Let’s learn from the Tories and detoxify our brand

by Peter Watt

There has been much debate since the general election about whether the toxicity of the Conservative brand led to them falling short of an overall majority. Proponents of this theory hold that while David Cameron had gone some way towards detoxifying the Conservative brand, he had not gone far enough. The result was that, although the public had decided that they certainly didn’t want a Labour government, they hadn’t yet decided that they wanted a Conservative one.

If this was the case, and I suspect that it was, then this latent brand toxicity remains a problem for team Cameron.  The government is currently being defined by one (economic) policy – cuts.  Everything it does and says is, however unfairly, seen through that prism. Welfare reform – driven by cuts; public service reform – driven by cuts; “big society” – masking cuts. No matter how hard he tries, David Cameron simply can’t seem to get any other story up about what his government is for, or its vision.

The danger for him is that this economic argument will feed the toxicity of their brand. Notions of the Conservative party as “out of touch” and being the “nasty party” will once again come to the fore; something the Cameroons know would be hugely problematic. And, of course, the truly shambolic approach to communications management to date from Number 10 certainly doesn’t help. The recent expansion of the Number 10 team and the addition of the respected pollster Andrew Cooper, in particular, to the Cameron team, seem to indicate that the prime minister recognises the danger.

So team Miliband should be pleased. The government has had a torrid time since the new year and is failing to project a vision. Instead, it is beginning inadvertently to reawaken deeply held concerns about their true motives for the choices they are making. Meanwhile, Labour is regularly polling double digit leads.

But there lessons in this for Labour, which is itself a highly toxic brand.

We lost the general election because we were seen as being arrogant and out of touch. We lost because we were seen as being economically illiterate and having massively overspent. And we lost because we were seen as being in favour of top down big government.

If we are to win the next election, we clearly need to detoxify our own brand. However, it is not clear that we have as yet fully appreciated just how toxic and unpopular we had become. The recent travails of the government, our riding high in the polls and by-election wins have masked this. In reality, not much has changed that will fundamentally begin our necessary brand detoxification.  What has happened, of course, is that internally we have convinced ourselves that we are becoming popular. The odd apology here or there and we will be ok.

But this head-in-the-sand approach is dangerous for Labour. Far from detoxifying, we currently risk retoxifying. Ed Balls has done a great job of challenging the government over the pace of deficit reduction. But we are still opposing every cut, every library closure, every reduction in police numbers and every job loss. It might make us feel better and win some short term popularity. But it isn’t an answer to the charge that we had become economically illiterate and had allowed massive overspending.

Attacks on the big society are fun and are incredibly easy at the moment. But does it help to explain that we fully understand the danger of being perceived as a party of “big government”?  And we are still out of touch and arrogant, still seeming to think that we are the party of all that is good in the world and everyone else is either flawed or worse. We need to wake up to the fact that right now that is not how we are perceived by much of the public.

Ed Miliband was right to say that he wouldn’t be taking a husky ride anytime soon to show that Labour understands why it lost. But he does need to do something, or we will start the long run into the election in 2015 not having tackled the very issues that lost us the last election. It is worth remembering that Cameron’s attempts to detoxify were attacked from the right. It almost certainly tempered his efforts at detoxifying his party’s brand, with the result that they failed to win an overall majority.

Labour may take comfort from the fact that the Conservative party is still seen as being the nasty party. But if the next election is seen as a contest of nasty Tories versus arrogant/economically illiterate/big government Labour, then I suspect that we will be disappointed.  But unless we accept and then address the fact that our brand is toxic, that is exactly what is likely to happen.

Peter Watt is a former general secretary of the Labour party. He is now chief executive of counsel and care.

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40 Responses to “Let’s learn from the Tories and detoxify our brand”

  1. James Anderson says:

    I will only return to vote Labour once I hear a clear apology for the years that New Labour eroded my rights and liberties & a firm commitment that a future Labour government will legislate to ensure that such an assault will never be allowed to happen (either by Labour or any other government). Appealing to ACPO/The Sun/Daily Mail readers is not a show of being tough on terrorism/crime rather it is a divisive stance that undermines what Britain once led the world in – freedom & liberty. This quote from Benjamin Franklin should be their motto “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

  2. David says:

    I think it is important to remember immigration in this. If the great majority of the British people ever realised that Labour is a party of mass immigration, with all of the benefits and engatives that this implies (most notably the undermindg of terms and conditions for British workers and the concequent freezing out of young people from the unskilled/menial labour market) Labour would face a disastourous outing at the polls.

