As the Labour Party determines its policy going into the next general election - and conference delegates ponder the meaning of "predistribution" or the likelihood of "responsible capitalism" - there is an overwhelming sense that fresh thinking is needed.
Neoliberalism has failed. Austerity has been rejected as a solution.
George Osborne gets booed when he opens his mouth and Nick Clegg's only chance of reaching number one is as a joke song in the charts.
But none of that puts Labour in power or progressive policies back on the political agenda.
So how do we construct and popularise our alternative, progressive vision?
How do we ensure trade unions - the organised wing of the 99 per cent - are listened to when determining industrial, social and economic solutions to modern-day problems?
Most importantly, how do we ensure that those elected to represent us listen to and act upon the concerns of ordinary working people amid the din of Westminster chatter?
At TUC Congress last month, shadow chancellor Ed Balls displayed a shocking level of ignorance towards issues of central concern to trade unionists - employment rights, trade union freedoms, pensions, pay and jobs.
And while it is true that a Labour government would have to reach out to people beyond the ranks of the trade union movement, it is also true that the distance that new Labour placed between the party and the unions undoubtedly contributed to the loss of five million members and a dramatic fall in support at the ballot box.
So it is essential that the Labour Party reconnect with working people and put forward policies that identify with their concerns.
This is the aim behind the new think tank Class (Centre for Labour and Social Studies), kick-started by GMB, PCS and Unite and supported by an ever-growing number of trade unions.
And the Institute for Employment Rights (IER) is proud to have been asked to assist in shaping its creation.
The IER has over 20 years' experience as a think tank promoting employment rights and trade union freedoms, and Class aims to draw upon this experience to inform the debate on a wide range of policy areas, creating a trade union-based hub dedicated to progressive arguments around social, economic, political and international issues of the day.
So at TUC Congress Class launched Why Inequality Matters, based on the research conducted by the authors of the influential critique of inequality The Spirit Level, Professor Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett.
And one of its next projects will coincide with the 70th anniversary of the Beveridge report, providing a timely reminder of the origins of the welfare state - and charting a course for its future.
It was the Beveridge report that laid the basis for the radical reforms of the 1945 Labour government, even in the midst of World War II and with a budget deficit and national debt that make today's look negligible.
Geoff Shears, treasurer of IER and vice-chairman of Class, says: "The institute recognises that real progress - in terms of collective bargaining, trade union rights, workers' security - requires real and effective resistance to the onslaught of neoliberalism. We see the role of the unions as vital and the institute intends to play its part."
When the Mail Online covered the establishment of Class, it accused its policy and media adviser Owen Jones of wanting class war.
But whether the Mail recognises it or not, class awareness is growing.
For example, earlier this year the Pew Research Centre issued a report which said tensions between the rich and poor in the US are increasing and at their most intense in nearly a quarter-century.
Its survey showed that US citizens now see more social conflict over wealth inequality than over previous hot-button topics of immigration, race relations and age.
So with class awareness growing, it is more vital than ever to put class back on the political agenda.
Carolyn Jones is director of IER. Rachel Yates is centre co-ordinator for Class.
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