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.

Friday, May 09, 2008

That poll

Yep, the one with the 26% Tory lead.

I think it's about right in terms of a snapshot of where we are now - which is a pretty dark place for Labour. I'm not even going to publish the analysis of the May 1st results I've seen because I don't want to be responsible for a number of Labour MPs defending majorities in excess of 15,000 jumping off Big Ben.

But where we are at now is not where we have to be when we fight the next General Election - which could be as far as two years away. Six weeks ago we were closing the gap on the Tories. Six months ago we had a 10% lead. There is no reason why we should not again be closing the gap by mid-June and 10% ahead by the end of the party conference season, if we get the politics right between now and then.

For the PLP that means separating out a specific putting of pressure on the Government over the 10p tax rate from generalised chaos and indiscipline on other issues - we saw what happened when Tory MPs lost the will to win and any sense of loyalty to their PM and government in the mid-90s. Let's not go there.

For Gordon it should mean a rapid, full and comprehensive settling of the 10p rate issue, with no losers allowed to slip through the net - people without kids are just as deserving of decent treatment by the tax system as those with - followed by coming out fighting with some policy initiatives that will really unite Labour and illustrate to voters what the difference is between us and the Tories. Not ephemera about volunteering or constitutional tinkering but bread-and-butter stuff that will put more cash in ordinary people's pockets or make their daily lives noticably easier. And stylistically he should just be himself and let people judge him on who he really is. If they don't like it and we lose, let's at least have spent the next two years doing things we will be proud to have been associated with.

I thought both John Denham and Peter Mandelson said useful things last night: Denham said Labour's reluctance to acknowledge failings has led to public scepticism and that if ministers did not acknowledge errors the public would not believe they would get it right in the future; Mandelson warned against abandoning one of the key tenets of New Labour - helping the poor:
"If you lose one tenet then the whole edifice starts looking shaky and that's what's happened".

How we handle the period from now until the start of the Commons recess in July is going to determine the politics of the next decade or so: will this be the point at which Labour, having looked over the precipice, steps back and focuses on how to win a fourth term, or will it be the point at which we enter into a downward spiral of panic that will see us crash out of power for a generation?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Say I vote for downward spiral and panic!

Face it dude, L!A!B!O!U!R! is cooked!

Pass the popcorn.

10:46 am, May 09, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the possible senario, but down here in South Wales the feeling is no matter what Brown says he is going to do the public do not believe him.

Sorry, but he must go ! and soon if Labour is to regain electoral support.


PS Can Westminster give us a referendum soon, and make one of the Questions "Should there be a Welsh Assembly

1:07 pm, May 09, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luke I'm astounded that you did not inlcude "must sort out the radidly widening constitutional morass over Scotland".

I know that the metro London elite are prone to not wanting to look beyond their goldfish bowl, but this issue has considerable inherent danger for Labour. The struggles of Wendy Alexander in the media, and Gordon Brown in Westminster in front of Cameron were just awful examples of politicians clearly, transparently, not addressing the truth.

Wendy Alexander with her volte farce on wanting to now include independence as an option in any Scottish referendum has simply shredded her credibility - this time including within Scottish Labour MPs.

Meantime, the SNP seem to developing strategies for a hung or minority outcome at the next UK election. In such a scenario, Cameron would be unwilling to hold much brief for the Union in the face of his middle England rednecks and their mythology about Scottish subsidies. Salmond and Cameron would enter some sort of understanding or alliance... and what could Labour offer? Maybe a continuation of the 'push-me-pull-me'nonsense whereby Wendy abruptly changes her mind and makes a statement on indpendence, Brown says 'no that's not what she meant', and next day she declares 'yes that's what I meant'

Bewildering and destabling stuff.

1:35 pm, May 09, 2008

Blogger Dave Cole said...

I think your comments are very sound. The 10p tax rate was a mistake, but neither the Compass or Charles Clarke ends of the Labour party should try or be allowed to try and turn and undeniable screw-up over 10p into general malaise with the Party and more internal bickering.

As Lyndon Johnson put it, 'in this business, chicken shit can turn to chicken salad overnight - and vice versa'.

1:40 pm, May 09, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You still seem to think it's about the 10p tax rate.

People have woken up to discover the huge tax burden they're facing.

They see huge sums wasted on unreformed public services.

