Not a good year for my small sector of the political sphere, Blue Labour. I say small because politically, at the moment, that is what it is: indeed, nigh on non-existent. And yet its basics – socially conservative, fiscally radical, mindful of tradition, patriotic – strikes a chord with so many voters outside London.
Blue Labour’s influence in the Conservative Party was seen to have been a partial cause of Theresa May’s lamentable performance at the last election. I am not so sure that the policies promulgated by Nick Timothy were to blame, despite what my editor here may believe: presentation, arrogance and poor leadership were more crucial, I think. And Blue Labour’s influence within its own party has probably waned too, as the battle was posited as being between Blairites and Corbynistas, not realising that these are two cheeks of the same liberal arse. Still, if you have a quarter of an hour to spare, have a listen to this excellent exposition by someone who has been at the heart of Blue Labour, a chap called Michael Merrick.