Progress launches “Purple Papers” urging Labour to spell out tough choices before the election

25th October, 2012 10:13 am

Progress have launched a pamphlet called “The Purple Papers” (a nod to their Purple Book of last year), which urges Labour to spell out the tough choices that it would have to make in government before the election, rather than afterwards. The pamphlet says:

“Having a quiet life in opposition means having a miserable life in office. The best inoculation against such an eventuality is to decide, as a party, what risks we are ready to take and what fights we are willing to have. Clarity of approach will strengthen the hand of every Labour minister who tries to improve our public services…There is a question for every Labour member now: whether, how much, and of which of the people we like are we willing to ask something difficult or painful? Build a consensus for a decision, and the next Labour chancellor might be able to take it and survive the inevitable political pain of that choice’s downsides. Leave the argument until you arrive in government and they – and we – might  not.”

The papers examine four big themes – restoring economic growth; getting Britain working again; rebuilding public services; and tackling the ‘care crunch’ – and presents some of the options and choices the authors believe the party will face.

The Purple Papers have been written by Graeme Cooke (IPPR and In The Black Labour), Patrick Diamond (Policy Network) and Steve Van Riel (formerly of Labour HQ, now a political consultant). You can read the document in full here.

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  • AlanGiles

    “On welfare, Cooke argues that Labour’s objective should be
    ‘welfare that is more generous but more temporary’.”How “temporary” is temporary?What if somebody becomes incapaciated and is unable to work?What about those born severly disabled or becoming so at an early age?How can “Progress” be sure that, in our increasingly computerised workplace there will be all the jobs needed to fulfill their aspiration for full employment?. Go to your local supermarket – even there you will find more “self service” tills gradualy replacing human checkout operators. Even the stores owned by the Patron Saint of Progress, Sainsbury, is increasing the self-checkout element in his stores. Many full time jobs are now part time.More people are only able to find part-time work, even though they are looking for full-time. Short term contracts are on the increase (and we are often talking about weeks or months, not the 5 year guarantee for the MP).

    Does Progress live in the real world?

    But if it is purple paper you want:

    http://shop.renovaonline.net/mall/productpage.cfm/Renova/_200061908?gclid=CLvkn5z6m7MCFSHHtAodu1YApg

    • Serbitar

      It’s just the usual kite flying nonsense we have come to expect from Progress. 

    • The only person who is not living in the real world is you, Alan. The vast majority of unemployed people want to work. People like you are attacking people like Graeme Cooke, who knows way more about the welfare state than you ever will, for wanting to get people back into work. That means that some benefits will become a temporary safety net not something you depend on for years and years.
      Full employment is an honourable aim and was a founding principle of the Labour Party. No one should be left on the dole for years and years, they should be in work. Growing technology in supermarkets does not mean that you cannot create jobs. Your whole argument is just false.

  • Good stuff, will read it soon. It seems similar to the whole ‘In the Black Labour’ stuff.

  • Serbitar

    Erm.

    As well as achieving a state of full employment where everyone, no matter what their circumstances – age, health, location, ability, whatever  – is given a permanent, local, long-term job that pays a living wage, can Graeme Cooke be prevailed upon to abolish all known forms of cancer and turn a sufficiently large tonnage of base metal into gold to rid our country of its deficit and pay off the national debt over the course of a parliament? And can he please design and build a perpetual motion machine capable of generating inexhaustible quantities of costless, non-polluting, free energy for everyone,  forever?

    That would be nice.

    Cheers in advance.

    • People who are permanently sick or impaired are not unemployed because they are not part of the labour force. I think you should actually stick to the facts. Your argument is just as invalid as Alan Giles’.

  • PeterBarnard

    Renie,

    I think that you may find Martin Wolf’s FT article, “Sinking into the great stagnation” both interesting and somewhat disturbing.

  • AlanGiles

    One day, Renie, you will leave school and join the real hard world.

