Should we be less “radical” and more “sensible”?

First published in Compass, 7/7/15

[Note, Sep 2018: I wrote this post in the gloomy aftermath of Labour’s 2015 election defeat. There’s now a much stronger mood for change, and hence greater scope to boast about being “radical”, though I still stand by the conclusion that often it’s better to proclaim our ideas as common sense.]

Did Labour lose the election because it was too left wing? That’s become a standard explanation in right-wing newspapers and among some Labour commentators. But Hopi Sen – who sits on the right of the party and would be the first to complain about this sort of thing – has a different take:

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