The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

Too Many Labour Own Goals

Posted by The Futility Monster on February 11, 2010 @ 09:56

Negative campaigning at its British best...

If Labour want to win the next election, they have to do one thing, and they need to do it extraordinarily well.


Everyone knows the economy is in the shitter. Everyone knows Labour have been in power for 13 years, and have to take some responsibility for our current circumstances.

So what they need to do is totally ignore it. Talk up the future. Forget about the deficit. Rein in spending a little – yes, they don’t want to appear too extravagant – but keep ploughing a truly Labour furrow, of public services, public spending, social democracy, equality, etc. At least then they can claim to be consistent.

Any deviation from this course is deadly. Any slight hesitation about their unquestioning support for public services will open the door for charges of the likes Cameron was able to bring at PMQs yesterday.

With that in mind, whoever allowed the story regarding the “death tax” to leak out should be sacked immediately. And maybe even if they are in the Cabinet. Even more so because it destroys Labour’s relentless message regarding Conservative inheritance tax plans that has been hammered for such a long time.

Narratives are a fundamental part of politics. Undermining them in the way Labour’s “National Care Service” plan was undermined is unforgivable. Even in a green paper which was merely setting out the options, it is vital to make sure that everything is watertight.

And it is because of such consistent own goals like this that they have no chance of recovering.

Let’s face it, the electorate is easily duped. Time after time we see parties elected on waves of hope for change, only to see it dashed quite quickly. Everyone remembers Labour’s incredible claim to have not put up income taxes in the 2001-2005 Parliament, because they put up National Insurance instead.

It takes a severe leap of faith to insist that in these dire times the way to win is to be even more gloomy and negative, talking about restraint, spending cuts, discipline, dark days ahead, in this together, etc. etc… if your opponent is going to merely ignore all the difficulties and talk up the prospects for the future. Like I said, the electorate is easily duped. In some respects, it is why Labour have managed to close the polling gap in the past few weeks.

But their campaign is like a sieve, and there are too many people jostling for position once Gordon’s crown slips.

Opposition, however, will be remarkably good for restoring their discipline…


One Response to “Too Many Labour Own Goals”

  1. […] that’s no good for Labour. Because, as I wrote the other day, Labour’s organisation is woeful. They score too many own goals, and last night was yet […]

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