    Of course most people want to work, but more and more jobs are now part time , and laudable though it might be to hanker after thr 1960s and the full employment we then enjoyed, it is unlikely ever to be achieveable again.

    You airily dismiss everything you don’t like or agree with as “just false” or worse, and ostrich-like you imagine if you keep saying it your dreams will come true.

    I am afraid the real world isn’t like that at all. Try being over 50 and unemployed, or having a severe disability. There are people in many parts of Britain who are in the position of being unemployed for lengthy periods, and if you time limit benefits for people in that situation, what happens when their entitlement runs out?. Do you have them on street corners selling “The Big Issue”

    I live in the real world, believe me, and I have lived there a bloody sight longer than you, so don’t start your patronising claptrap with me again.

  • AlanGiles

    One day, Renie, all being well, you will leave school and join the real hard world.

    Of course most people want to work, but more and more jobs are now part time , and laudable though it might be to hanker after the 1960s and the full employment we then enjoyed, it is unlikely ever to be achieveable again. We have to face the world as it is, not how we would LIKE it to be.

    You airily dismiss everything you don’t like or agree with as “just false” or worse, and you think that anything is achievable just because some clever blue skies thinker with a political axe to grind says it is.

    I am afraid the real world isn’t like that at all. Try being over 50 and unemployed, or having a severe disability. Or even living in an area where there has always been a historical unemployment problem. There are people in many parts of Britain who are in the position of being unemployed for lengthy periods, and if you time limit benefits for people in that situation, what happens when their entitlement runs out?. Do you have them on street corners selling “The Big Issue”?

    I live in the real world, believe me, and I have lived there a bloody sight longer than you have , so don’t start your arrogant claptrap with me again. It doesn’t make you look big, merely naive.

  • AlanGiles

    One day, Renie, all being well, you will leave school and join the real hard world.

    Of course most people want to work, but more and more jobs are now part time , and laudable though it might be to hanker after the 1960s and the full employment we then enjoyed, it is unlikely ever to be achieveable again. We have to face the world as it is, not how we would LIKE it to be.

    You airily dismiss everything you don’t like or agree with as “just false” or worse, and you think that anything is achievable just because some clever blue skies thinker with a political axe to grind says it is.

    I am afraid the real world isn’t like that at all. Try being over 50 and unemployed, or having a severe disability. Or even living in an area where there has always been a historical unemployment problem. There are people in many parts of Britain who are in the position of being unemployed for lengthy periods, and if you time limit benefits for people in that situation, what happens when their entitlement runs out?. Do you have them on street corners selling “The Big Issue”?

    I live in the real world, believe me, and I have lived there a bloody sight longer than you have , so don’t start your arrogant claptrap with me again. It doesn’t make you look big, merely naive.

  • AlanGiles

    One day, Renie, all being well, you will leave school and join the real hard world.

    Of course most people want to work, but more and more jobs are now part time , and laudable though it might be to hanker after the 1960s and the full employment we then enjoyed, it is unlikely ever to be achieveable again. We have to face the world as it is, not how we would LIKE it to be.

    You airily dismiss everything you don’t like or agree with as “just false” or worse, and you think that anything is achievable just because some clever blue skies thinker with a political axe to grind says it is.

    I am afraid the real world isn’t like that at all. Try being over 50 and unemployed, or having a severe disability. Or even living in an area where there has always been a historical unemployment problem. There are people in many parts of Britain who are in the position of being unemployed for lengthy periods, and if you time limit benefits for people in that situation, what happens when their entitlement runs out?. Do you have them on street corners selling “The Big Issue”?

    I live in the real world, believe me, and I have lived there a bloody sight longer than you have , so don’t start your arrogant claptrap with me again. It doesn’t make you look big, merely naive.

  • AlanGiles

    One day, Renie, all being well, you will leave school and join the real hard world.

    Of course most people want to work, but more and more jobs are now part time , and laudable though it might be to hanker after the 1960s and the full employment we then enjoyed, it is unlikely ever to be achieveable again. We have to face the world as it is, not how we would LIKE it to be.