And now they've begun to decode the euphemistic sleight-of-hand used to cover this trick.

Gordon Brown is the Tommy Cooper of magic. The difference is that Gordon doesn't know he's making a complete cock-up.

3:31 pm, May 09, 2008

Blogger Jackson Jeffrey Jackson said...

"unreformed public services"

Straight from a Telegraph editorial.

Anonymous Tories are so much worse at disguising themselves than they used to be.

4:22 pm, May 09, 2008

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

I really doubt the Tories and the SNP would form a coalition, as it would not be popular with his own troops and voters back home.

That said a Tory administration is what the SNP want because they are banking on the leftist nature of the Scottish electorate who don't share the turd way vision of New Labour. If the Tories get in the Nats can use their victory to strongly persuade the Scots independence is the way to go, a very persuasive argument.

I am confused a little by Wendy's statement. She apparently discussed this with Broon and he gave her the green light, at least she said something of that nature to Newsnight Scotland.

Time to face facts on this one, Gordon is facing off, our worst ever poll result, grass root resentment, backbench rebellions and the Scottish party appears to be out of his control, to put it another way, if even the likes of Gareth is calling him to leave he must be doomed.

5:30 pm, May 09, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

If Labour are trying to pull back the polls they have a funny way of showing it. Firstly we've had the argument of Scottish independence in which Brown got totally cooked and now the issue of Airport security. At a time when Labour are trying to push through the ID card scheme they make a massive blunder on airport security and Brown refuses to make a decision until the findings of a commissioned report is out.

To be honest I've been very impressed with the SNP and their strength is a bigger worry to Labour than it is for the Conservatives. Traditionally Scotland has been a Labour stronghold but in recent years the Scottish electorate have turned their backs on Labour. I can't answer why but traditionally Scottish people have always followed the tradition of wealth distribution, something that Labour has left behind. So is it any surprise that the SNP that are offering what Labour promised are now stealing the Labour vote.

Somewhere along the way Labour has lost it's way. If Brown attempts to force a vote on Scottish independence I'm confident he'll come away with a very bloody nose and will probably lose his job.

Just look at what you are up against now. You have annoyed the armed forces, the police, rural communities and even the Royals are making it very clear what they think of New Labour. People are under serious financial pressure and the government is seeking extra taxes from hard up motorists and the abolition of the 10 pence tax rate.

Labour will not secure another general election. It's too late to change leader and no matter what Labour do the electorate have made their minds up.

6:15 pm, May 09, 2008

Anonymous Gerald said...

Let us not forget the Tories have a wonderful propensity for shooting themselves in the foot. All it takes is for one M.P. to open his mouth too wide and that poll rating will sink into the Earth's core. I hope you choke on your popcorn, anonymous!

7:03 pm, May 09, 2008

Anonymous Ted Harvey said...

The first anon posting on the SNP threat to Labour was actually me (aka Ted Harvey) I just pressed the wrong button in posting...

Ravi I don't understand your opening sentence , maybe there's a need to clarify which 'he' you mean?

A SNP Tory agreement will not be automatically be unpopular in Scotland in our fast-changing and increasingly complex electoral environment. For one thing Gordon Brown has icredibly misjudged the impact in his Scottish backyard of wrapping himself in the Union Jack (A Union Jack in every garden... has he forgotten what that flag stands for in some West of Scotland constituencies?). I really think he is steadily losing for himself and Scottish Labour the traditional trust of the Scottish electorate that Labour will 'see Scotland all right'; there is a growing perception among Scottish voters, as with 'regional' England voters, that it's the metro London cum middle England set that is the all-consuming focus of Brown and Westminster Labour. Consequently there may be a scenario whereby the Scottish electorate is beginning to think that a Labour leader at Westminster is no better for Scotland than a Tory leader. Meanwhile I just do not think that many Labour people down south yet realise what a collapse Scottish Labour are going through - and as I have said before the relevance to English (and Wales) Labour is that there are many warnign signs to be heeded from this. The other relevance is the role a strengthened SNP at Westminster will be able to play.

Rich for once almost posted some sensible stuff but spoiled with the nonsense that:
"So is it any surprise that the SNP that are offering what Labour promised are now stealing the Labour vote."