    This would be a great shame, especially as it is ludircours that the party of organised labour should seek so drastically to reduce the terms available to individuals in the Labour market. A left, left-of-centre or centre-left Governmetn would all be far more beneficial to the vast majority of ordianry people in the UK compared to this radical right wing government. However, that judgement is severely compromised if Labour continues to advocate immigration policies that threaten opportunities and living standards for our poorest, our youngest and everyone else in the bottom 90% of society that the top cadre of the Labour Party seems unable to understand.

  3. Tacitus says:

    I cannot begin to say how much I agree with the points made by the author. I think there has been far too great a reliance made on Cameron, Osborne and others appearing as toffs determined to cut services. Whilst this may be true, it will not win votes.

    What is needed is an effective and identifiable alternative and at the moment Labour is failing to offer that. We need to show we have teeth and can bite. I must admit I am far from happy being a member of a party that prefers to be a wishy washy, gummy bear rather than the savage lion it should be.

  4. Forlornehope says:

    The Labour party needs to face up to the fact that the real difference with the coalition is over the ultimate level of public spending. To have civilised levels of benefits and services this is going to have to be much higher than the LibCons are planning, closer to 50% than 40% of GDP. That has to be paid for by tax and despite glib jabs about bankers and tax avoidance there is no great hidden pot of gold. If there were Gordon would have had it years ago. So those of us on median income or above it (that’s over £25000 a year) are going to have to pay more; it could mean a basic rate of income tax between 30% and 40%, as it was in the days of those great Labour governments of the 60s and 70s. Until Labour starts making an honest case for tax and spend and spelling out the implications, everything else will be so much hot air.

  5. cityeyrie says:

    I agree with James Anderson. Not a surprise that the Labour Party has been left standing by the ConDem policies, since most are simply speeded up and intensified versions of what New Labour was planning anyway, particularly with regards to the NHS. Labour was swept to power in 1997 with a mandate to get rid of privatisation (even if that’s not what the manifesto said that was certainly the public’s impression at the time given their record in opposition) and it was only Blair’s snake oil salesman charm and the unions supine stance which kept people enthralled despite completely reneging and pursuing privatisation even faster, as well as eroding the rights mentioned by James. The impression left is that Labour itself became entirely under the whip hand of the banks.

    Milliband and LP activists need to turn this around entirely if they hope to gain credibility. An apology for previous policies is certainly needed to truly wipe the slate clean and make a fresh start. It’s the obsession with ‘image’ over policies – toxic or otherwise – which got the Labour party into this mess.

    A strong defence of public sector workers and public service, as well as public accountability, itself hugely eroded by the Local Government reforms and privatisation brought in by New Labour, would be a good start.

  6. AnneJGP says:

    I agree with much of what you say here, Peter, but I fear it will fall mostly on deaf ears. I am fast coming to the conclusion that, whatever its merits may be, Labour is the Stupid party.

    It is all well and good for Mr Miliband to be starting from scratch with policies, but that very fact alone states loud & clear that (a) Labour has not one single idea to offer as an alternative to the government’s proposals; and that (b) Labour is none too clear what its guiding principles are.

    Labour’s senior members were themselves in government less than a year ago. It is hardly a position from which to claim you need to see the books before putting forward a Labour approach to dealing with the deficit.

    Never mind where the fault lies; the mess happened on Labour’s watch. The leadership have no ideas for clearing it up. In any other walk of life, the former watch-keepers would be expected to show a bit of humility and do their best to support the efforts of the people left holding the baby.

    Instead, it’s Fight, fight, fight! Stop the cuts! Bring down the government!

    Yeah, sure; bring down the government so that Labour can replace it – with no ideas, no agreed philosophy even.

    Spend, spend, spend!

    Borrow, borrow, borrow!

    Stupid, stupid, stupid.


  7. DaveL says:

    A great step towards detoxifying would be to say “Yes, we support these specific cuts” – Ed has an amazing chance at carving back some middle ground. This will encourage the right to move a bit further right, and then there becomes a clearer choice for voters. The coalition has all the ground it needs.