    You airily dismiss everything you don’t like or agree with as “just false” or worse, and you think that anything is achievable just because some clever blue skies thinker with a political axe to grind says it is.

    I am afraid the real world isn’t like that at all. Try being over 50 and unemployed, or having a severe disability. Or even living in an area where there has always been a historical unemployment problem. There are people in many parts of Britain who are in the position of being unemployed for lengthy periods, and if you time limit benefits for people in that situation, what happens when their entitlement runs out?. Do you have them on street corners selling “The Big Issue”?

    I live in the real world, believe me, and I have lived there a bloody sight longer than you have , so don’t start your arrogant claptrap with me again. It doesn’t make you look big, merely naive.

    • Serbitar

      This nonsense we keep getting from all politicians about “driving people into work” and blaming people for suffering long-term unemployment when fairly waged alternatives are obviously unavailable really wears me out. 

      The link below takes you to C4s preliminary “fact check” as per the coalition’s £5 bn Work Programme an extremely tough regime designed to force members of the long-term unemployed into work by hook or by crook. David Cameron is very fond of talking about the Work Programme and boasting about the government’s willingness to spend “up to £14,000” on individual members of the unemployed in order to get them into work. The £14,000 mentioned never gets spent directly on unemployed people themselves but gets handed over to private companies recruited as provider organisations to run the Work Programme pretty much autonomously. 

      Sadly for all concerned the Work Programme isn’t working, at least as far as the god-awful A4E is concerned. Here’s the link:

      FactCheck: Why leaked A4E data suggests Work Programme isn’t working

      All that hot air, money down the drain, sanctions and misery for too many and this shower of sh*t is the result.

      Over to you Mr. Byrne…

      • AlanGiles

         I think one of the reasons Labour is becoming an irrelevance to the ordinary working person is because so many of those involved in Progress, not to mention the PLP, have no real knowledge of the day to day struggles of the people they are supposed to be representing – people who have to start using Aldi and Lidl because prices go up too fast and quickly at Tesco and Sainsbury etc.

        It is all very well for some dreamer to leave the Dreaming Spires and, perhaps through influence rather than experience, go to work for some think tank or “research unit”, and think up all sorts of ingenious, or perhaps ingenuous “solutions” to problems.

        I am sure all of us regardless of education, background or political viewpoint, would like to see a total end to cancer, starvation, deprevation, crime and war (except perhaps for a former PM and his acolytes who seemed to revel in it), but  real life intervenes.

        Sadly there are those gullable enough to believe that because an academic pronounces a solution, it will come to pass as night follows day, but most of us who have lived a bit know, sadly,  this isn’t true.

        Also, many of the “solutions” dreamt up are little different from those of the party opposite – not surprising when you consider most of them come from the same backgrounds. The right-wing of Labour are so terrified of offending the tabloid press they are not prepared to disturb the status-quo.

        If earlier generations had been so timid, it would still be illegal to attempt suicide, which was only decriminalised in 1961, or to be homosexual or seek a safe abortion (both 1967).

        For anybody to believe full employment will ever be obtainable in the forseeable future, I would suggest they talk to Ford employees in Southampton and Dagenham.

        Before all else, Labour needs to stop demonising the unemployed, which they did up  until 2010 – they have temporarily “sort of” become “sympathetic” (though little in that vain from Byrne), but we all know if they return to power in 2015 they will resume their old ways, with the invaluable assistance of ATOS and organisations like A4E (if it still exists) and/or it’s successors.

        • Serbitar

          True that.

