Posts Tagged ‘campaign’

Expectations for Labour are high. Policy is the way for Jeremy Corbyn to meet them

28/06/2017, 10:36:47 PM

by Andy Howell

So, the deal with the DUP is well and truly in place. Tonight its MPs dutifully trooped through the lobbies with the Tories, blocking a Labour amendment to scrap the public sector pay cap. The deal buys May and Tories time although just how much will remain to be seen. It seems designed to last for two years by which point Tory optimists hope that a decent Brexit deal has been finalised. However, as always, political events do not aways go to plan and it is quite possible that this government will not last to the end of the negotiation period.

Corbyn is right to continue to make the case that Labour is ready to form a government at any time. At Glastonbury it is reported that he told organiser Michael Eavis that he could be Prime Minister within six months. This is not just a fanciful boast. The conference season will be a major test for May. If she continues to make the wrong choices, continues to appear wooden and inhumane and — critically — continues to be a subject for ridicule then the end could be quick.

In such a climate Labour’s biggest problem may well be the temptation to sit back and rely on its current campaign strategy and manifesto. At the moment both strategy and manifesto look to be effective but time always changes the context in which both must sit. The more that Corbyn is seen as a credible Prime Minister, indeed as the likely next Prime Minister, the bigger the challenge he faces in fleshing out the manifesto and in beginning to address detail.

Take one of the issues that devastated the Tory campaign plan, social care. The electorate was spooked by the Tory manifesto programme and singularly unimpressed by a series of subsequent U-Turns. Everyone in this country knows we face major challenges in this area. If we are not yet thinking personally about our own social care we will have parents and grandparents who, today, face the future with a great deal of uncertainty and fear. As we get closer to becoming a Party of government it will not bee enough for us to simply talk about more cash, we will have to spell out how and where we will make our investments. It might be acceptable — in a political campaign — to simply call for a new Social Care Service but it is clear that we might form the next government the health and social care sectors will look for more detail and will expect to be able to enter into a real dialogue with the opposition about the future.


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Let’s stop the robot-talk and really communicate on the doorstep, says Peter Newlands

08/06/2010, 10:46:08 AM

I don’t mind smiling and clapping when a shadow minister arrives at the church or community centre they’re stumping at that day. I understand the arrangement; it looks good on television to have shiny supporters filling out the screen.
The difficult part to swallow is when the cameras are off and we’re in the pub afterwards. I’ve spent many a night getting upset when an earnest young supporter defends some bizarre policy thought up by the high command.

I lie awake after returning from a day’s campaigning and wonder what goes on in the minds of these people. I struggle to believe that they are stupid, or gutless; but I also find it hard to accept that any supporter really came into politics with a gripping desire to lengthen the time we could detain a terror suspect without charge to 90 days. (more…)

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Why the bakers won’t save John McDonnell

22/05/2010, 06:14:55 PM

John McDonnell was always going to struggle to get on the ballot paper.  With only one other candidate standing, he couldn’t manage it in 2007.  Five other candidates this time made it almost impossible.  Once Diane Abbott split the far left vote, it moved into miracle territory.

More telling was that left-wing MPs like Linda Riordan and David Hamilton have, at the outset, come out for Ed Miliband, while Davey Anderson has backed Balls.

David Hamilton is a proper, no-nonsense left-winger from Middlothian.  He grew up in the National Union of Mineworkers when that meant something.  He went to prison during the 1984-5 miners’ strike.  Dick Gaughan’s song about the miners’ strike salutes Davey Hamilton.  If you were looking for a totally straightforward, implacably left-wing, tell-it-like-is, bow-his-head-to-no-man Labour MP like they used to make ’em, you couldn’t find a more impressive one than Davey Hamilton. He is the only man in the Parliamentary Labour Party who might beat Eric Joyce in a physical fight.

It is significant, in which case, that Hamilton is backing Ed Miliband.  It gives the lie to the notion that the far left will eat the Labour party now that we have lost.  In truth, there is less point to the Campaign Group now than there has ever been.  Which is saying a lot.

McDonnell is mounting a valiant rearguard.  He is an impressive campaigner and an excellent Member of Parliament.  Sadly for him, though, neither that nor old friends in small unions will likely be enough.

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