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.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Is it normal for a party leader to make the entire theme of their speech (character, judgement etc) a direct response to a one-line jibe in their opponent's speech (that "novice" line)?

I think he's rattled. Be interesting to know what the Tory private polling says about reaction to the "novice" issue that has got him so exercised.

Oh and "together" - pass the sick bucket - I don't remember the 18 years of Tory government he was a Special Adviser in involving much togetherness - it was all about division.


Anonymous Dirty Euro: said...

Cameron said in his speech he sleeps with an enterprenuer every night. So that's what they call them now LOL. Someone should tell his wife.

5:09 pm, October 01, 2008

Blogger Democratic-Centre said...

It was a subdued speech, almost like an up front biography without the action and the first office, more on attributes.

The Tory conference has been a washout in a way that I feel sympathetic as truth will out on an open battle but it hasn't been open due to the economic siege mentality. To be quite frank I found it all a bit emasculated and even the feedback from those at conference appeared to be from the middle-ageing to the elder voter, hardly a party that has sucked in the new blood and passion of the street walking youth.

He focused a bit on values, quite thematic like Blair around 94. In terms of Labour I wouldn't counter on much of it, heads down and a silent but fierce focusing of efforts. However, he made a move on Miliband about big state and no inbetween, which is interesting as I have posted on here before these two seem on an unalterable course for a square-up.

I can't help but think that Labour still needs to go back to 1997 and this time get it right where Blair from around 1998 departed only to return around 2005 time. Issues such as: Europe, a positive debate around immigration, better individual inter-personal relationships that as a government can build up the cumulative social impact. Big issues on Europe are energy and environment, Tories are so out of position in Europe it's risible if it wasn't so serious.

Most of all Labour needs to stop over-criminalising social problems and focus more on intervention, that is honest about its aims in that it might take a decade or two for the fruits of Labour to come through.

For example, a big issue in Britain at the moment is paedophilia and what to do, is the answer sit back and punish when it happens, or as this article below states, offer intervention for those with a social conscience. It's a very interesting article and is the kind of contentious action needed, criminal justice output isn't always the answer. Can't say I was impressed either with Labour's kerb-crawling machoism, it's the same old bullshit on tough on crime but fucking useless on the causes of crime (hints of Labour female fascism)


Check it out.

5:30 pm, October 01, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

I thought his speech was very good and when you compare both Brown and Cameron, then I feel Cameron has the edge by a long shot.

I really don't know how Brown can talk about experience when it was his poor decisions that is partly to blame for the current mess.

6:39 pm, October 01, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone on Labour Home wrote that Cameron spent the speech tickling his party's tummy, which is very rich considering the somewhat embarassing "Labour values" love-in that was Brown's speech last week.

7:00 pm, October 01, 2008

Blogger Steve Horgan said...

That was a very, very good speech Luke, and you know it. He didn't just react to Gordon Brown's line, Cameron took it apart. He exposed the basic fallacy of claiming you should carry on doing a job because, er, you have been doing the job, regardless of your job performance. Where does Brown go after this? In fact where is Brown? With the markets having their worst period since 1929 he has done his familiar disappearing act. You must be so proud of your leader.

7:31 pm, October 01, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

If you look at Brown lately then I think it is him that is rattled. This is coming to terms with his legacy and In my opinion the job has aged him by about 10 years in 12 months.

Why anyone would want the job of PM is beyond me. When you compare our PMs to say the president in France then all our past PMs end up grey and withered.

8:15 pm, October 01, 2008

Anonymous Alexander said...

You sound rather desperate Luke. He didn't go one about Brown's speach for the whole 63 minutes - as you well know.

I appreciate your loyalty to the Labour party, but you have to be dispassionate and honest. You seem to be unable to appreciate the problems facing your party.

In many ways you remind me of my much younger self (early/mid 20s)in the run up to 1997. Despite the evidence the reality of what's happening seems to be impossible.

Unless something truly remarkable happens the Labour party is going to get demolished on 6 May 2010.

Get used to the fact that you're unlikely ever to be elected as an MP, it's something we would both like to do/be so you have my sympathy.

