Posts Tagged ‘economy stupid’

Ruthless, brutal, heartless: our attacks are music to Tory ears

15/01/2011, 10:23:16 AM

by Dan Hodges

The trouble with politics is there’s never a ragin’ Cajun around when you need one.

Ed Miliband has begun the New Year by springing from his corner with the speed and ferocity of Jake LaMotta. Cameron and Clegg have been pinned to the ropes as the punches rain down. VAT. Banker’s bonuses. Oldham. One killer blow and they’ll be eating canvass.

But something’s holding Raging Ed back. The final hay maker feels heavy in the glove. For some reason, he can’t quite put them down.

James Carville would know the reason.  Bill Clinton’s campaign manager had the answer to every political conundrum. And it was the same answer.  “It’s the economy, stupid”.

Ever since the graphic, “Conservatives retain Basildon”, flashed across our television screens that cold morning in 1992, Labour strategists have held one truth to be self evident. The party that is not trusted to run the economy will not be entrusted with running the country.

Bill Clinton’s election victory later that year confirmed it. For the first time for over two decades a progressive party had taken on the right, and bested them, by selecting the economy as their battleground. As we watch Barack Obama move to heal his nation, and look back wistfully at three consecutive election wins, it’s easy to forget the significance of that victory.

But some have forgotten. To them it’s no longer “the economy stupid”. Now, it’s “the cuts stupid”. Polly Toynbee’s “red carpet of opportunity” lies enticingly before us. As the Tory led coalition scythes through our public services a terrified electorate prepares to leap gratefully into the arms of their Labour protectors.

Possibly. The Lib Dem’s are already in free fall as a result of their cynical act of appeasement. The Tories cannot indefinitely defy the laws of political gravity. Ultimately, the cuts will take a toll of the architects as well as the victims.

But a word of warning: if we have learnt anything about this Government it is that their callousness is underpinned by a low cunning. Cameron and Osborne are not fools. They have a strategy. And we are playing to it.

Ruthlessness implies competence. Brutality; strength. Heartlessness; decisiveness. (more…)

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Hopi Sen asks the leadership bright boys some hard questions

20/05/2010, 09:52:52 AM

In the leadership election campaign, there will be a lot of talk of telling ourselves “uncomfortable truths”. Quite often, these “uncomfortable truths” will be a rhetorical trick to tell the audience what it wants to hear. Like that it’s all someone else’s fault, or that the party lost its way and got out of touch.

So I thought we should perhaps make a habit of proposing some uncomfortable truths that the Labour party, and even the candidates themselves, really don’t want to hear.

Here are two to start us off.

Don’t throw the machine away. Mend it.

The current crop of leadership contenders are the products of the most ferociously successful political machine in Labour party history. It was a machine that won three general elections, reduced the old left of the Labour party to irrelevance and made the country we live in a fairer, more open and safer place to live.

These are not bad things. (more…)

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