The Labour Party is a broad church. Battles between “left” and “right” were taking place long before Tony Blair and colleagues invented New Labour.
One conflict (not unique to Labour) is over how to define fairness. Is it fair that the rich should help the poor? Yes it is. And is it fair that those who can work should do so, rather than simply taking from others? Yes, that is fair too. But those are slightly different types of fairness.
A problem facing Labour is that many voters believe in both forms of fairness. But there is a perception that the party only cares about the first version.
This is one reason Liam Byrne believes unemployed people should be forced to accept work that has been found for them – a policy Labour actually adopted in the 1990s.
Critics may disagree, but they should recognise that he’s not expressing a personal view. His position is that of the Labour Party and its leadership.