I've read that the great Catholic Trade Unionist Jakob Kaiser’s http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jakob_Kaiser had a vision for Germany which was a Christian Democracy that looked to early days of the British Labour Party for its inspiration in developing Catholic Social Teaching which in turn put great emphasis on co-operatives, the public ownership of key industries, extensive social insurance. So it was with some interest that I've been reading "The Labour Tradition and the Politics of Paradox” which stresses the importance of the early days of the British Labour Party under the leadership of George Lansbury
"The Labour Tradition and the Politics of Paradox” sets out the ideas of the Blue Labour Group. Blue Labour is an idea developed a few years ago by Maurice Glasman. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Labour
Blue Labour is strongly against the neo-Liberal, ultra free market globalization which New Labour sadly embraced. It basically seeks to return the Labour Party to it radical working class roots by promoting a revival of things like Guild Socialism, Credit Unions, Mutualism, the co-operative movement and localism. Blue Labour is not very keen on the overreliance of the welfare state or blackleg labour. Indeed, it advocates some form of protectionism of the national economy and British jobs. It is also quite traditionalist in outlook in that it seeks to uphold traditional values such as family and faith.
The inspiration for Blue Labour is the former Labour Leader George Lansbury and also Keir Hardie. Most people in Inverlcyde are of course familiar with Keir Hardie and most people in Inverclyde are aware that Keir Hardie Street in Gibshill is named after him. But perhaps less people know that Lansbury street is named after George Lansbury. You can read about George Lansbury and his relationship with Blue Labour here http://labour-uncut.co.uk/2011/05/08/george-lansbury-the-unsung-father-of-blue-labour/ in a tribute by Jon Cruddas MP. Lansbury is unique because he was a Socialist and a sincere pacifist whose ideas were underpinned by his Christian beliefs.
I am not a memeber of the Labour Party, and can't ever become a member while the party remains essentially pro-globalization, pro-militarism and pro-nuclear. However, Blue Labour is a very interesting idea, which in my opinion offers the best way forward for the Labour Party. For example, it is true to say that many Scottish Working Class people have a natural inclination towards both social conservatism but also radicalism. Perhaps, this makes
Just as Blue Labour draws upon the influence of great figures such as George Lansbury, so too can Scotland look to early Labour Movement figures such as Robert Owen and his Co-Operative and Credit Union ideas. More so, Scots can also look to the influence of early Christian Socialists like John Wheatley. The approaching Independence Referendum offers a stark choice between a Yes Campaign who in my opinion are projecting a vision of Scotland (which may indeed be further Left than the “Better Together” campaign) but yet could also lead to a bigger, more centralized State. Indeed, there is the real possibility that