Posts Tagged ‘Robert Jenrick’

Has Ed Miliband’s moment arrived?

01/06/2020, 08:05:47 AM

by Jonathan Todd

“In 2008-09,” Gordon Brown recently told New Statesman, “we tried to persuade people that it made sense to run a deficit and it was not a problem in the long term if debt rose in the short term. We failed to persuade people. If anything contributed to the return of the Conservatives to power, it was their ability to scare people about the deficit and debt.”

After succeeding Brown as Labour leader, Ed Miliband attempted to become prime minister by positioning Labour to the left of New Labour. This strategy was thought to be justified as the financial crisis of 2008-09 had enlarged public appetite for stronger regulation and an expanded economic role for the state.

In 2015, Labour and the rest of the country moved in opposite directions. Labour’s general election defeat brought into doubt the extent of the appeal of Miliband’s more muscular state. Jeremy Corbyn’s ascent indicated that Labour considered Miliband’s offer too tepid.

“Now,” Brown continued in his New Statesman interview, “the fiscal orthodoxy has changed. What we were criticised for in 2009-10 is understood to be the best way of dealing with a crisis. We’ve got to understand that the only way that you can replace spending power and economic activity when the private sector fails to be able to invest, and consumers are not spending and people are not able to work, is that the government steps in.”

It must be hoped that Brown is right about the fiscal orthodoxy. Yet Jo Harding reminded Uncut, “local authorities are facing a £10 billion black hole due to coronavirus.”

This is despite Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick telling 300 English council leaders and sector bodies in a conference call on 16 March that the government would do “whatever is necessary” to help them tackle coronavirus.


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We’ve passed peak Ukip but Labour has yet to hit rock bottom

06/06/2014, 11:57:55 AM

by Atul Hatwal

Two lessons are clear from the Newark by-election result, one for Ukip and one for Labour.

First, we’ve passed peak Ukip. Despite the blitz of media around the European elections and the dutiful trotting out of tropes about “political earthquakes” by the likes of the BBC, Ukip failed in Newark.

They weren’t even close. Forget earthquake. Losing by almost 20% to an unpopular incumbent government doesn’t count as a tremor or even an HGV rumbling down the road.

Newark has exposed Ukip’s hopeless lack of ground organisation and the extent to which their brand was toxified in the recent European election campaign.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how Ukip’s momentum was clearly reversed during the Euro-campaign; from a poll high of 31% before the racism furore, to 27.5% in the European election itself. And from a starting point of 23% equivalent national vote share in last year’s local elections, they fell to 17% in this year’s contests.

Despite the breathless media coverage that greeted Ukip’s results, their direction of travel was down at the point voters went to the polls. The Newark result confirms that they are still on this trajectory.

The enormous disparity between male and female voters in Survation’s final constituency poll – 36.8% of men backed Ukip versus 16.8% of women – illustrates the extent to which Ukip has a major problem with women and is indicative of how they are now seen as an angry, boorish, prejudiced party.

For the 80% of Britons who live in cities, for young people, for women and for anyone from a minority community – be it religious, ethnic or LGBT – Ukip are increasingly electoral poison.

At the general election next year, Ukip will discover that there simply aren’t enough old, angry white men for them to break through.

But in a sense, this was always going to happen. Ukip were and remain in large part, a media construct. When voters go to the polls at elections where they expect something from their representatives – as opposed to the European elections – time and time again, they have shown that they do not trust Ukip.


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