.if Miliband needs a golden policy key, housebuilding looks set to be it. Build a million homes to cut housing benefit waste, employ hundreds of thousands, create apprenticeships, breathe life into the real economy, stop house price bubbles, replace those right-to-buy social homes. Building is not just good policy, but the best symbol for optimism.Building on brownfield sites might be a good idea. And flat blocks will have be built. As a militant Progressive, Toynbee seems not to realise the SE of England is vastly overpopulated and that it was New Labour that was responsible for that by it's irresponsible policy on mass migration.
This paean to the prospect of progressivism simply shows everything that is basically wrong with the New Labour "liberal left". Apprenticeships are the one good idea Toynbee has here. Yet during the Blair years too many were encouraged to go to shoddy universities ( previously polytechnics)
Toynbee would no doubt laud that as egalitarian as opposed to simply a profit making scam by banks and universities selling trashy education. Yet Blair had promoted that instead of importing masses of skilled labourers from abroad so as to avoid state expense on training Britains's workforce.
Therefore, UKIP is now set to reap the reward of those Panglossian policies that Toynbee was all for ( though always ramping up the trite guide girl metaphors about pulling our socks up, trying harder and other such cliches that make these articles difficult to read without boredom ).
Instead of this stale partisanships about "New Labour can do better", it may well be better to realise what a total catastrophe the Blair and Brown era between 1997 and 2010 was. Though it took to an ever worse extreme the neoliberal monetaristic voodoo economics of the Thatcher years.
Toynbee ignores the fact that "growth" is environmentally destructive and what is needed is the economic development of manufacturing in way that does not destroy our countryside, is modernistic and exploits Britain's inventive people and designers.
But nothing on that except futile and failed policy recommendations about housebuilding as if this were the 1930s again. Fabians have learnt nothing in the past 30 years any more than the neoliberal fanatics who progressive creeds they share in some ways.The inertia continues.