Outside the marginals

a commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010 & 2015 elections

“old solutions to old problems, not new answers to the problems of today”

Yvette Cooper has turned her fire on the frontrunner in the Labour leadership race as the party prepares to start sending out ballot papers.

“old solutions to old problems, not new answers to the problems of today”
BBC News Website 13 August 2015 : Yvette Cooper: Jeremy Corbyn’s economic policies ‘not credible’

The slightly mischievous side of me reminds me of the debating rhetoric (that I possibly first heard from the late Charles Kennedy when he was a student):

I have listened to my opponent with great care. He speaks with impeccable logic but he starts from the wrong premise, so he must come to the wrong conclusion. I shall start from the same premise, but will use faulty logic – so I at least stand a chance of coming to the right conclusions.

The “old solutions” may not have worked particularly well in addressing the old problems, but then have the “new answers” to “today’s problems” worked that well?

Jeremy Corbyn is possibly tapped in to a sentiment that many are feeling – Modern politics is not serving us well:

  • Capitalism seems uncontrollable – bankers who fail can still pay themselves indecent bonuses.
  • Income inequality has increased whilst we are told that we must all tighten our belts.
  • “We are all in it together” is so patently wrong even George Osborne has given up parroting the thought.
  • The next generation is probably going to be poorer than our generation.
  • Globalism seems to impoverish rather than enrich.

Social Democracy as demonstrated by Blair and Brown failed to tame capitalism. The ConDem Coalition likewise proved powerless. Pure Toryism looks no better.

If a strategy is not working, repeating it is probably not a good idea. Perhaps we should try something different. “Old solutions” applied to “Modern Problems” may lead to some useful conclusions.


Should I have spent £3 to have an opportunity to make a change? I didn’t because I don’t support the “Labour party machine” even though I may support many of its aims and values at least as vocalised by some of the candidates. I too might have been black-balled (although I cannot claim the same level of affiliations as Mark Steel):

[Mark Steel] said the rejection notice did not explain specifically why he had been barred from voting.

“It’s a standard thing that clearly goes out to everyone. It says there are two reasons [for rejection]. One is that you don’t support the ideals and values of the Labour party. Or you are a member of a rival organisation,” Steel said.

“I can’t think what that can be, unless it’s Crystal Palace Football Club or my local snooker club in Croydon. Maybe my snooker club is fielding candidates.

“It’s because they have looked at it and gone ‘just no’. I think it has gone to the local party to look at applications to see if they can find anyone that’s considered suspicious. I suppose that someone in the Labour party locally has gone, ‘not him’.”
Labour leadership contest: Mark Steel becomes latest left-winger to be barred from voting

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