Labour’s lost votes

Prospect Magazine

Labour’s lost votes

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Millions of people turned away from Labour during its 13 years in power. There’s only one way it can win them back

A builder reads the Sun on 30th September 2009, when the newspaper dropped its support for the Labour party after 12 years


A single, stark statistic ricocheted round Labour’s annual conference this autumn: that during the party’s 13 years in power it lost five million votes. In the Blair landslide of 1997, 13.5m people voted Labour. By 2010 the figure was down to 8.6m.

The challenge now is to win the defectors back. How can this be done? Labour-supporting blogs offer different ideas. A new pressure group, “Five Million Votes,” was set up in July. A growing number of activists are joining the debate. All of them face the same problem. They have no firm evidence on which to base their plans. Has Labour lost votes by diluting its progressive ideals? Or has it not done enough to secure the centre ground from David Cameron’s assaults? Has the party suffered from too much New Labour thinking—or too little? Has the time come to bury the politics of triangulation or to revive it? The argument rages, but the data has been absent.

Until now. At YouGov, we have set out to fill the gaping empirical gap. In recent weeks we have been asking tens of thousands of our panel members how they voted in 1997. We have matched their answers to their vote in 2010 and current party support, alongside their attitudes to a range of political issues. This has allowed us to provide the fullest analysis yet of Labour’s lost voters—who they are and what they really think.

First, though, a word of warning. Memory and mortality impose limits on even the most rigorous inquiry. Not everyone remembers accurately what they did 15 years ago, and not even YouGov is able to poll the great suburbs in the sky. However, I’m confident that had we managed to keep tabs on every Labour voter from 1997—who had lived and who had died; who had stayed loyal and who had switched sides—the data would be similar, and the conclusions identical.

Let’s start with the basic numbers. It is far too simple to say that in 2010 there were 8.6m Labour loyalists and 4.9m defectors. For one thing, around 3.5m people who voted Labour in 1997 had died 13 years later. Of the ten million Blair-voters who were still alive, 5.5m were loyalists and 4.5m defectors. Of that 4.5m, almost half voted Liberal Democrat in 2010, while just over one in four voted Conservative. A further 600,000 voted for a minor party—Green, Nationalist, the UK Independence Party, Respect or the British Nationalist Party—while a similar number didn’t vote at all or, in a few cases, can’t remember.

These numbers suggest that many defectors, though not a majority, opted for a left-of-centre alternative to Labour. However, Labour has already won most of these back. This autumn, the number of people who backed Labour 15 years ago but would vote Lib Dem today has slumped from two million to just 300,000. The vast majority who defected to the Liberal Democrats in 2010 have returned to Labour. The party now needs to hold onto them, but the initial reconversion has already taken place.

Nevertheless, the total number of remaining defectors stands at three million. That’s still a large group; indeed, it’s ten per cent of the 30m people who are likely to vote at the next election. If Labour can win even half of them back, it will give the party a cushion against any revival of fortunes for the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.

So, who are they? Demographically these defectors are similar to Labour loyalists. Their profile by age, gender, education and social class is much the same. However there is a real, if modest, difference in terms of housing and employment. As the chart (left) shows, defectors are less likely than loyalists to live in social housing, work in the public sector or belong to a trade union.

Some other analyses paint a different picture. They suggest a marked decline in Labour’s working-class support. This leads many to argue that New Labour alienated many of the party’s core supporters.

They are wrong. The real reason for this decline is that Britain’s economy and society have continued to evolve. Half a century ago, two-thirds of voters were working class. In 1997, they still outnumbered middle-class electors by two million. Today, Britain has six million more middle-class than working-class electors. Of course the profile of Labour support has become more upmarket since 1997. That’s because Britain’s economic structure has changed, not because a disproportionate number of the party’s historic core voters have rebelled against the policies of the Blair/Brown years.

