Posts Tagged ‘Life’

Let’s leave the lapel badges in the 1980s and focus on what matters

01/06/2011, 09:46:17 AM

by Kevin Meagher

Labour’s history is pockmarked with prolonged periods of opposition following ejection from office; none more so than during those 18 wasted years in the 80s and 90s.

The explanation for that generation in the wilderness is familiar enough: the party’s pitch to the country was tone deaf. On the economy, law and order, defence and a hundred other issues Labour had nothing to say that chimed with what people wanted to hear.

The party was more bothered with pleasing its own fissiparous cliques; the wannabe Dave Sparts, the bedsit revolutionaries, the local government crackpots who refused to set a rate, the headbangers of Militant.

The “loony left” were responsible for torpedoing Labour’s reputation and sinking the party’s chances with their puerile antics in Labour councils up and down the country and through their reckless control of the party’s policy-making machinery.

Fringe causes were put before mainstream concerns, with many in the party seriously accepting the flawed logic that stapling together a collection of special interest groups would create a counterweight to Thatcher’s electoral coalition of aspirational voters.

No prizes for guessing how successful that idea was.


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