Blue Labour: The Politics of the Common Good by Maurice Glasman


Polity Press
22 September 2022/25 January 2024

Labour has been on a wild ride over the past 30 years. New Labour argued that we had no choice but to accept a globalized free-market economy in which the race was to the swift, the open and the flexible. Corbynism reacted against this with a jumble of old school statism and identity politics. Both ultimately failed.

In this book, Maurice Glasman takes the axe to the soulless utilitarianism and ‘progressive’ intolerance of both Blair and Corbyn. Human beings, he contends, are not calculating machines, but faithful, relational beings who yearn for meaning and belonging. Rooted in their homes, families and traditions, they seek to resist the revolutionary upheaval of markets and states, which try to commodify and dominate their lives and homes, by the practice of democracy, mutuality and pluralism. This is the true Labour tradition, which is paradoxically both radical and conservative – and more relevant than ever in a post-COVID world.

This crisp statement of the real politics of Blue Labour – rather than the absurd caricature of its detractors – is Glasman’s love-letter to the left-conservatism that provides Labour’s best chance of moral – and indeed electoral – redemption.

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