    Show us how you can do something other than spend and borrow.
    Promise your manifesto will be subject to legitimate expectation.
    What radical improvements do you want to make to the UK? What’s your message other than “We hate the Tories because, er… we hate them!

  8. Scotty says:

    Unfortunately the main detox required by labour is to show an understanding that the public sector cannot be allowed to take over from the private sector in areas where the private sector is more efficient – the move to little state from big state is essential – one of the responses above asks that labour should defend public sector workers and that is labours archilles heel, the public sector waste resources if not tightly controlled because that is their nature.

    But, the public sector is essential to counter balance the private sector and to provide for those services that would not be met by the private sector. The challenge for labour is how to show the tax payer that their taxes are not wasted.

    Pay levels, bureaucracy, sickness levels, pensions need to be controlled and non real world jobs eliminated.

  9. The conclusion to be drawn from this (don’t oppose public spending cuts, accept the lie that public spending caused the recession, accept more privatisation and the argument that government is the cause of – rather than solution to – ordinary people’s problems) is: Labour can only win by being seen as a more “competent” version of the Tories.

    This is blatantly nonsense.

    Labour won in 1997 not by being right-wing but, as cityeyrie says, because people were sick of the Tories and desperate for a change – a change away from privatisation, unfair tax rises, widening inequality. Since then Labour has lost the votes of 5 million people – and mainly from its base.

    Peter’s right when he says Labour were seen as out of touch in 2010. But he’s wrong about who they were/are out of touch with. Since 2001 Labour’s support has collapsed among the lower and middle social classes. It’s held up among the better off.

    Labour’s reponse to the financial crisis (Darling saying his cuts would be ‘worse than Thatcher’s’) was to say that those on low and modest incomes, people out of work, those on benefits, those let down by the education system and global economy should pay for a crash that had nothing to do with them or public spending. Rather than proposing a just way forward, accepting the banks had been allowed to get away with too much and saying that ordinary people should not be forced to pay for the mistakes of those better off than them, Labour effectively offered a watered down version of the Tories’ cuts.

    Faced with a subtle choice between decisive, quick cuts and delayed ‘less bad’ ones (however more economically sensible the latter), people decided it wasn’t much of a choice and the Tories just about scraped home. We allowed them to win the economic argument the day we accepted cuts were the answer and by not standing up for the people whose side Labour should always be on.

    Peter, you and the rest of the political elite who think Labour can only win by appealing to the wealthiest in this country and the right-wing press are the ones that are arrogant and out of touch. Orange bookers, Notting Hill Tories, New Labour – all versions of the same economic doctrine which seeks to ensure the majority pay for the mistakes of wealthy.

  10. Alun says:

    “But does it help to explain that we fully understand the danger of being perceived as a party of “big government”?”

    If you think that’s going to be the (or even a) killer issue for most voters then you’re the one that’s out of touch.

  11. oliver says:

    There’s a massive voting base out there just waiting for (New) Labour to tap into. Whilst studies may claim that we’re more ‘Thatcherite’ as nation – which I think is more about a largely passive voting demographic being told what they are – there’s still a left of centre working class electorate that would be happy to vote for (New) Labour again. My own perferences would be far too left of centre for Miliband’s party as it stands so they’re pretty much irrelevant but I think the following would be massive vote winners.

    Miliband needs to address the fact that immigration disproportionately impacts those on the lowest rungs of society in every way imaginable and make immigration policies reflect this. That’s not to say ‘close the gates’ or have state-imposed xenophobia just that there has to be a better way of handling immigration than the way it’s been handled over the last couple of decades.

    Address the lack of affordable and/or social housing in this country. Forget who should shoulder the bulk of the blame for this with regarding council housing sell off and the housing bubble. Move on and get more houses built.

    Realise that a large state doesn’t have to mean ‘Big Brother’ and that I.D. cards and the like as continually pitched by New Labour were never going to work in the way that was claimed.

    And, perhaps most importantly: jobs. Whether people are on the left of centre, centre, right of centre, or even on the extreme fringes of the political compass, everyone is in agreement with the fact there’s no bloody jobs. Be the party that creates jobs (and not just in the public sector) rather than the party that makes people redundant and you’ll draw voters from everywhere on that aforementioned political compass.

  12. Jeremy Robert Poynton says:

    Detoxify the brand? Well, that’s not going to happen whilst Balls is the puppet master, is it? Do you not understand how the populace LOATHES this man?


  13. Jeremy Robert Poynton says:

    “But does it help to explain that we fully understand the danger of being perceived as a party of “big government”?”

    Perceived? You are, or rather, were, and couldn’t keep your noses out of anything could you? I voted Labour from 1970 until Iraq, but uf there is any chance of Labour getting in again, we will be emigrating tout suite.

  14. Douglas says:

    But you’re supporting many of the governments cuts. Take welfare, for example. You’re supporting cuts which mean people like me – with an incurable neurological condition that requires me to use Morphine and an O2 tank – will be left on their own to be forced into work when I am in too much pain to do so and nobody will hire someone like me. You’re the ones who hired ATOS, the private company, to deny as many people benefits as possible. You failed the sick and disabled, the weakest people in society, while in power. And now, out of power, you do the same thing.

    There is no major party who supports sick and disabled people. In 2011 this is a disgrace.

  15. william says:

    Lessons from the tories, post 1974.1.Disown the previous leader,Heath /Brown.2.Appoint as Shadow Chancellor someone who was not involved in the treasury in the previous administration,Howe, but not Balls.3.Discover a previously unknown free thinker for that blank piece of paper,Keith Joseph,????.4.Keep your distance from the unions,or else you get another winter of discontent effect.5.Improve party organisation in the key marginals,the Midlands for Thatcher , just about the whole of England for Labour.6. Convince the electorate you meant it in 1. above

  16. Jeremy Robert Poynton says:

    Let me do you a kindness – the bottom line is that Labour haven’t a cat in hell’s chance of being re-elected while Miliband E is in charge. This is a guy who cannot connect with ANYONE except his own particular tribe (of weirdos). Go on – do what I used to do, which was to ask perople in shops and petrol stations what they thought of Gordon Brown. You know, do a real vox pop rather than a Labour Party Circle Jerk.

    By the way, what people thought of Brown down here in the rural South West is largely unprintable.

    Miliband’s a vacuum.

  17. Tacitus says:

    Whilst I am no fan of EM, I think it a little unfair to accuse him of being a ‘vacuum’. True his performance to date has been below par and PMQs have been something of a disaster. However, he is still working into the job – in thsi respect, his advisers need a serious kicking.

    EM should now come off the shelf and start shouting out loud and clear – we will nto stand for Tory cuts, we will not support axing of services, we will not tolerate redundancies and we will not accept Tory PR rhetoric about the Big Society being the solution any longer.

  18. oliver says:

    Douglas, I’m in a similar position, health-wise and I couldn’t agree more – particularly with your last sentence. (New) Labour’s complicitness in this is disgusting.

    Unfortunately, much of the electorate have been brainwashed by the right-wing that dominates the media in this country. It’s genuinely frightening and appalling to see the kind of coverage this topic gets. However, even if (New) Labour didn’t support what’s currently happening, they’d be hard-pressed to take on voters who are now convinced that every benefit claimant is thief and a liar.

  19. A J Scott says:

    This piece and its whole sequence of comments comes from a world I simply cannot recognise. Where can I flee to to escape it?
    I was a former Labour voter, for many elections, from a family of such from the beginning of the Labour Movement. Not any more. Looks now like a Party of selfish unthinking supporters led by Leaders entirely worthy of them and each other. Not even Lions and Donkeys, more like Lemmings and Lemmings.

  20. RichYork says:

    The two Eds are not detoxifying the brand at the moment, in fact they are doing the opposite, they may sit well in the polls but that is only because they can attack, the cuts, at the moment and have no need to defend.

    The reasons they cannot benefit from the existing path are.

    1. They will forever be identified with the economic mess until they admit the mistakes and offer a real solution rather than just attacking the cuts agenda. In a couple of years, if the cuts ‘work’ they will be in the wilderness, if they don’t work they will have no grounds to criticise as they have not offered any alternative.

    2. Even their most vociferous supporters cannot think that they look and feel like a government in waiting.

    3. Ed Balls will forever be identified with ‘Smeargate’ and now unpaid bills, this is not what you want from a chancellor, it offers an open goal of epic proportions.

    There are more but I think these demonstrate just where they are, its time for a good look at the alternatives, some young blood a few heartfelt apologies and, rather than just taking a pop at the Tories, some good policy.

  21. Chris says:

    @Peter Watt

    Ed’s detox strategy is to get away from the authoritarian, illegally invading, dodgy dossiers and even dodgier donors New Labour legacy; it seems to be working.


    “By the way, what people thought of Brown down here in the rural South West is largely unprintable.”

    What they thought/think of every Labour leader is largely unprintable.

  22. Matty says:

    Peter seems to believe “we had become economically illiterate and had allowed massive overspending”.
    As Ed Balls pointed out last month this is nonsense “”before the crash we had the second- lowest debt in the G7, at 36.5% of gross domestic product”, down from the 42.5% Labour inherited in 1997.
    Before the crash, the Tories weren’t calling for spending cuts, they were actually saying they would spend more than Labour on the NHS and they were also arguing for large cuts to inheritance tax

  23. Peter Watt says:

    Matty, I say that is how we are perceived.

  24. Derek Emery says:

    Labour’s brand is nowhere near as toxic as Fianna fail’s. The Irish Public blame them for failing to stop reckless bank lending. Any spin they might have tried that the crisis was caused by world wide banking problems and nothing to do with them has not worked. Labour in the UK is getting similar or greater votes in polls now whereas Fainna Fail is virtually unelectable.

    see http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/blog/2011/feb/21/irish-voters-stable-future-elections

    to quote
    Although there is deep anger at Fianna Fáil for squandering the wealth of the celtic tiger years and for failing to stop reckless bank lending that lead to the fiscal crisis, people accept harsh measures are needed to restore the nation’s finances.
    This battle’s sub-plot concerns Fianna Fáil. Recent polls have at long last given them something to smile about. The latest Irish Times poll gives them 13% – another historically low result, but still only three percentage points below Labour.

  25. David Horsham says:

    Peter makes some good – and brave – points. Andrew Rawnsley is so right when he says Labour’s main task is to convince people it is economically competent. I have also been appalled by those speaking for Labour. Yvette Cooper tells Question Time she didn’t know the size of the deficit at the end of the last govt. Jacqui Smith dismisses very real fears over Labour’s borrowing/deficit by blustering: “Cliche, cliche, cliche”. Not good enough. The Tories are continually getting across one simple point: Labour maxed out the nation’s credit cards. And that message is reinforced each time Ed Balls and others campaign against cuts made necessary by spending money we just didn’t have. They look irresponsible. Some real honesty and a responsible plan for the economy are needed urgently. Come on Labour — you are floundering just at the time when the UK needs a strong — and realistic -opposition.

  26. Simon says:

    If you’re going to talk about “detoxifying the brand” with voters it might be helpful if you used language which reflected that of the voters.

    No-one in the real world switched their vote from the Labour Party because they thought we were “economically illiterate”, for the simple reason that very few people use this expression outside of blog comments sections.

    The same goes for “massively overspending” and “top down big government”. You’re letting a media narrative about Labour’s performance overshadow the reality of public perception, which was much more grounded in material issues like unemployment, job security and so on.

  27. divesandlazarus says:

    If you want to ‘detoxify the brand’ then you have to address the shameful hypocrisy involved in your ‘battle against corporate greed’.


    If you want to prove you are serious – then you can start by attacking The Guardian with the same vehemence you reserved for Barclays.

  28. Jeremy Robert Poynton says:

    For those Labour supporters who dfon’t think we have run out of money – perhaps you would care to explain why it is then, that every taxpayer – who pays that much tax – is spending £1400 pa servicing the debt that Brown built up re-infoircing his client state.

    For the less imaginative amongst you, that is money that could have been spent on those areas of society that are now having to share the brunt of the cuts. Ille est – this is money that someone has worked hard to earn that the government is just pissing away on their behalf. Pretty good insult, you would have to say?

    Even as it is, the Labour Party, BBC and the Guardian, three different faces of the same lie, still refuse to acknowledge that public spending is still rising, but not as fast as under the idiot Brown.

  29. Jeremy Robert Poynton says:

    “Andrew Rawnsley is so right when he says Labour’s main task is to convince people it is economically competent”

    to which should be added, “against all the evidence.”

  30. Falco says:

    “We lost the general election because we were seen as being arrogant and out of touch. We lost because we were seen as being economically illiterate and having massively overspent. And we lost because we were seen as being in favour of top down big government.”

    You were seen as this because this is exactly what you were, nor is there any evidence of change. Given that every Labour administration in the UK has left office with the finances up an infamous creek I can only assume that Labour get back in because many people are closet masochists.

  31. Stephen says:

    Could we stop using pseudo management speak and taliking about brands. Brands are used in the corporate world to distinguish broadly similar products from one another. Perhaps, as soon as we realise we should be selling a different product and set of values from our opponents then we can start to make some progress (or we need to work out our USPs if you really want to stay in management speak).

    The best way of dealing with our past problems is to quietly acknowledge them – and then move onto advocating something new that takes account of past mistakes as well as pointing out where our rivals are going wrong.

    On the economy our big mistake was to buy into the financial deregulation and to do too little on the supply side to improve long term growth of the economy – we now need some serious thinking about how regulation should work and how the state should intervene in the economy to promote long term growth. Our opponents are still floundering around with the old laissez faire model, and if we can come up with some coherent “social democracy” then getting our point across will not be too difficult. Yes there is always the danger that all this state intereference is overly bureaucratic and doesn’t achieve what is intended (a bit like much of our additional public spending last time where everyone in their heart knows that we didn’t achieve what we should have achieved for the amounts spent), but that is where we need some new thinking (possibly involving those with some knowledge of running organisations this time rather than student politicians) and some acknowledgement of past mistakes.

  32. Darren says:

    This is the SAME brand Peter was complicit in first toxifying and then exploiting for personal gain is it not?

  33. Bagpuss says:

    … er, I thought Labour was a political party – not a brand. That’s the trouble, the country’s full of media twats, or their hangers-on.

  34. Anon E Mouse says:

    At last someone who actually sees it the way it is. Any chance Ed Miliband will read this?

  35. john p Ried says:

    James Andreson, Laobur appealed to the Daily mail on Law and order by having the Mcpgherosn reoprt, Similar ACPO didn’t want the police mergers, Hazel Blears and david Blunkett were both heckled(blaers twice)at the ACPO confenrces,
    did the Sun like the HRA or the Freedom of information act.

  36. But Labour’s brand isn’t toxic. We’re back up regularly over 40 in the polls while this time in 1998 the tories were polling lower than the 30% of the vote they got on election day 1997.

    The risk is relevance not toxicity – a lot of which was personally for Brown not for the Labour party as a whole.

  37. bert says:

    If Labour were truly serious about “detoxifying” their brand, they would not have the two Ed’s running the party. The two men at the very core of Brown’s catastrophic tenure as PM can hardly lead a crusade of detoxification, can they?

  38. Nick Tesco says:

    I love it that this site is so inclusive, you even have the right wing trolls that haunt the Guardian site hanging around here it would appear. In my experience it tends to be the wealthier who squeal about Brown’s stealth taxes and our deficit, in my experience people had more problems with Labour’s lack of a spine when dealing with the banks, their policies on civil liberties and Blair’s poodle behaviour with Bush. All these attacks on Ed Balls seems to be driven by ignorance and a general fear of the man, after all he was the only politician that the FT rated as actually being aware of the financial problems and solutions. The Labour Party needs to start confronting the Coalition now and reviewing their policies at the same time; a bit like walking and chewing gum.

  39. Haro Yousofian says:

    Stop complaining and finding fault with labour. Labour played the capitalist game and got shafted by it. It stuffed the tories for 13 years and they had no chance at all of getting in. The world financial crises and Brown’s and the cabinet’s obvious shortcomings in explaining the situation to people allowed the tories and liberals to bullshit their way into power.

  40. Disillusioned says:

    If the remnants of the last election losing Labour Government are to retrieve any belief of the weakest section of society,which are the bedrock of the Labour movement .they must come forward and admit they got it wrong with certain policies.
    The main one being Welfare Reform,though Welfare Reform is needed ,doing it to please UNUM
    the disgraced US private health insurance company and Atos Origin the French IT company was clearly the wrong way to deal with the situation.
    The party played into tory hands and now the same long time Labour voters are reaping a world wind.
    With this one change of direction Labour would Guarantee it would win the next election,with this one change in direction the next Election may come much sooner.
    It is up to EDM to decide change and win or stick and stay in the wilderness for a generation.

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