The real differences between defectors and loyalists start to emerge when we compare the papers they read and where they place themselves on the left-right scale. Loyalists divide fairly evenly between right-wing and left-of-centre papers. Readers of the Mirror or the Guardian account for 31 per cent of loyalists, while 29 per cent read the Mail, Sun, Star, Express or Telegraph. The reading habits of the three million defectors that Labour would like to win back are very different. For every Guardian or Mirror reader there are four who read a right-wing paper.

As for ideology, 60 per cent of loyalists describe themselves as left-of-centre and only 23 per cent as centre or right-of-centre. Among defectors, on the other hand, 36 per cent describe themselves as left and 48 per cent as centre or right. If we convert each person’s answer into an index number, from minus 100 for very left-wing, via 0 for centre, to plus 100 for very right-wing, then the average location of the loyalists is minus 35, while that of defectors is minus six.

These are big differences that cannot be wished away. The pool of left-wing defectors is just 400,000. They are outnumbered by more than six-to-one by the 2.6m defectors who do not place themselves to the left.

What, then, are the messages that chime with the majority of defectors? Redistribution won’t do it. Just 21 per cent want the government to “do far more to help the poor,” while 27 per cent, would prefer the opposite—cutting welfare payments “because the poor should take more responsibility for themselves.” Loyalists prefer redistribution to welfare cuts by two-to-one.

There is one radical policy that most defectors support. A law limiting maximum pay to £1m a year is supported by 58 per cent. But two right-wing policies are at least as popular: 59 per cent of defectors want Britain to leave the EU, and a huge 78 per cent want “net immigration reduced to zero”.

Equally, though, activists who reassure themselves that Labour’s core supporters reject such views should think again. As many as 41 per cent of loyalists also want Britain out of the EU, and two-thirds of them back zero net immigration. One of the key findings from this analysis is that Labour defectors generally hold more right-wing views than many party activists like to think—but so do millions of Labour loyalists.

Where the biggest differences show up are in attitudes to the Labour party itself. When asked which party’s view of the “good society” most closely matches their own, 79 per cent of loyalists pick Labour. Among defectors the figure tumbles to 14 per cent. One defector in three chooses the Conservatives or Lib Dems, but more than half say “none of them” or “don’t know.” This suggests that only a minority of defectors’ votes are locked up by Labour’s opponents. A fair number are open to persuasion.

The same is true of attitudes to leadership. When asked which party “is led by people of real ability,” loyalists divide evenly between Labour and “none” or “don’t know.” In contrast, only three per cent of defectors say Labour. But, once again, few have been won over by David Cameron’s charm or Nick Clegg’s nation-before-party appeal. The overwhelming majority, 79 per cent, say “none of them” or “don’t know.”

So the people who are debating the “five million” issue may need to update their numbers, but they have identified a promising target group. What are the practical lessons to be learned? The most obvious is that an explicit shift to the left would win back only a small minority—and may well deter the vast majority of defectors.

Beyond that, two large truths emerge from YouGov’s analysis. The first is that the political classes are far more divided than the electorate. The figures in our chart show some significant differences between Labour loyalists and defectors, but also the fact that their attitudes overlap to a large degree. It is only in their views on the political parties that they divide into two completely different tribes. They are more like supporters of rival football teams than inhabitants of warring nations. They sport different colours with great passion, but they live in similar homes, have similar jobs, watch similar TV shows and drive similar cars.

This is true even if we extend the analysis to include Tory loyalists. Their attitudes to economic and social issues are modestly—and only modestly—different from those of Labour loyalists. Now that the 20th-century contest between the rival ideologies of capitalism and socialism is over, British politics has become largely consensual. On any given issue, individual voters will hold widely different views; but overall, the range of opinions held by Labour, Tory and Lib Dem voters is far more similar than the parties, and their media cheerleaders, generally acknowledge.