The SNP are not 'promising what Labour promised" and the SNP are a million miles away from promising anything about 'wealth distrubtion'. This type of statement by Rich shows that he also completely misunderstands the locus of the SNP in British electoral politics - they are not into swopping Westminster-style electoral promises with look-a-like Westminster parties in order to gain a part in maintaining the Westminster system.

9:49 pm, May 09, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You will have noticed a change of nuance from the Cons. They have started to talk of 'hard working people'.

About time, because frankly, as a single male I am furious at the subsidy that families get year in year out.

I pay more into the tax system and get less out. The least I expect is that those who are single on the job ladder paying their taxes get fair treatment.

Rip up this tax policy and put back the 10p rate OR WE FACE OBLIVION. WE FACE BEING seen as the left wing party that doubles taxation.


100% tax increase.


You can imaging the election posters.

Come on Gordon, be honest and admit you cocked up.

11:57 pm, May 09, 2008

Anonymous Darrell said...

All of this ignores the general fatigue factor..the fact that people are pretty sick and tierd of Labour in government and the 10p tax issue has just crystalised that feeling....i have heard non-political people where i work say they would vote Conservative just because they are not Labour....

12:17 am, May 10, 2008

Anonymous Andrew F said...

Superficial as this reality is, the big problem that we face in the next few crucial weeks is getting the media to stop reporting every single PMQs as a massive Cameron victory.

The idea that the government is dying -- one reflected in the election -- will not go away until the press stop translating Tory soundbites into points. With their PR machine in full flow, the only way for us to start making any progress in the polls is to bring things back to logical debate. Brown is right to say that Cameron has no substance and right to say that he avoids the substantive issues. But he's got to say it even louder, and we've got to desperately hope that Nick Robinson et al start noticing. As long as inane pundits keep coming on the TV every night to talk about Brown's latest "disaster", the party has no hope.

Take Question Time yesterday. Purnell tried to explain to them why it wasn't paradoxical for Alexander to be against a referendum and yet call for one.
Dimblebly could simply not get his head round the idea that minorities don't set the agenda, only how that agenda plays out. (By inference, he was implying that this is therefore a matter of electoral strategy and not policy -- which puts it under Alexander's duristiction, not Brown's)So, instead, he spent the whole time ingorantly misinterpreting and setting up Hesseltine and co for cheap shots. The audience pathetically licked up, everyone laughed at Gordon Brown, and the media had just handed another coup to the Tories. Even Piers Morgan managed to completely mess Purnell up by simplifying the whole affair into a personal conclict.

Personally, I *am* in the camp that advocates a move to the left -- which I know you disagree with. And I do think fuck-ups like the 10p tax have hurt us. However, I gennuinely *most* of Brown's arguments are solid and that most of Cameron's are not. The PR team at No. 10 need to find a way to force Cameron/the press to raise the tone of the debate from school-yard insults to intellectual discourse.

In my view, the best way to do this is to pick one of the most glaring flaws in Tory "policy" and keep pointing it out over and over again. Say, the fact that their figures don't add up. He needs to not just point it out once a week at PMQs, but in every press conference, in every speech, in ever anecdote to every person he talks to it. Everyone in the Cabinet needs to do the same. He needs to point out a flaw so incessantly that it becomes impossible for the media not to mention it, and then analyse it. Once they do, maybe the Tories will feel just a tiny bit of pressure -- and from there, momentum builds.

Force a real debate: there's simply no way we can lose it.

2:36 am, May 10, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

heh... Toast

I wonder if Cherie sent Brown a signed copy , with lurve n kisses

2:45 am, May 10, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

I don't live in Scotland so my views on why Labour are failing are purely guess work. But Labour have left behind policies that have now been adopted by the SNP. FREE Prescriptions, FREE UNI Education etc etc. These are things they you would have expected from Labour and do help the poorest families.

Labour really do need to take a good look at themselves and work out who they are in power to serve. Traditionally it was for working people which make up most of this country and not the elite.

Let people earn £15,000 before paying tax and take 20% off fuel duty and you have my vote.

8:43 am, May 10, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeffrey Jackson Jeffrey

Apparently, a union rep.

He picks up the phrase "unreformed public services" and immediately identifies the author as a conservative.

No, the phrase was used by NuLabour and it's what Tony Blair wanted to do.

Brown wouldn't let him for reasons probably as much to do with spite as anything to do with policy.

