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