THERE’S a saying that goes something like this: “Anyone who wasn’t left wing in their youth, doesn’t have a heart; but anyone who isn’t a conservative as an adult doesn’t have a brain.”
The process of taking on responsibilities forces one to realise that accountability, a small government, freedom, and more decision-making left in the hands of individuals leads to the greater social good.
Left wing people seem to react to the Conservative party as if they were a 16-year-old teenager who wants to prove that they are different to their parents – not that they have thought through the implications of their behaviour or decisions.
In that sense, Labour is a natural party of opposition. They should be there to rein in the excesses of those who have to get on with the business of making the economy and society work in a sustainable fashion.
When in power, Labour is like a permissive parent, wanting to shield their children from the aching realities of the world: competition, lack of fairness, market downturns. The only problem is they forget to check their bank account to see if they can afford such lavishness.
If there is a next generation Labour party, it needs to axe the name “Labour”. Never has there been such a throw-back to outdated Marxism. Its very name suggests a group of people fighting against management and the establishment.
The world has simply changed, and the future leader of the Labour party has a magnificent opportunity to change the name and rethink their party’s manifesto. There is a new clause four moment that they must seize.
Any executive who has had to lead a team of people knows you have to get everyone on the same side of the table looking at the same problem. Those who are on the shop floor or in the factory have just as much credibility and right to lead the team. But they can only do that if there is a more inclusive business model for society.
They are not there to be a break on the system, but to organise the entire system better.
Witness Unite’s destructive behaviour in its dispute with British Airways. If everyone pulled together they could help create a world class carrier again.
Labour’s attempt to rejuvenate itself will make for fascinating viewing. But don’t hold your breath.
• Julie Meyer is chief executive of Ariadne Capital and a dragon on the BBC’s Online Dragons’ Den.