Sometimes, it's just a cigar

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Two windows

The Queens Speech is often just a matter of political theatre; a chance for the Fancy Dress Wing of British government to have a good day out.

This year, for various reasons, it’s more than that.

Some theorists on the Left have spoken a lot in the last 18 months about the Overton window, the frame through which political discourse is perceived and engaged in. A conversation with old friends about favourite Gramsci quotes reminded us both about this one; “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.” If the fleeting prominence of the DUP is not a morbid symptom,I don’t know what is.

Gramsci was talking about a revolutionary crisis, not a parliamentary scuffle, but it seems to me at such a time there are, effectively two competing windows. The task is not to move one window in one direction or another, but to unveil the new window, and win the argument that it is the frame through which parliamentary discourse should be conducted.

What does that mean for Labour? It means that Labour must offer, not simply a criticism of Theresa May, or alternative policies that relate to hers. but a new framework within which a coherent and congruent set of policies can be shaped.

After last week, who knows what might happen?

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This entry was posted on June 14, 2017 by in Uncategorized.

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