In this month’s Prospect magazine, Gordon Brown will outline his beliefs about the future role of New Labour in meeting the requirements of modern governance – and say that Britain needs a written constitution to “embed all of the constitutional changes of the past decade, and the rights and obligations that apply to every citizen.”
The PM’s key passage on New Labour is:
“We now know that where markets fail and banks collapse, active government is essential to provide regulation, manage demand management and steer a new path. Without such action by governments across the world the recent economic crisis would have been a catastrophe. Similarly, without a strong role for public services and welfare provision the recession would have brought widespread misery. In these circumstances, the enthusiasm for cutting back the state, so visible in contemporary Conservative thought, is a recipe for economic crisis and social injustice.
“At the same time, this is not a Clause 4 moment in reverse. The economic crisis does not demand a return to nationalisation and central economic planning. Regulated markets and free trade remain the best means of stimulating enterprise, innovation and growth. The basic New Labour proposition – that economic dynamism and social justice go hand in hand, drawing the best of the public and private sectors into a partnership for prosperity and fairness – is sound.“
Brown also writes abour the apparent crisis in our democracy:
“The expenses scandal shows us that those who enter public service with a view to pursuing the common good can become disconnected from those they serve, because they are insufficiently accountable to them. In the new century the mos powerful determinant of change should not be the commands of the state, or the incentives of the market, but the values of the British people – better still, the virtues of fairness and responsibility found in their best instincts…Now our mission is to support the active citizen, the empowering community, and the enabling state: to forge a nation of powerful citizens, not a powerful state.”
There’s also good news for LabourList readers’ New Ideas series, as Brown hints he might be open to some of the ideas brought on here:
“We need to strengthen family and community life. At the heart of this challenge is the rising need for care – of children and the elderly – in modern families, as society ages and employment rates rise. Good childcare provides a double win: it closes equality gaps and supports parents to balance work and family, helping to lift households out of poverty. Social care, on the other hand, is a risk for which collective insurance best applies: none of us can know whether we will need long-term care, so pooling that risk lowers costs and ensures decency and fairness.”
The October edition of Prospect will be in the shops tomorrow.