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Austerity, aspiration and the politics of hope

by Janet Newman

This blogspot was first published on Compass (Wednesday, 03 June 2015)

In the aftermath of the 2015 election, much of the commentary centred on the Labour Party’s failure to speak to the ‘aspiration’ of voters to secure better lives for themselves and their families. Aspiration is fast becoming the dominant term around which narratives of political renewal now circulate with, I think, malign consequences. It is very different from the idea of hope. While aspiration speaks to individual or familial-oriented concerns – and, implicitly, those of the nation in a global competition for status and power – hope offers a more collective sensibility. And while aspiration is fundamentally an economic discourse, hope seems to speak to wider cultural and political – as well as personal – futures.

To read the full blogspot, please visit Compass website here.