Friday, July 24, 2009

Norwich - take the kicking, re-group and move on.

So, we have, as expected, taken a real kicking in Norwich, 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 offers a period of reflection and 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.

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