The second large truth is that, in as far as Labour loyalists and defectors do differ, it is defectors who look more normal. That is, whether you compare them by housing tenure, newspaper readership, trade union membership, ideology or attitudes to particular issues, defectors more closely represent the electorate as a whole. Labour strategists must resist the temptation to think of defectors as curious folk, not like the rest of us. Rather, it is Labour loyalists who comprise the more aberrant group.

Labour’s real challenge is to reassemble the Blairite coalition that swept the party to power in 1997. That coalition included people from across Britain’s economic and social spectrum. The party reached parts of the electorate that had seemed out of bounds. To take just one example, Hertfordshire was a Labour-free zone before 1997. That year the party won five of the county’s eleven seats. By 2010 it had lost all of them. Similar stories can be told about other parts of southern England. YouGov’s data explains England’s evolving political geography: a large number of normal, moderate, not very political, Sun and Mail-reading, middle income, non-union voters liked Labour in 1997 and had been turned off by 2010.

To reassemble an election-winning coalition of voters next time, these are the people Labour must win back. This means rejecting the language of ideology, class and social division, and reviving the appeal of national purpose. If that is a bitter pill for some party activists to swallow, it comes with a coating of sugar: done successfully, the politics of national purpose stand a chance of reaching beyond the ranks of the post-1997 defectors, and winning over at least some people who did not vote Labour even in 1997—not to mention a large slice of those who weren’t old enough to vote at all when Blair first led his party to victory.

However, that does not mean doing everything the same way as Tony Blair. One of his most successful techniques was triangulation. He set out what was wrong with both state socialism and laissez-faire capitalism, and promised that his government would avoid the errors of both. Those who say Ed Miliband should eschew the politics of triangulation are right, but not always for the right reason.

What they often mean, but do not always say, is that they want to revive politics as a great struggle between left and right, with Labour standing firmly on the left. From YouGov’s data, it is clear this would be fatal. Nevertheless, some tactics that made sense in the 1990s may no longer work. This is because the world has moved on. Back then, memories were fresh of the two competing ideologies. One was represented by Margaret Thatcher’s programme of lower taxes, privatisation and weaker trade unions; the other by the supporters of Tony Benn, Arthur Scargill and a variety of left-wing groups that wanted to bring capitalism to its knees.

The real reason for abandoning triangulation is that the twin demons it set out to squash have lost their sting. True, there are still people who think markets should never be contained or, alternatively, should never be allowed. But these days they inhabit the small, outer islands of Britain’s political archipelago. On the mainland, where the great majority live, the debate is about how to make both markets and the state work better.

It’s not just the ideological divide that has melted away. So, to a large extent, has the cultural divide that used to separate working-class from middle-class voters. The range of shared experiences is far greater than it was in the heyday of class voting. Apart from some of the very richest and the very poorest, we enjoy or endure in much the same way a wide range of institutions, such as supermarkets, the NHS, internet service providers, the BBC, high street banks, state schools and mobile phones. Class-specific institutions, such as working-men’s clubs, industrial trade union branches and council homes are far rarer than they were.

Of course individual lives vary widely; but compared with the 1940s or 50s, we look for much the same things from those who are supposed to serve our needs, whether in the private or public sector. This was the crucial insight that Blair offered in the 1990s, when his ambition for New Labour was to be “the political arm of the British people.” He was right; and his insight is no less relevant today, even if triangulation is no longer the best tactic and Iraq is deemed to be an indelible stain on his record.

This does not mean that Labour should abandon its quest for a fairer society. During the Blair/Brown years, YouGov repeatedly found that the minimum wage was its most popular achievement, with winter fuel allowance and more generous state pensions not far behind. Their popularity was rooted in support from millions of people who didn’t personally gain from them. They were emblems of the kind of society most of us wanted to live in.

Ed Miliband is therefore right to rebrand his party as “one nation Labour.” However, rebranding cannot produce lasting results through a label alone, however often it is repeated. “New Labour” produced electoral dividends not because of the name but because it reflected a real change in the party’s direction. What matters now is how Miliband follows through. Every Labour policy between now and 2015 must pass the “one nation” test. Any whiff of the politics of social contest—pitching “our” people against “their” people—would do immense harm.