11:10 am, May 10, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Listen to Radio 4's Question Time if you can.

Frank Field tells Gordon Brown he will destroy his government if he even tries to finesse some lash-up on the 10p issue.

Read too Field's rubbishing of tax credits.

Labour can't be fixed. Brown's a dead duck walking.

The real issue is how to put together a credible opposition to counter the current opposition and ensure they don't get the opportunity to do what they like.

2:51 pm, May 10, 2008

Anonymous a very public sociologist said...

I really can't see Labour coming back from this. Sorry guys, New Labour is done. Unless there is a massive change in direction, which isn't going to happen, we can expect Cameron and his Tory tosspots in number ten in a couple of years time.

And how can Labour bounce back in future now the party's been hollowed out and is saddled with crippling debts?

8:39 pm, May 10, 2008

Blogger Jackson Jeffrey Jackson said...

Yes thanks, anonymous (again) I know where the ideas came from, but the constant refrain of "unreformed public services" is one regularly parroted by the Tories, positioning themselves to carry on Blair's attack on the public sector.

9:55 pm, May 10, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

Frank Field is absolutely right on tax credits - actually, he is generally right on social security issues. I would like to try some of his ideas.

I certainly think there is absolutely no reason why anyone earning below say, £15000 should pay any tax at all.

10:01 pm, May 10, 2008

Anonymous Ted Harvey said...

andrew f, can I point out that the Labour Party has put itself in an impossible-to-sound-credible position when you have to assert that a Cabinet member tried to explain to “them” why:

“why it wasn't paradoxical for Alexander to be against a referendum and yet call for one.”

You just cannot carry of that type of obtuse stance in real-world electoral politics and be expected to be taken seriously. Incidentally, and anyway, here on the BBC Scotland Politics programme this morning Wendy Alexander went through another convolution and said that she was in favour of a referendum (because it ‘allowed the people to choose’).
As an SNP wag immediately pointed out, Gordon Brown in the Torytale interview has sadi he is 'not persuaded' of the need for a referendum with the indpendence opiton' therfore Gordon Brown must be against 'allowing the people to choose' a la Wendy Alexander.

I suggest that you read your posting again and maybe take heed of how you blame everyone… the ‘media’, Dimbelby, the audience, Hesaltine, you gripe that ‘even Peirs Morgan managed to mess up’ the Minister up by making it all personal.

Yea Gods man, do not you think it just possible that you blaming everyone else in the whole world without seeming to comprehend that just maybe the Labour Government has seriously screwed up on the entire devolution-cum-Scottish-independence front? This is the type of mindset that I have been posting about… the warnings of where that mindset will take Labour are writ large in the Scottish Labour debacle of the last few years.

If you do not coolly and objectively observe, be willing to learn and then adapt, you die, that’s what happens in politics as in other things.

5:27 pm, May 11, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't buy the analysis that argues that New Labour has 'run out of steam' or that there is an inevitability to decline in a third term. It seems to me that the basic policy approach pursued by this government since 1997 is still in tune with what the electorate want and, as observed by the Economist, this is demonstrated by Cameron’s move towards our position on a range of issues. I therefore do not think that a lurch to the left or right is what we require. I think it is more simple – we need a change in the leadership. To say this is not to run-down Brown’s considerable achievements or suggest that he is not one among the biggest hitters on the current political stage. However, it is to suggest that the current problem has become one of personnel and can perhaps only be addressed through a new person taking the top job. For me this parallels the situation one sometimes finds in football. A good manager gets into a loosing rut. This may be the fault of the players, a run of bad luck delivered by referees or through injuries - but the result is the same - confidence is low and the existing manager can't get back on track. The usual outcome is that a new managers arrives, plays the same players in the same formation and often gets a turn in the results. Its not fair - but its life. I think we need such a change now.

7:40 pm, May 11, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

I don't believe Labour have been soft on non working families or people. If anything life for the unemployed has got a lot worse. Because there are less unemployed this government has shifted it's efforts from helping the small minority that can't find work to other vote winning issues. Yes there are those that will do anything to stay out of work but the majority want to work. We have to remember that some parts of the UK have not enjoyed the same levels of economic growth.

We took part in a small pilot training programme. All those that took part have managed to get jobs and are still in work two years on. The problem was it cost in the region of £7000 to train each person so the government pulled the plug. So if the government really wanted to solve long term unemployment they could do it.....they just prefer to have everyone working at Tescos.

