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 In the Black Labour

In the Black Labour

Graeme Cooke, Adam Lent, Anthony Painter & Hopi Sen

02 December 2011


Why fiscal conservatism and social justice go hand-in-hand

In the Black Labour: Why fiscal conservatism and social justice go hand-in-hand
is a new Policy Network discussion paper which aims to start a debate in the Labour movement on how to achieve fiscal sustainability. The paper’s authors, Graeme Cooke, Adam Lent, Anthony Painter and Hopi Sen, call for Labour to embrace fiscal conservatism. They argue that “Labour’s ability to advance social justice can go hand-in-hand with a clear, fiscally conservative stance.”

Following on from the Office for Budget Responsibility’s Economic and Fiscal outlook and the Chancellor's Autumn Statement, it is argued that “taxpayers, voters and lenders to the British state feel they have a right to know what the main opposition party would do about high levels of borrowings and when they would do it by. Satisfying this demand is fundamental to being regarded as a credible alternative government… It is precisely the vagueness of Labour’s position over its short to medium term plans for the deficit that confirms the voters’ worst suspicions about the Party’s lack of commitment to addressing the fiscal crisis.”

The paper was launched with a lead news story in The Guardian newspaper, together with an opinion piece in the paper's comment pages.

Responses to the paper have been published here
Read the media coverage here.

This paper forms part of a series of Policy Network publications and debates on how the centre-left in British and European politics can restore its reputation for economic competence. The next debate in the series will focus on Policy Network's Southern Discomfort research. It will take place on Tuesday, 13 December from 12.30-14.00. A public debate on In the black Labour will take place in January. Sign-up to the Policy Network newsletter for further details.

About the authors
Graeme Cooke
is visiting fellow at the ippr. He writes here in a personal capacity
Adam Lent
was formerly head of economics at the TUC and is an associate fellow of the ippr. He writes here in a personal capacity
Anthony Painter
is a writer and commentator. He is author of the forthcoming report: ‘This human business: why the new bottom line is social’
Hopi Sen
is a former head of communications for the Parliamentary Labour Party. He is now a consultant, writer and commentator whose work has appeared in The Guardian, Independent, Policy Network and Renewal. He also blogs at hopisen.com

Media contact

If you have any queries or comments about this publication, including interview requests with any of the authors, please contact Michael McTernan on 0207 340 2215 or email mmcternan@policy-network.net.

Tags: Adam Lent , Graeme Cooke , Anthony Painter , Hopi Sen , fiscal conservatism , Ed Miliband , Labour , Ed Balls , Black Labour , social justice , OBR , fiscal discipline

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