Workers need another 'tech glow' moment

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Workers need another 'tech glow' moment

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Radicalism and realism will help the party win the next general election, claims Tom Bewick

In October 1963, Labor leader Harold Wilson made one of the most memorable political interventions of the 20th century.

Historians call it the “technology heat wave.” This is a memorable phrase in the text that features opposition leaders’ focus on education and science as a means of improving living standards.

The expansion of FE and the creation of the Open University (which Wilson originally called the “university in the air”) are direct legacies of this period.

His speech at Scarborough coincided with a turbulent decade in the country. “His Swinging ’60s” was more than miniskirts and The Beatles.

It was a new era of automation.

Britain and the West were embroiled in an ideological and economic race with the Soviet Union as one bloc sought to outdo the other, believing that the best answers for progress lay in the USSR.

We all know how the story ends. The West finally won the Cold War. And her 5.7% economic growth in 1964 helped liberate New Britannia.

To put this in a historical perspective, the average annual productivity growth rate in the UK since 2010 has been sluggish at 0.7%. In this index, the country is her second from the bottom of her G7.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about Wilson’s speech was its clear honesty. He was a brutal lecture on both radicalism and realism.

Much like the party today, the Labor Party in 1963 was in the political wilderness for twelve years.

It was Wilson’s genius who told Party loyalists, “There is no illusion more dangerous than the comfortable doctrine that the world lives upon us.”

He had a sober vision for Britain – ‘to have as much influence in the world as we can and as much as we deserve’.

The following year, in 1964, Labor returned to power with a majority of four seats.

Fast-forward to the present and Sir Kear Sturmer faces a similar set of challenges. His mission is not aided by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which is once again upending the world order.

The temptation in Liverpool next week is to tell them exactly what they want to hear.

Starmer must inspire with tough love messages

Instead, like their election-winning predecessors Wilson and Blair, all Labor leaders have to do is inspire them with tough messages of love.

The hard part is telling them that the statisticalism that has been practiced under the Labor and Conservative parties over the last few decades has failed in this country.

If unions think that Labor’s return to power amounts to another round of a top-down, Whitehall-led scheme, they should think again.

Pandemic debt overhang and energy insecurity will constrain public spending in the years to come.

Sturmer’s more conciliatory tone should be one in which, with the support of voters, the day-to-day workers can regain control of society from the uncontacted elite. take back the agency of

FE must move beyond the futile debate about whether universities should be nationalized or privatized.

The workers’ response should be to implement an ambitious program of sector mutualization.

From a policy standpoint, it’s three things:

1. Devolve all funding to individuals after age 18, creating a true lifetime skills guarantee with no restrictions on the courses or qualifications a learner can take.

2. Completely eliminate bureaucracy from the skills system by fighting administrative duplication and waste. Inevitably, some cuongos may have to disappear from the landscape entirely.

3. All FE providers should be invited to become mutuals where FE staff can become co-owners of companies with the local community. As with the John Lewis partnership, FE Mutuals has complete control over how it operates.

And finally, Starmer can reflect Wilson’s voice.

The latter said: