All Consuming

In: Uncategorized

24 Jun 2009

Whatever happened to the “Labour left”? Answer: it has become just about the most conservative and growth sceptic section of society.

Neal Lawson, the chair of Compass and a former adviser to Gordon Brown, is about to have a book called All Consuming published by Penguin. Its subtitle is “how shopping got us into this mess and how we can find our way out of it”. He has also just set up a website with the same name.

Evidently Lawson is organising a debate on the book on Monday 13 July in the House of Commons. Given that two of the other speakers are Madeleine Bunting and Oliver James, who broadly share Lawson’s outlook, there is unlikely to be much disagreement between them. Lawson also says in an email “I’m hoping to get someone from the advertising industry to come and put the case for more consumption”.

If I was not rushing to finish my book I would put in a bid to put the opposite case – although I suspect they would not have me. It is much easier from their perspective to present the debate as simply for and against mass consumption rather than grappling with the benefits of popular prosperity.