A woman interviewer, Liz Jerrard, seated on a stage with Jon Cruddas MP with a photographic backdrop of Ramsey MacDonald and comrades.

‘A Century of Labour’ with Jon Cruddas

A “critical friend” of Keir Starmer, Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham, told an audience at the Brentwood Theatre that a future Labour government faces defeat if it neglects its historic purpose.

Mr Cruddas warned: 

”If the next Labour government pursues a technocratic centre-left line we may be overcome by the forces gathering.”

Jon Cruddas gave an inspiring account of the conclusions of his book, A Century of Labour, published in January to mark 100 years since the formation of the first Labour government in 1924.

The book analyses the ethical and moral dimensions of successful historical Labour transformations. These he described in everyday language related to social justice – the right to housing, health, education and personal fulfilment.
His advice was that Labour must re-assert these perspectives to avoid the prospect of a continuation of austerity and breakdown of public services and perhaps the rise of authoritarian government, the seeds of which are seen in the current Conservative administration.

Richard Millwood, Chair of the Brentwood and Ongar Labour Party said: 

“How heartening it was to be reminded of Labour’s success over a century of major civilising improvements and how much this matters to maintain the effort locally, where it is possible to overturn the Conservatives. The current joint administration running Brentwood Borough Council, that Labour is central to, is making great strides to address the basics of social housing and green action which belong in that tradition.”

Around fifty audience members were invited by interviewer Liz Jerrard to hear from Jon and question him on his upbringing, political roots and his ideas for the Labour Party in the next century.

Although organised by Brentwood and Ongar Constituency Labour Party, the event was aimed at everyone in the community keen to hear an alternative voice in the community.

Jon Cruddas is to stand down at the next General Election after more than 23 years as an MP, first in Dagenham and since 2010 for Dagenham and Rainham.

A Century of Labour by Jon Cruddas is published by Polity Press, 281 pages, ISBN:‎ 1509558349

A poster advertising a theatrical event with a photo of Jon Cruddas


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