A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

“A lurch to the left for Labour would be electoral suicide” - Blears

I gather that speaking at a Salford CLP meeting today Hazel Blears told local members:

“A lurch to the left for Labour would be electoral suicide. It’s exactly what Cameron wants us to do, because elections are won and lost on the centre ground of politics. The Labour Party has changed for the better in the past ten years. We’ve learned that politics is about tough choices and real leadership, not the luxury of grandstanding and impossible promises.

“We should be leading the party, not indulging those elements which want to take us back to the 80s. You don’t win elections from your comfort zone. You win them by showing courage and optimism.”

“We must make sure that our language, concerns and instincts are the same as people on the streets and estates. Vandalism, graffiti, noise, schools, the NHS, immigration. These are issues that will count at the next election. We win when people know we are on their side. We lose when people think we are talking amongst ourselves.

“New Labour is what will return Labour MPs in seats such as Crawley, Hove, Harlow, Northampton, Dartford and Swindon. Not a rehash of the failed policies from the past – the world has moved on. These super-marginals are where the election is being won or lost right now. They will either be Labour’s springboard to a fourth term, or our killing ground. Which one is up to us.”

Couldn't have put it better myself.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about the other 90% of the electorate? Surely this is a question of balance?

Or how does one avoid making safe seats into more super marginals?

4:12 am, January 19, 2007

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

The issues Hazel talked about sound like ones that are top of the agenda in Hackney and Salford as well as in marginal seats.

8:15 am, January 19, 2007

 
Anonymous Ex Salford CLP member said...

I know a few members of Salford CLP because I used to be in it.They would not have appreciated wee Hazel's remarks.Funny how, when she was touting for the seat in 1994, she told us she was on the left and a traditional socialist.But then she had to say that to win the nomination.More fool us for believing her.I hope Brown blasts her to oblivion (if the CLP members of Salford don't manage it)

11:09 am, January 19, 2007

 
Anonymous The Labour Humanist said...

Here's a radical idea. Why don't we as a party, and as a government, decide on our priorities, and then discuss and evaluate the most effective evidence-based methods for achieving those goals...(remmber what works!). Instead of ruling out effective reforms because they are too right or left wing. The danger I see at the moment is some quite sensible reforms or ways of delivering services are being ruled out for fear (yes still) of being identified as being left wing.

For example, why can't we pilot giving some comprehensive schools in difficult areas the same resources as academies - evaluating the results and then taking some decisions based on evidence.

ps as for the future of policy making, can we ceremonially burn Tony's sofa when he finally goes ;-)

1:52 pm, January 19, 2007

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Repudiating the war or drawing back from more money for money bags marketisation is hardly a lurch to the left. It has been interesting to hear of remarks from Benn, Hain, even Parnell FFS AND Blears herself repudiating the war (as it was waged if not or not entirely on first principles) and suggesting drawing back on some New Labour sorties for those white van votes of yours. We must not overestimate the tolerance of the core vote or rely too much on the don't knows. For core vote, need core principles. With core principles gain back votes borrowed by Lib Dems and other protests.

4:33 pm, January 19, 2007

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW was in Hazel's constituency today. Soem info on what's going on is on parburypolitica comments re second selection piece of yesterday. In the knows are calling it a comfortable win for Hazel but expecting a five month wait for the action. Ian is popular and will not go down without a fight. He will make some constituency a very good MP. But not Salford Central as far as I can tell. Hazel is recognised as powerful whereas Ian is not. There is next to nothing to choose between their voting records on any of the key issues.

4:36 pm, January 19, 2007

 

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