For those of you becoming slightly irritated by the left-right, capitalism-socialism, May-Corbyn arguments, a note from me, as leader of the Conservatives in Brighton and Hove, regarding my personal views may be useful.
There are two types of politician who can bring most to the current discussions: Red Tories, where I place myself, and Blue Labour, where many Labour moderates should belong, but daren’t as Momentum controlled re-selection panels begin to take hold.
Red Tory and Blue Labour groups broadly wish to see stronger local communities, tradition-based civil society at the heart of any modern economy, and believe that a dynamic culture is needed to take advantage of our new technological age. Brighton and Hove has digital, media and cultural excellence running through its veins, and we believe that it will be these dynamic sectors that will drive increased productivity across the city. Wages stagnated, following the Great Labour recession, but by supporting innovation salaries will march on upwards again and our city will thrive.
Red Tories and Blue Labour also agree that many more houses and fulfilling jobs are required to grow a socially cohesive society and, surprisingly, that the high risk-taking culture of the City of London, who gamboled and lost with our money, is in some areas immoral and needs to be better organised and regulated for the benefit of society as a whole.
So where do we disagree? Locally, Red Tories believe that the council should pay for essential services, but that these should be delivered in the most efficient way; whether this is by the council, the community and voluntary sector or by outsourcing to local companies. Blue Labour believes that these services should be almost wholly council delivered which, as many will have experienced, does not always lead to the best outcomes.
The real challenge we face is that we are witnessing the slow death of Blue Labour across Brighton and Hove as a Momentum-led far-left experiment begins to take a grip on the levers of power. Red Tories and Blue Labour should now start to agree that this is should never be allowed to happen.
Tony Janio is the leader of the Conservatives on Brighton & Hove City Council.