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Jon Cruddas – Earning and Belonging

Jon Cruddas – Earning and Belonging

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Published by onenationregister
Jon Cruddas speech to the Resolution Foundation "Earning and Belonging"
Jon Cruddas speech to the Resolution Foundation "Earning and Belonging"

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Published by: onenationregister on Feb 06, 2013
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05/14/2014

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 Jon Cruddas
 –
Earning and Belonging
INTRODUCTIONThanks for offering me this platform here at The Resolution
Foundation. The title of tonight’s discussion is ‘e
arning and
belonging’.
These two verbs are building blocks for the Labour PolicyReview.I want to use this talk to signal where we are with the Review anddetail some of the thinking and the work in progress.Why speak at The Resolution Foundation about this?Because the impoverishment and estrangement of the working poorhas defined the concerns of The Resolution Foundation.Gavin and his team have developed their contribution and gainedinfluence due to the quality and rigour of their analysis.Clive Cowdery understood more than a decade ago, that this area of work and poverty, dispossession and abandonment, earning andbelonging was absent from political debate and committed to give
‘voice to the voiceless’.
I have no doubt that due to this the influence of the Foundation willcontinue to grow.You have earned it; you belong.
 
EARNING AND BELONGINGSo the title for this talk is
‘earning and belonging’
.What is it to earn or to belong?
 
We tend to think of earning in terms of how we gain in return for
 
one's labour or service. Or acquire through merit; to bring about orcause deservedly.We tend to think of belonging in terms of being in an appropriatesituation or environment. Or to be a part of something larger.They are very interesting words for Labour. They shine a light onwhat we have lost.Let me give you an example.In January 2005 the head of election strategy was asked what is thepurpose of Labour?He said this:
 
"What we want is for more people to be able to earn and own. Thatis what people want. It is what Labour policy in the end is all about."But is to
‘earn and own’
 
the essence of Labour?Is it really what people want? Does this give our lives true meaning?Here what we aspire to consists of the impulse to accumulate andconsume severed from a deeper sense of responsibility to others andsociety as a whole. It is a bit one sided.Lets call this the
‘economistic tradition’ 
within Labour.
 
It also strips down the notion of earning into one built aroundconsumption rather than, for example, earning respect orcitizenship.For me this was never what we were about.First, it was never simply materialistic. Labour is a political traditionthat allows us to realise our potentials, to flourish as human beings-to live more rewarding lives.Second, it is not just about money- but about earning respect and aplace in society. These have to be earnt- it is not just aboutpreordained individual rights.So if this orthodox Labour take on earning tends to be reductivewhat about the notion of belonging?Here we can identify another tradition within Labour; a
‘progressive
tradition
’ 
.Think of it this way.Today feelings of loss and of uprootedness, dominate much of thenational landscape;
a modern anomie
.
Yet in Labour, we often tendto consider a desire to conserve settled ways of life as hindering our
own, or indeed humanity’s progress.
For many on the left they have become reactionary feelings; wedeem this search for belonging as an irrational conservativepathology.This can border on contempt for those fearful of change; a contempt
for people’s desire for stability as the
drumbeat to their lives.

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