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Quotes from the Book


Former First Sea Lord, Chief of Defence Intelligence and Home Office Minister
“Several factors had a huge impact on the Labour government’s popularity and its defence credentials: the controversial invasion of Iraq and the mishandling of its aftermath; the flawed decision to remain in Afghanistan after the initial invasion post 9/11 and the equally flawed decision to move into the Helmand region with its consequent toll on our servicemen’s lives.”



Member of Labour’s National Executive Committee
“The national policy forum is exclusive, but also isolated and impotent even in its own terms.  Before the 2010 election Ed Miliband made a point of discussing the draft manifesto with a wide range of stakeholders, but regrettably he has not carried this forward as leader.  Instead there are more than 20 shadow cabinet review groups whose membership is hidden even from the national executive committee.”



Professor of Sociology
“With the economic crisis exposing the limits of untrammelled turbo-capitalism worldwide, Labour now has an opportunity free of the strains of office to develop a programme based on centre-left values to present to the electorate when the time comes, rather than simply promising more of the same.”



Former Labour General Secretary
“There is almost nothing that gets Party member’s pulses racing as much as plans to change Party rules and organisation.  The framework and familiarity are comfortable and understandably we generally don’t like change.  But the truth is that, along with other parties, our current organisation is in decline.”



Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
“We have to map out a vision of the future of an NHS which stands comparison with the best of consumer services in this country. Choice based on easily understandable information; services integrated across all its different parts; the patient’s journey smooth and unimpeded.”



Former Conservative MP now Labour Peer
“Labour does not quite seem to get enough credit for its considerable accomplishments. The foundation of our modern state occurred in the 1945-51 period yet seems taken for granted; the 1960′s was a vital decade of social change certainly made easier by a centre left Government; the achievements of the Blair period, constitutionally, electorally and socially are to be lauded and never denied; similarly the social spending of Gordon Brown together with his international financial management at a time of need- all represent considerable governmental achievements. That is progress to be proud of and to be built on. No blank sheets but rather a turning of the page.”



Shadow Minister
“we must make global markets fairer and more resilient and transparent, we must show long-term leadership on the form of a sustainable diet which promotes better public health and environmental outcomes, and provide consequential subsidies in innovation and research that solve the conjoined challenges of increasing food production, but cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and taking care of the scare resources of water and energy. If we do so, we can be confident of securing justice for this generation, and those to follow us.”



Senior Lecturer in Policing and Former Police Officer
“The Conservatives do not have a monopoly on the law and order agenda by right.  They have been handed it by a failure of the left to escape from the ideological challenges of advocating the rights of the individual over the responsibilities they have to society.”