    • On the topic of welfare reform, full employment is an honourable aim and should be an aspiration.  The fact is Alan, you do not want full employment you just attack people who disagree with you. Ending long-term unemployment is one bold step on the way.  Labour introduced the Future Jobs Fund, if you did not know that already, which was part of that. Now you talk about time-limiting benefits, and what you say is remarkable. Time-limiting benefits could be by ensuring people are in work after a certain amount of time, so they cannot be on benefits beyond that. Tell me one unemployed person who would be against such decision? Just one. Go on. If you lived in the real world, Alan, you will know that no one who is unemployed would want to be in that position and wants to be in work.
      Or worse? I also want to see a comment where ‘just false’ in its entire content because you do have an imagination. Let me tell you one thing, I have not been extremely rude to young people, or shockingly sexist about Johann Lamont, or lecturing Mark Ferguson about how to do his own job, or patronising towards Rob Marchant for his sincere views, or attacking Paul Richards, or simply getting facts wrong, or declaring war on the likes of Jess Asato, or being downright hypocritical or worse accusing me of being a poster who I have next to no knowledge about. Let me just tell you, people who live in the real world do not spend day and night on their computer on LabourList and attacking teenagers with a political view.

    • By the way, your argument against full employment was probably the weakest and worst argument ever but also contradictory and hypocritical on your part. You said: “We have to face the world as it is, not how we would LIKE it to be.” In other words, a strong defence of the status quo.

      Then you said: ” The right-wing of Labour are so terrified of offending the tabloid press they are not prepared to disturb the status-quo.
      If earlier generations had been so timid, it would still be illegal to attempt suicide, which was only decriminalised in 1961, or to be homosexual or seek a safe abortion (both 1967).”

      So you accused the Labour right of what you are effectively doing yourself but also you contradicted yourself. I’m afraid you are beyond parody – you should join the Coalition!

  • AlanGiles

    But Renie, you seem to have forgotten the “Work Capability Test”, which all those currently in receipt of IB  are forced to undergo.

    Many terminally ill people have been declared fit for work” – and many have died within months. They have been declared fit for work because ATOS is paid by results (i.e. the more they get off the register the more they get paid)

    Renie, ALL your arguments are invalid, because, frankly, you don’t know what you are talking about. You are just anxious to ingratiate yourself with people you think are “important”

    • Calm down, Alan. You are not grasping the facts. If you are retired, in education, being a carer or very ill then you are not part of the labour force, therefore you are not unemployed.
      WCA has got nothing to do with The Purple Papers or unemployment. What ATOS does is what ATOS does, and WCA should be improved but what you are insinuating is that we should have no benefits testing at all which is nonsense.
      By the way, there is no IB it is ESA, so I’m not taking lectures from you about knowing about what to talk about.

  • Serbitar

    You seem to lack a certain subtlety of mind young fellow.

    The point I was trying to make is that many highly desirable states and things are impossible even though some people, who should know better, falsely claim that they could be achievable under certain conditions: thus a universal cure for cancer, industrial alchemy on a grand scale, perpetual motion energy generating mechanisms, and full employment in 21st century Britain are four examples of almost certain impossibilities.

    It’s a rhetorical device called  irony.

    Talk about “casting pearls”…

    • This is what you said: “As well as achieving a state of full employment where everyone, no matter what their circumstances (age, health, location, ability, whatever) is given a permanent, local, long-term job that pays a living wage, can Graeme Cooke be prevailed upon to abolish all known forms of cancer and turn a sufficiently large tonnage of base metal into gold to rid our country of its deficit and pay off the national debt over the course of a parliament in one fell swoop?”
      What you implied is that those who are ill or sick are unemployed. That was the premise of your argument. The fact is, is that they are not. Now full employment nowadays could mean ending long-term unemployment which is an honourable aim at the crux of what the Labour Party and the Labour movement stands for.

  • Serbitar

    You seem to lack a certain subtlety of mind young fellow.

    The point I was trying to make is that many highly desirable states and things are impossible even though some people, who should know better, falsely claim that they could be achievable under certain conditions: thus a universal cure for cancer, industrial alchemy on a grand scale, perpetual motion energy generating mechanisms, and full employment in 21st century Britain are four examples of almost certain impossibilities.

    It’s a rhetorical device called  irony.

    Talk about “casting pearls”…

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