Our taxes are not high because there are 1.6 million unemployed, they are high because of wastage, two wars and a multi million pound bank bailout.

It really is too easy to pick on the unemployed.

11:05 pm, May 11, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

To Luke

In light of the latest memoirs from both prescott and the Blairs do you think that Browns conduct is something you would expect from a PM.

I'm not sure how much to believe but I'm starting to feel a little sick at the thought of this man running our country. I'm sure there are many other Labour voters feeling the same way.

11:12 pm, May 11, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ravi, are you stalking me on behalf of the Nutcase (Working Class in Name Only) Press ?
If so yer well out of order.

My record in suggesting that Brown is an unfit person dates from well before his coranation.


11:47 pm, May 11, 2008

Anonymous observer's friend said...

Andrew F said ...
"In my view, the best way to do this is to pick one of the most glaring flaws in Tory "policy" and keep pointing it out over and over again. Say, the fact that their figures don't add up. He needs to not just point it out once a week at PMQs, but in every press conference, in every speech, in ever anecdote to every person he talks to it. Everyone in the Cabinet needs to do the same. He needs to point out a flaw so incessantly that it becomes impossible for the media not to mention it, and then analyse it. Once they do, maybe the Tories will feel just a tiny bit of pressure -- and from there, momentum builds."

Some fair points, Andrew F but in my view, the tactics suggested above just bore the pants off everyone and dis-engages the media and the general public. It needs something much more imaginative than that. My idea? How about fresh policies, put forward in plain English?

Rich said ...
"I'm sure there are many other Labour voters feeling the same way."

Many other Labour voters? You count yourself among us? That's funny, Rich. You gave us all the impression you were definitely a BNP voter!

5:43 am, May 12, 2008

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Sorry Ted, the "he" I refered to was Salmond.
To be fair to Rich, the SNP have shifted themselves further to the left than we have. Much of they are implementing in Scotland used to be what we used to say in oppostion; to Rich's list I would add, no to trident and nuclear fuel, stopping the closure of A+E, building more council housing and stopping right to buy.
All in all it is a pretty strong social democratic package which does tempt left leaning scots to vote SNP (although I think their victory last year had more to do with Iraq and Blair than democratic socialism).

Salmond is no light weight, unfortunatly for us Wendy is.

On a further note, sorry Gareth if I spooked you !

9:47 am, May 12, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not about 10p as such. For at least two terms people gave Labour the benefit of the doubt - more tax was paid, we saw it being spent in the NHS and education and the jury was out on whether it was a good investment. We now know it wasn't, so Labour will struggle. How on earth did Blair 'attack' public services. More money for GPs for less hours worked. Above inflation pay settlements for teachers (quite rightly)each year until now. Still can't send my kids to the ghastly local school though, despite a Council Tax bill of nearly £2.5k. Maybe I'll follow in Blair, Corbyn, Abbott etc foosteps and use a grammar/private one!!

9:53 am, May 12, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last anonymoous has come to exactly the same conclusion this anonymous has.

Spending on the NHS is now 3 times it was a decade ago as a percentage of GDP.

So I try to visit a GP. I get a locum. He's African. And the ordinary social discourse of actually looking someone in the eye rather than tapping into a computer while you're speaking to someone is a courtesy well beyond him.

I later discover having insisted against his resistance to get referred to a consultant that the O level science he was required to know to deal with my case was wrong.

I am paying for him, the slum surgery - in Islington, plus the three fat slappers who insist you will get an appointment at a time convenient to them.

That's the unreformed public services. Absolute shite.

4:57 pm, May 12, 2008

Blogger Dave Brinson said...

"Above inflation pay settlements for teachers (quite rightly)each year until now."

Actually not- the last two years of the current three year imposition were below RPI, while all three of the next years are likely to be.

Corbyn's son did go to a grammar school, but, in fairness, it was his wife who insisted on that, and he did divorce her as a result.

6:56 pm, May 12, 2008

Anonymous andrew f said...

Ted Harvey:

Your post epitomises the problem that I'm describing. People cannot be bothered to unpick the message in an analytical way. It may very well seem obtuse, but what Purnell said made perfect sense if you concentrated. Unfortunately, national politics has been reduced to sound bites, simplified analysis and capital letter headlines. I used Question Time as an example of what goes on in the media from day to day.

