Posts Tagged ‘negative campaigning’

The Tories need to be introduced into Labour’s leadership race

18/06/2015, 10:52:14 AM

by Atul Hatwal

Labour’s leadership race needs to become a lot less comradely. Last night’s debate was a pedestrian trot through the expected.

There was little direct challenge with even less to enlighten members on how these candidates would bear up when facing the Tory meat-grinder.

This has to change.

Gordon Brown serenely glided through his selection without having once been put under the type of pressure the Tories subsequently exerted on him every day.

While his disastrous leadership was little surprise to several of those who had worked with him at close quarters in government, for the rest of the Labour party his inability to deal with sustained political attack was a nightmarish revelation.

Ed Miliband triumphed without once having been robustly challenged on his innate lack of electability or an economic platform that totally ignored the judgement of the British people at the 2010 election.

Yet again, the Labour party was largely unprepared for what the Tories did to him.

This time, the membership need to see the leadership contenders run through their paces in a live-fire environment.

US primaries vet their aspirants in a way British parties’ leadership elections rarely do. Obama was a far better candidate for having faced Hillary and her 3am call ad.

The Tories need to be introduced into Labour’s leadership election.

What would they do to these candidates?

Andy Burnham is in many respects the ideal contender on paper. Experienced, decent and committed.

But he was also chief secretary to the Treasury just before the crash and opposed a full public inquiry for Mid Staffs as secretary of state for health.

This clip from the general election, highlights the continuing political danger from Mid Staffs and his inability to answer the most obvious and basic Tory attack. (more…)

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Labour has become too focussed on winning

30/10/2010, 04:34:04 PM

by Simone Webb

Reading Jessica Asato’s article on negative campaigning yesterday, I felt deeply uncomfortable. While delighted that we won the Kentish town by-election, the tactics described in the article worried me. I don’t disagree with negative campaigning if it’s confined to revealing the flaws in opponents’ arguments or criticising their actions in power. But the deception and trickery involved in dressing our leaflets up as Tory leaflets or, later in the article, using “ever so in-accurate bar charts” seems to me to be wrong on several levels.

First, it’s the idea at the heart of it: the idea that Labour needs to win, almost at any cost, even by trickery. Now, I believe people are better off under a Labour government. I wouldn’t be a party member otherwise. However, I also believe that people have a fundamental right to make an informed choice about which party they elect into power. If Labour party candidates are distributing leaflets which are even superficially deceptive, or show inaccurate data, or mislead the voters, then they are misinforming the electorate. (more…)

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Negative campaigning: it’s not very nice, but it works

29/10/2010, 03:07:46 PM

by Jessica Asato

Does negative campaigning work and how should Labour people feel about it in the ‘new generation’ era? 

I asked myself this question last night while watching the Kentish Town council by-election result in London flash up on Twitter. Labour’s Jenny Headlam-Wells trashed the Lib Dems, who held all three seats in the ward just six months ago. Having spent a few hours coaxing people out of their warm homes to the polling station, I was of course delighted. There are few more satisfying activities than participating in a successful Labour election, particularly when the government is taking us back to the 80s. But something was niggling me.

During the election, the Liberal Democrats accused Labour of underhand tactics for distributing this leaflet. Printed in blue, without a Labour logo, it could be easily mistaken by a voter for Conservative literature. Richard Osley, North London political blogger extraordinaire, called it a “feast of negative campaigning”. My first reaction was that Labour would have failed in its political duty if it had not brought the Lib Dems’ broken promises on tuition fees, VAT, cuts and child benefit to the attention of Kentish Town residents. The fluffy community campaigners cannot hide from the fact they form a government presiding over public sector cuts three times the scale of Thatcher’s. (more…)

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