycle so taking it here at editor's request.

The article currently opens by describing Blue Labour as primarily about social attitudes. The founder of Blue Labour clearly says the main aim of it is to change economic policy - - "In everything I have ever written or done I have criticised the domination of capital and argued for the democratic renewal of the Labour movement to resist its power. That is all I stand for really. Resistance to commodification through democratic organisation. That's the position. Labour as a radical tradition that pursues the common good. That is Blue Labour, and the rest is commentary.".

Editor rejects that as 'direct claim by protagonist', but it appears to me absurd that the thing the main protagonist describes as the main feature of the movement should not get a mention until the end of the 'criticisms' section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:29, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Statements need to come from third party sources, we are discouraged from using primary ones. In this case the use of "radical" is a value claim which makes it more questionable. If you want something on economics you need a journalist in a reliable source or an academic book or similar. --Snowded TALK 11:37, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
The problem is, it's always going to be one or the other in the early stages of a movement. People will be talking directly about something; knowing British journalists, they will cut and paste the definition of Wikipedia, and their article will then be used as a source, and 'fact' will have been established without ever actually having been reality. Here's Glasman in more detail in a journal - - "The labour tradition, alone in our country, resisted the domination of the poor by the rich, asserted the necessity of the liberties of expression, religion and association, and made strong claims for democratic authority to defy the status quo. It did this within a democratic politics of the common good. It might be a good idea to do it again." - this line in his thinking is consistent over a long period, and fits with earlier commentary asserting the primacy of economics, e.g. Blue Labour is a Burkean Socialism in the tradition of GA Cohen; it asserts a more conservative stance on tradition and society not from first principles, but because things in common and things of intrinsic value are those lost under neoliberal economics. That's (sort of) set out here:,guid,60610718-3ee9-4deb-a491-dbb54357ffc7.aspx —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:51, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Any further views on how we should incorporate this, or arguments as to why we shouldn't? Not a lot of point taking it to talk if nobody is talking! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:18, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
You need third party sources make any firm statement, you can report on things said by people like Glasman but you have to be very very careful to avoid synthesis or OR. The particularily applies to statements about Ed and his relationship to the founders which could easily be used to tell a story. Really it may be too early for any substantial article on this --Snowded TALK 15:09, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
Another new article today which to me makes it even clearer that the core of it is economic policy, not social attitudes. I agree it may be too early for a substantial article, my worry is, as expressed above, that the wikipedia-journalist loop will lead to an article that's wrong. Also this, I guess counts as a third party source insofar as it says anything substantial. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:27, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
While BL certainly has strong hints of an economic philosophy, examples of specific proposals for economic policies (apart from a big-society style belief in the need for more mutuals, coops and voluntary/faith based organisations) seem thin on the ground. The key areas where BL has been specific are indeed around social policy. These include some extremely contraversial remarks on "dialogue with EDL supporters" and on immigration:

"it is immigration and multiculturalism which has become ‘the big monster that we don't like to talk about', claims Glasman. Mass immigration under Labour, he believes, served to ‘act as an unofficial wages policy'. The party's position, Glasman contends, occupied a ‘weird space where we thought that a real assault on the wage levels of English workers was a positive good'. More seriously, he charges the last government with having acted in a ‘very supercilious, high-handed way: there was no public discussion of immigration and its benefits. There was no election that was fought on that basis. In fact there was a very, very hard rhetoric combined with a very loose policy going on. Labour lied to people about the extent of immigration and the extent of illegal immigration and there's been a massive rupture of trust.'

