With the Coalition facing its first major test, it is easy to forget that there is a Labour leadership contest going on. But there are two interventions in that race worth noting this Bank holiday weekend. First of all, Jon Cruddas and Jonathan Rurtherford have anessay in the New Statesman sketching out a ‘new covenant with the electorate.’ It would be based around the ideas of an ethical economy, reciprocity and liberty. The piece will make Cruddas’ many admirers in the Labour movement regret that he’s not running. What’ll be interesting to see is which of the declared candidates picks up his ideas and runs with them.
The other is Ed Balls’ comments in an interview with The Guardian that the truth of the last election was that Labour maintained its middle class support but didn’t get sufficient support from lower income voters worried about the recession and immigration. If it is the latter group that Balls think Labour needs to encourage most of all, we can expect far more of a bread and butter emphasis from him than the other candidates.