Labour to focus on 'people power' for an election win

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Indy Politics

Labour will not win the next general election unless it convinces the public it has shed its "big state" image, a Shadow Cabinet minister will warn today.

Ivan Lewis, shadow Culture Secretary, will admit that Labour created an over-centralised state during its 13 years in power. He will tell a local government-and-arts conference in York: "Labour will only regain the confidence of the electorate if we can prove we want to give people more control and power over their own lives.

"We need to be as passionate about 'people power' as we are about the virtues of a strong state. Establishing this as part of Labour's renewal is as important as rebuilding our economic credibility."

Mr Lewis will attack David Cameron's flagship Big Society theme, predicting it will end in failure and derision. But he will warn that Labour's alternative vision of a "Good Society" will not capture the public's imagination unless the party shows it has changed attitude to the state.

He will say: "Big Society is destined to fail because the mainstream majority in Britain feel anxious and insecure as they face the prospect of an ideologically driven small state... a Good Society achieves the right balance."

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