Maurice Glasman, a favoured thinker of Ed Miliband’s, has given
an interview to someone called Filippo Sensi who writes for an Italian magazine called Europa. I sound a firm note of caution here because there is a distinct possibility that it’s a
spoof. Take Glasman on the etymology of Blue Labour:
"There is a sense of bravery and tragedy in our position and that is one meaning of the word blue, that links Miles Davis with Picasso and Aristotle. It is not mentally ill or depressed
to feel triste and out of that understanding can flow a deeper understanding of the world and a more durable courage in resisting it than a superficial optimism that is the definition of
Berlusconi and the progressive left. So first, blue is a disposition and argues that courage is rooted in the awareness that our enemies are strong, that there will be defeats and that solidarity
is not a natural condition but needs to be rebuilt and renewed through conversation and building common institutions. Solidarity is a state of grace that is achieved through relationships and
action, it cannot be assumed by right. This is the meaning of community organising as a central part of this tradition and has deep Christian, civic and socialist roots in Italy."
After this somewhat peculiar start, Glasman soon descends into Brechtian absurdity. First, he disassociates himself from New Labour, which was he ‘too busy’ to correct at the
"Blair and Brown were not serious thinkers and had a low grade argument about markets and the state that neither fully understood. There are some family arguments that are serious and
require wisdom and experience to overcome and there are some family arguments that are best forgotten about. Blair/Brown is one of those. I was busy doing other things at the time and missed
On matters Italian, he seems enamoured of Savonarola:
"So, the Italian left needs to tell a story that repents of a cruel and procedural modernism, in architecture and art, as well as politics, and tell a decentralised story of association,
of cultural durability, of family life and democratic resistance to emperors, popes and tyrants. Of a love of the land and the coastline, of fungi porcini and hunting, of clean toilets and dirty
politics. A renewal of the church is central to this, its vocation as the saviour of Italy’s soul and its defence against rapacious rulers and senators who wished to dispossess the people
of their land and their customs would be a very welcome move."
There’s plenty more, but, essentially, "Blue is a state of mind". Man.