9:43 pm, October 01, 2008

Blogger Democratic-Centre said...

Don't listen to them Luke, for example it might be time to move to the more European model of capitalism and social partnerships, if it all works out well in the EU.

It wasn't Blair or Brown's fault about the system but the neo-liberal faith both men put in America-style capitalism.

The country that brought us McDonald's and tacky replica franchises arguably was always going to blow up as shit all over faces like before.

Time to explore European ideals, where the best of British culture might actually lie now. A shift away from fast food, sensationalising of crime and social problems in the media, sensible drinking, social partners and a more multilateral approach to politics.

It's time to go back to 1997 and get it right, occupy the ground the Tories cannot grasp, kick the Atlanticists out of the media and work to get the balance right in foreign affairs that Blair so mystifyingly blew.

Britain still deserves better.

10:09 pm, October 01, 2008

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...


do you read opinion polls?

A Tory landslide is the prognosis from a fortnight ago - a lot has changed in two weeks and we now have a far more competitive situation.

and have you just watched the focus group in marginal Stafford on BBC 10 o'cock news? The speech had virtually no impact.

I'm old enough to have campaigned in 1992 and I think that's the scenario you guys are in. Cameron = Kinnock - great orator & great superficial changes to presentation of the party but he ain't your Blair.

10:15 pm, October 01, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

Was it a very good speech? Maybe if you are a Tory, but it did nothing for me - all it showed is that the Tories really have very little to say. It was all style, very little substance.

I'm not a great fan of Brown, but given that I loathe Clegg and the way he has taken the LD's, the conference season makes it more, not less likely that I would choose Labour over the other two. p

1:02 am, October 02, 2008

Anonymous Arnold said...

In 1997, the Tories tried to make an issue of Blair's inexperience - 'don't send a boy to do a man's job'. Now they are claiming inexperience is unimportant. Yet another Tory U-turn.

10:17 am, October 02, 2008

Anonymous Alexander said...

Kinnock was a plonker and a "welsh windbag" with left wing policies harking back to the 1970s (Clause 4 etc.) and no judgement (Sheffield rally) that's why he lost - nothing personal, but the ginger hair didn't help him either.

We'll see what the opinion polls do this weekend. I agree that the final result is unlikely to be us 20% up, but 10-12% will do quite nicely thank you.

12:36 pm, October 02, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

alexander is racist calling kinnock a welsh wind bag imagine if they called major an english bore, or Thacther an English pratt. Why do you add the suffix welsh to your insult. You racist.

12:59 pm, October 02, 2008

Blogger Democratic-Centre said...


Yes and they complain about Human Rights and police filling out forms, tell that to Jean Charles de Menezes.

4:12 pm, October 02, 2008

Anonymous Alexander said...

Ah, the old racism card. The first refuge of your average lefty, it's like reading a script.

7:01 pm, October 02, 2008

Anonymous ian said...

Alexander, perhaps you should explain why it was nescessary to desribe Kinnock as "Welsh Windbag" and not just a Windbag if it was not meant as an insult???

7:27 pm, October 02, 2008

Blogger Mark Still News said...

Kinnock was a bag of wind?

Michael Foot would have been far better to stay with and much more intelligent!

8:00 pm, October 02, 2008

Blogger Duncan Hall said...

I thought it was a dreadful speech.

Obviously I'm not the intended audience, but I was chatting to lots of people at work about it today and there was quite a consensus: 'bollocks'.

His examples of 'political correctness GONE MAD' (such a novel and interesting topic for a Tory speech...) were particularly poorly chosen, his generally smug manner just winds people up and he decided to resurrect Thatcher!

8:37 pm, October 02, 2008

Blogger Mark Still News said...

Well it will be law next year to hug a hoodie, as NLP have blown it?

10:30 pm, October 02, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alexander you are racist end of story. I do not see why it s OK to suffix a nationality or race for an insult. What is the point?

11:33 pm, October 02, 2008

Anonymous Alexander said...

Welsh windbag, welsh windbag, welsh windbag, welsh windbag, welsh windbag!!!!

11:06 am, October 03, 2008


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