Saturday, May 14, 2011

Turning the air blue

In recent months there’s been a lot of discussion about the concept of Blue Labour, which seeks to return the Labour movement to its roots in working-class communities, voluntarism and mutualism and rejects the top-down Statism and multiculturalism of the Blair and Brown era.

Now, many will dismiss the idea as a pack of nonsense on a par with Red Toryism. But I was very interested to see an interview in today’s Times (hidden behind the paywall) with Lord Maurice Glasman, leading proponent of Blue Labour, in which he says:

I would bring back smoking rooms in pubs. The idea that you meet your mates and you can’t have a cigarette with your beer is the most authoritarian, nightmarish, anti-English and anti-pleasure thing.
It’s widely thought that Labour was kicking its traditional working-class support in the teeth by bringing in the blanket smoking ban. But if I ever see that in a Labour manifesto then I really will bare my arse on the Town Hall steps.