Labour’s Search for Ideas

Renewal - ISSN 0968-5211
Volume 29 Number 4 (2021)

Labour’s Search for Ideas
Patrick Diamond, Karl Pike pages 13-20


Labour’s factional disputes have often pitted ideology against pragmatism, but this is a false opposition. Keir Starmer cannot construct an appealing vision for the country without being clear about his political priorities and ideological commitments.

The role of ideas and ideology in the Labour Party’s internal world has long been the subject of debate, at moments reflecting a prevailing mood that is uncivil and fractious. Ideological dispute has seemingly shaped and amplified the civil wars that have periodically engulfed the party. After Labour’s electoral defeat and departure from government in 1951, the parliamentarian Richard Crossman wrote that the achievements of that post-war administration ‘seemed to have exhausted the content of British socialism’. Yet the task of determining ‘where next’ for Labour was unlikely to be a straightforward process, Crossman acknowledged, since the need for clarity about the party’s ideological objectives was barely recognised across the party.

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To cite this article
Patrick Diamond, Karl Pike (2021) Labour’s Search for Ideas, Renewal, 29(4), 13-20

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