That said, Labour must shoulder some of the blame for not recognising electoral realities. The message has to be comprehensible; if they can't find a way of making it so, they're not doing the jobs properly. My gripe was largely that the mass media don't help by analysing things in a fudamentally shallow way.

Of course, the other major problem is the note of panic that is running through the party. With the suicidal events of the weekend, it's becoming increasingly clear that no one has got a clue what anyone else is doing. Everyone needs to sit down, take a deep breath, decide on a message -- not a dumbed down message, the right message -- and then find a way to deliver it clearly.

observer's friend:

Fresh policies or the right policies? Admittedly, on some things, those are mutually inclusive. But I don't think that Brown should just discard everything that he has so far failed to sell. Once he gets control of the message (and the party), they need to choose what works and then sell them. Better than before.

7:48 pm, May 12, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

Well, my local GP surgery is excellent - given the cost of living in London, it is hard to recruit key workers because a public sector salary doesn't go far in London, whereas its different up here.

Of course, what people who go onm about 'unreformed' public services actually want is lower tax and no public services - if you can afford it, you can pay for it.

8:25 pm, May 12, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Without the NHS and the welfare state this country is screwed. Just look at the mess America is in with their private system. It really is not even worth considering destroying the NHS.

How we best reform the NHS is up to the experts and probably shouldn't even be left to politicians. However, I will say that Labour has made some big improvements to the NHS.

Private health care is rubbish because they will always find ways of putting clauses in your policy. Terminally ill people in the USA often end up running out of policy or selling their homes to fund their treatment.

Healthcare should be FREE and paid for by the state via our taxes. I was horrified yesterday when I heard Brown talking about forcing people to save to pay for their care when they get old. If this happens here I'll seriously up sticks and leave this country and go and live in France.

Labour is the party that created the Welfare state. Yes we need to probably reform it but it is sound in principle it just needs tweaking.

5:41 am, May 13, 2008

Anonymous Ted Harvey said...

andrew f thanks not for your patronising:

"Your post epitomises the problem that I'm describing. People cannot be bothered to unpick the message in an analytical way. It may very well seem obtuse, but what Purnell said made perfect sense if you concentrated".

It is you that epitomising the problem that I'm describing. Someone (me) points out that you blame everyone else and you respond by patronising that person as part of the problem.

I comprehend pefectly well what Purcell said, if you had folowed your own advice and concentrated you would have seen my strong support for Luke's repeating hear of what Purcell has said at greater length.

You also need to take your own advice and concentrate on what I posted before making silly remarks about a lack of people being bothered to do analysis. I in fact posted that:

"If you do not coolly and objectively observe, be willing to learn and then adapt, you die, that’s what happens in politics as in other things."

Yopu should try some of that

9:21 am, May 13, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A minute is a long time for the Labour Party.

Just borrowed £2.5bn to save its arse over the 10p tax rise.

Isn't it getting to the stage when this incompetent lot will have to be removed from power by force rather than the ballot box.

6:23 pm, May 13, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Labour are truly lost, I'm not sure the party will survive after the next general election.

10:08 pm, May 13, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

The bells tolled for the Tories in the same way in 2001

Labour will be back, even if they do lose the next election. remember that Cameron's policies really aren't all that different and they are every bit as divided as labour. Those differences will similarly emerge. What goes around comes around.

However, Labour needs to move on from the 'New Labour' experiment, learning from it, but recognising that what was suitable for 1997 won't be so in 2010 onwards.

10:50 pm, May 13, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Merseymike, but the unions are starting to pull funding from New Labour. The party is in crisis.

10:23 pm, May 14, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

Sorry, Rich, I think that is a gross exaggeration. Its certainly no more in 'crisis' than it has been before - I think that there are bound to be some changes, and personally, I do think that they are likely to lose the next election, but as I have said, the Tories have no policies that can alter anything very much. If you enthusiastically accept free market capitalism, then you have to accept that many decisions will be influenced by that more than anything you have done or might do.

I do think that Labour need to be more distinctly social democratic, I don't think the New Labour experiment is a long-term prospect, and I definitely think that Brown isn't the right person for PM

11:05 pm, May 14, 2008


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