Hopi Sen is wrong – Labour is sorry
When I first stepped into Labour conference I sat down and read the Independent – travelling alone I hadn’t met with many beforehand, so – on that desperation – I read John Rentoul’s column, in which he said:
Sen [Hopi] is one of the best Labour minds and he has written the outstanding essay on the party’s fluctuating state of this conference season, for the online journal Renewal. He says: “We talk about anything but the failure of the last Labour prime minister.”
I’ve heard nothing but. Ed Miliband labours over past failures (do not excuse the pun), Ed Balls, also.
Today, too, Harriet Harman apologised. She said:
The two Eds both acknowledged – what we all know – that not everything we did in government turned out right. And people need to know that over the past year we’ve taken a hard look at what we did and we’ve learnt lessons.
If party conference this year has been about anything, it has been about apologies. Beyond that, there has been a healthy factionalism – I say healthy because the argument that though Blair was a warrior on the wrong side of history, he still won elections – is still leveled towards the Left as though it has any traction at all.
Blue, Red, Purple Labour – they are all represented, and all willing to account for the failures of the past.
All good stuff. And I’m happy to say that, this time, Hopi Sen is on the wrong of history – and the party is the better for it.
(For more on Harman’s speech, read Shamik Das here)