Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Crewe: Let's take the kicking, re-group and move on

Polly Toynbee's piece in today's Guardian provides a cogent and stark assessment of where we are as a party and why. It looks as though we are going to take a kicking in Crewe, not because of the 'toff' campaign attacks, not because the Tories and Cameron connect with voters but because the electorate want to give us a bloody nose. They are angry with us, disillusioned with our rhetoric and keen to send us a message.

The summer will offer a period of reflection. For me the areas that we need to urgently address are as follows:

Style and substance - we need to be careful that we don't dismiss one at the expense of the other. Good policies badly presented and badly articulated are as useless and as ineffective as poor policies that have been spun positively.

Trust and confidence - who on Labour's front bench can inspire trust and and come across as fully paid members of the human race? Answer - Alan Johnson and Hilary Benn for starters.

'If you are not on offence you are on defence' - we must get back on the attack and create clear dividing lines between ourselves and our opponents. Education policy is an obvious place to start.

I am not ashamed to be in the Labour party and I am proud of what we have achieved since 1997 but I am also acutely aware that we cannot constantly keep talking about these achievement. Looking to the past has much to recommend it, living in the past nothing at all.

4 comments:

Bloggers4Labour said...

Very well said.

Nibbs said...

interesting piece by Polly and a complete reversal of the situation in the mid nineties.I remember canvassing a leafy traditional Tory ward in 1995 and the sea change was well underway ,we took the ward easily with over 2300 votes, this year we barely polled 500 in the same ward.Personally I think we are on course for a defeat at Crewe and in 2010, I don't think it's completely to do with Brown or policy, I think the public want change - any change.I hope I'm wrong but that's my gut feeling...

Praguetory said...

It is the Tory toff campaign. You've treated the electorate with contempt.

giles said...

changing the mood of the electorate is like turning around an oil tanker.

the movement you see now started a long time ago, and changes in direction wont be recognised for long time either.