It is here that that Glasman's ‘paradoxical position' is once again apparent. He has, he believes, ‘no concerns that the future of the country's going to be pluralist' and is himself from a family of immigrants but believes there has also ‘got to simultaneously be solidarity, and there has been an erosion of solidarity'. The party's conception of equality is problematic, he suggests. ‘There have to be ways of honouring the common life of people who come [as immigrants],' he believes, but it also not the case that ‘everyone who comes is equal and has an equal status with people who are here'." Riversider (talk) 13:24, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

The very first line describes Blue Labour as 'increasingly futile'. This is a matter of opinion, not of any established fact. It does not derive from the associated reference. Furry Canary (talk) 16:42, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

That unfriendly edit has been reverted. Thanks Furry Canary Riversider (talk) 20:31, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Blue Labour disbanded?[edit]

It might be too early to add this to the article, but a recent blog in the New Statesman reported that other members of the 'Blue Labour' group no longer wish to be associated with the views of Maurice Glasman, and that the group 'is to be effectively disbanded'. See here:[1] I think this is worth mentioning, but more/better sources would be preferable. Robofish (talk) 13:18, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

I'm actually really confused by this. There is an email response from Lord Glasman at the bottom of the article, which to me blurs events - does that mean he has retracted his comments on immigration and Blue Labour has been restored? Incidentally, I can't access the Blue Labour site anymore. -- (talk) 18:57, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
I think it's pretty clear that Stears, Rutherford, Miliband and co have realised that Glasman and Blue Labour are a liability and have dumped the new brand faster than a banker dumps toxic debt. I've shifted the article into the past tense to reflect this new state of affairs. Their sudden turn against their former guru doesn't however change their previous enthusiasm for his tainted set of ideas. I bet they're regretting that they can't un-baron him. Riversider (talk) 19:12, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
The lead is wholly inappropriate for the reasons given by Robofish. We shouldn't say the thing has been disbanded without describing what it was in the first place. I'll have a crack at rewriting it later if nobody does. I've popped a tag on the article in case I don't get around to it. —Tom Morris (talk) 11:27, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

"Leading figures"[edit]

We can't just say that all the people listed are "leading figures" in the "Blue Labour trend". All but two of the claims are unsourced, and even the one aside from Glasman that purports to be - the inclusion of Jon Cruddas - says nothing in the cited reference about "Blue Labour", let alone that he is a "leading figure". More made-up political nonsense on WP. N-HH talk/edits 12:37, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

I'd agree that this unsourced list should be deleted. Though in the case of Jon Cruddas he seems strongly associated with Blue Labour, so should remain mentioned in the text: "Blue Labour agenda championed by Cruddas"[2], "one of Glasman's fellow-travellers, the Labour MP Jon Cruddas"[3], "key Labour figures involved [in Blue Labour], including John Cruddas and Chuka Umunna"[4]. Rwendland (talk) 13:32, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Those seem a bit better than what we have, at least in respect of Cruddas (although of course "fellow-traveller" is very much the opposite of "leading figure"). The problem is that "Blue Labour" is quite a nebulous (and marginal) concept and there's no clear "Blue Labour" group with identifiable members, let alone leading members, beyond possibly Glasman himself. It's not like the Campaign Group, for example. I'm sure there are other sources that might make some subjective judgment or passing comment to the effect that each of the named individuals has been or is associated with the idea - perhaps instead of deletion, we could at least rename the list to that effect, but then I'm not sure what it would really be proving. N-HH talk/edits 14:02, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Yep, I'd agree with you there - nebulous; mostly seminars etc, and you cannot be sure how strongly people attending are linked. Having googled a bit, I don't think finding a reliable list online of "associated" people would be possible. Maybe reading Tangled Up in Blue would yield something, but I don't plan on doing that. Renaming is reasonable, but I'd suggest deleting the list, and maybe strengthen the existing mention of Crudas (and maybe Chuka Umunna) in the text from a new cite. Ahh - I see you are in action on the page, good. Rwendland (talk) 14:46, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
OK, with my edits we have lost some detail on some people and also some people altogether (eg Umunna and the red-links), although I have tried to compensate for that to some extent. As you say, maybe something about Umunna could be added in the text somewhere, and a bit more detail yet given on some of the other people formerly on the list at first mention, but I'll leave that to someone else if they have the time/interest. N-HH talk/edits 15:02, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Good edits, much improved ----Snowded TALK 03:59, 12 September 2012 (UTC)