Posts Tagged ‘Demos’

Dan Jarvis is right. We must show the Tories are the gamblers

10/03/2016, 10:37:13 PM

by David Ward

Maybe I left my Yorkshire tea bag in too long, but on Thursday morning I had a vision. There I was at the kitchen table with the radio on, listening to Labour MPs cheering the defeat of the government on Sunday trading. Fair enough you might think, we’re winning less than Manchester United at the moment.

But then I was transported to 2020. I could hear the next Tory Prime Minister. “At this election we’ve got a choice. Do you want a stable economy, a strong future? Or do you want the danger of the unholy alliance of Jeremy Corbyn and Alex Salmond voting down the will of the country as they’ve done 20 times this parliament. It’s a risk I don’t think we can take.”

Of course it’s right that Labour opposes legislation like this that harms working people. Angela Eagle has done a fantastic job to win the vote. But you don’t have to be a genius to work out the Conservatives will fight the election on security.

If Labour are going to win we need to do two things. First, deal with our weaknesses. That means stop banging on about Trident, or admitting people with dubious backgrounds. These only give credence to Tory charges against us. As we found in 2015, if people see us or our leader as weak then tactics like the ‘tartan scare’ will work.

Second, we need to reframe the debate so the Conservatives don’t equal stability. That was the case that Dan Jarvis made on Thursday. “When you hear George Osborne say ‘long term economic plan’, what he really means is ‘short term political gain’.”


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How Labour could improve on the Youth Contract

03/03/2014, 11:55:27 AM

by Jonathan Todd

The plan for Labour general election victory launched by Uncut at Labour party conference last year included identifying how to fund a radical Labour alternative. Making deeper cuts in certain areas to free funds to spend elsewhere. We identified £34bn of additional cuts to pay for free, universal childcare, 1 million new jobs in areas that need them most through a revived, regionalised Future Jobs Fund, and 1 million new homes.

Last week, Demos published a report in which I argue that this strategy of reallocating public resources from where they are having least impact to where they could have most has the potential to increase the number of apprenticeships delivered. The failings of the Youth Contract have been well documented. In contrast, other schemes – such as the Creative Employment Programme – have much more rapidly increased apprenticeships.

The solution is as simple as it is potentially powerful: reroute funding from the Youth Contract to schemes like the Creative Employment Programme. If we look closely at these schemes, it’s clear why one is performing well and one isn’t.

Since April 2013 the Community Employment Programme has committed funding to create 634 apprenticeships, and 655 paid internships across 491 employers. Nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) of these positions have been created through ‘consortiums’, whereby a lead applicant such as a local authority, LEP, trade body, or larger employer stepped forward to make an application on behalf of a number of employers who might not otherwise understand how to create apprenticeships or what combination of the myriad of funding they may be eligible for.


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It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee, argues Richard Darlington

05/08/2010, 11:13:37 AM

After the Tory defeat in the 2005 general election, Michael Ashcroft published an analysis called ‘Smell the coffee: a wake up call for the Conservative party’. In the introduction he argued that “the Conservative party’s problem is its brand…the brand problem means that the most robust, coherent, principled and attractive Conservative policies will have no impact on the voters”.

Labour needs to ‘smell the coffee’ now and not wait for three election defeats. New polling shows the Labour party’s brand is in toxic territory. Ashcroft realised that policy is nothing without presentation and presentation is nothing without policy. Labour now has a problem with both.


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Labour renewal must transcend tribes to put voters, not members, first

27/07/2010, 02:15:41 PM

Amid all the “who’s up and who is down” commentary on Labour’s leadership contest, it’s easy to forget that the contest is about selecting a Prime Minister in waiting, not a leader of the opposition. In today’s FT, Philip Stephens argues that if Labour’s defeat had been a little more crushing, our reflections would be more realistic. In today’s Telegraph, Mary Riddell warns against knee-jerk tribalism in opposition and urges Labour to resist retributive instincts that are stopping leadership candidates from agreeing with coalition policies now and again.

The election result surely shows that political tribalism is now dead in the water and that relying on a core vote strategy is ‘ballot box suicide’. But equally unrealistic is an obsession with winning back skilled working class C2s that ignores Labour’s vote share collapsing across all lower social classes. Whoever wins the leadership is going to need to make some big and symbolic repositions to show that Labour has listened, learned and most importantly, changed.

Time is of the essence. Labour had the chance to renew in office but left it too late. By the time the manifesto was published, the frame through which voters judged Labour had already been set. The Tories made the mistake of burning through three leaders before they were prepared to renew their ideas and reposition their offer to voters. We can’t afford to do the same.


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