3 years on: Is being the “other guy” enough for Ed to win?

It’s 3 years since Uncut started so, in a series of pieces, we’re taking stock of what has changed for Labour since 2010. Peter Goddard gives a member’s perspective

I am not immersed in politics. I am not obsessed, absorbed or professionally involved.

For people like me, or as I like to call us, ‘normal people’, politics only consists of the big events.

Three years ago, there were two big events: Labour lost the election and there was a new leader of the Labour Party.

I wasn’t a particular friend or foe of Ed Milliband’s, but what I did know was that he wasn’t the other guy – the disastrous Gordon Brown.

It was a chance, I thought, for a new start. Ed Milliband’s Labour party could be shaped, moulded and presented to the nation afresh.

Three years passed.

Cameron stopped hugging huskies and sharpened his economic scythe. Disability allowances were targeted, tuition fees introduced, a bedroom tax launched.

In response, Labour presented… the same stuff, but not as much of it. And maybe not as fast.

Two years ago, there was another big event: an election took place for Mayor of London. The Tories put forward their wild-haired wild card candidate.

In response Labour presented… that guy from last time.

Last year, a conference happened. Everyone got excited about how Ed Milliband was going to define and shape the party’s future.

Labour presented ‘One Nation’.

So three years on I’m still not sure what Ed Milliband’s Labour party is all about. If it has a story to tell that has just failed to cut through to people like me, or if he is simply keeping things vague in order to remain flexible up to the next election, I don’t know.

But what I do know is that, until someone like me can clearly describe what today’s Labour party is all about, Ed Milliband remains reliant on the same appeal he had on his initial rise to the leadership – simply not being the other guy.

Let’s hope that’s enough.

Peter Goddard is a sales and marketing consultant

Tags: , , , ,

3 Responses to “3 years on: Is being the “other guy” enough for Ed to win?”

  1. Ex-labour says:

    I follow politics but I’m not a member of any party. I voted Labour for 30 years but Brown was awful so moved away. But choosing Ed M was a major mistake, quite possibly worse than Brown.

    My wife is not interested in the slightest about politics but watching Ed M on TV a few weeks ago she asked me who it was? I replied Ed M. She asked what party is he? I replied Labour. Her reply was “I’m not voting for them then”.

    Shallow, I agree. But quite incisive and correct.

  2. Terry Casey says:

    I like Ed but I still don’t know what he stands for or what he will do when or if he ever becomes PM, “One Nation” does nothing for me or it means as much as any political slogan has ever done from any party. Is it to do with the Scottish opt out? or does it mean we are all the same? it’s a vague no meaning all meaning slogan that will not do anything for Ed or the Party, or in other words as valid as “We are all in it together”
    Ed now needs to get across a coherent message of what we are to expect with a Labour Government, he has to be Bold, Austerity has failed and most of us who have lived through previous attempts at austerity knew it wouldn’t work, Ed has to give the “normal people” of this country hope that decent jobs can return to the economy and that poverty is not necessarily a prerequisite of working life. It is scandalous how the workers of this country have paid for the sins of the higher echelons of the Banking sector, it is also a sad reflection of the previous Labour administrations that the rich thrived and the workers standard of living dropped.
    Ed has to start with a stimulus package to start building again, reinvigorate the schools for the future policy and of course an all important social housing building plan, I would like to see a proper training scheme to take in youth and other age groups up to and including level 3 and 4 not the lets just get some off the dole on to a scheme as we have seen over the last 20 years to camouflage the unemployment rates, and when I say training schemes I mean practical subjects not the cheap paper based schemes.
    It is the best time for Labour to make their point, The coalition is in disarray and obviously not working but Labour is being timid, they are waiting but if the economy does pick up and Osborne has plans to sell the banks and the royal mail to cover the failure of the economy the will lose all the opportune moments and be back on catch up, it is a huge gamble and it may not work.

  3. swatantra says:

    As we always say in a punch-up: ‘You should see the other guy’
    Gove has called EdM ‘a blamange’. Things are getting dirty.

Leave a Reply