Nick Cohen’s piece this Sunday brings him back to domestic politics and the failure of the Labour Party to be a party of labour. He can’t resist a favourite theme though,
Although I can't remember ever meeting a lecturer who admitted to voting Conservative, the leftishness of the post-modern academy is an obscurantist and exclusive ideology with few concrete plans for the improvement of the lot of less fortunate citizens here or abroad.
This is a harsh criticism and possibly overstated but it contains a kernel of truth about theoretical abstractions and, most importantly, that, for the middle class left, Iraq has been a huge distraction. The noisy activism of the ‘anti-imperialists’ and their determination to force a disreputable academic boycott of Israel has completely overshadowed proper concerns with social equality and political economy.
My disenchantment with New Labour was all to do with the failure to challenge the Thatcherite settlement and their too eager, and guilt-free, embrace of wealth and privilege. The battle for ideas is the starting point for an egalitarian left renewal and political economy should be central.