In today’s troubled Britain, it is commonplace to say that the political parties need to come up with some fresh ideas to transform the country. But what happens if one of the big parties starts announcing radical new policies and yet most people don’t seem to be listening?
That sobering question hangs over Labour’s hugely ambitious but so far only moderately successful election campaign, judging by the slow improvement in its poll ratings.
Yet the answer could be less bleak for the party, and for the country, than you think. Whether Labour loses or wins, in this campaign it has begun to set out a new, potent notion about how politics should be done and what elected politicians can achieve.
It’s not changed what politicians can achieve in the slightest. They’ve not achieved anything yet, have they?
It’s changed what politicians are willing to promise but that’s something rather different.
But then that’s rather one of the problems with politics as a societal management system, isn’t it? People do so confuse promises with outcomes.