That is not all. Given the role the unions played in his election as party leader, Miliband still has much to do. He must convince voters that he would be his own man, and also tough and competent enough to keep his promises, if he did become prime minister.

Meanwhile, YouGov’s data suggests that those who would abandon this strategy, “return to Labour’s roots” and pull the party to the left are not simply on the wrong side. They are fighting the wrong battle.

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  1. October 19, 2012

    RB2

    One of the things that this fascinating analysis says to me is that political parties are playing a socially disintegrative, rather than integrative, role.

    Both Labour and Conservatives parties have comfort zones outside the mainstream of public opinion, and field strategies that attempt to create disagreement and dissent where actually most non-politically affiliated people generally agree. (I have no idea what the Liberal Democrats think)

    Notwithstanding the nostalgia that various political journalists etc espouse for big ideological clashes, this substantive agreement should be the basis for an elevation of public debate to consider seriously the best way to do the things that we almost all agree are good. But instead politics continuously tries to create artificial division by misrepresenting the other party’s view.

    For example – no one I know who votes Conservative wants to ‘destroy’ the NHS, as the Labour party assert. Conversely, it is clearly not true that Labour voters have a vision of a country where everyone is on benefits.

    • October 20, 2012

      Carl G

      Just to pick up on your final point:
      While it might be true that Conservative voters don’t want to ‘destroy’ the NHS, the party itself certainly do. Or, at least, they want to destroy the NHS as we know it and make it as much of a profit-making market as they can get away with without their being riots on the streets! There will, undoubtedly, also be a few Conservative voters who want to ‘destroy’ the NHS as we know it, simply because they will have a vested interest in a profit-making NHS.
      It is precisely that which the Labour Party (correctly) assert. Not that all Conservative voters want to ‘destroy’ the NHS.

  2. October 20, 2012

    David Gillon

    I think the best phrase I can find to categorise the path the article advocates for Labour is ‘moral cowardice’. Essentially this is Labour abdicating political leadership in order to define policy solely by pursuit of the Daily Mail’s Little Englander demographic. And if that makes me sound hostile to that demographic, it’s because as a disabled person they are hostile to me, defining me as a scrounger and fraud, and indeed attacking not just myself but 1000s upon 1000s of disabled people in the street. This redefinition of disability, and in particular of disabled benefit recipients as a social evil shamefully started with Labour and with James Purnell’s seduction by the US insurer UNUM.

    What’s the point of Labour trying to be Toryism-Lite, when people can vote as easily for the real thing? What’s the point of Labour espousing anti-benefit claimant rhetoric, anti-immigrant rhetoric, anti-disability rhetoric, when it betrays everything the party is supposed to stand for? Does Labour stand for social justice, or just for being in power?

    The article accepts the status quo as unchangeable, and presumes that Labour must follow the crowd, but surely leadership demands that the party should actually lead? If the Daily Mail demographic demonises people like me as scroungers, then joining in the demonisation is not something I envisage many people joined the party to support. Selling-out your morals for votes is surely something we would define as a Tory characteristic, not a Labour core value? Doesn’t everything Labour stands for demand that, rather than trailing along on hatred’s apronstrings, they exercise the leadership to drag people clear of Little Englander xenophobia and hate, that they set out an example of equality for all as the core of everything the party stands for, ultimately creating a society in which people like me are no longer scared to walk the streets?

    • October 22, 2012

      Ferdinand von Prondzynski

      It seems to me you are very close to suggesting the 1980s Labour predilection for the ‘glorious defeat’ is right – espousing an ideology which the British electorate simply won’t vote for. Purity in opposition, but never a chance to do anything i8n government. I don’t see the point of that, myself.

  3. October 20, 2012

    Harrison

    If leaving the EU is a ‘right-wing’ policy, then Labour must have been right-wing in 1983.

  4. October 21, 2012

    Paul Trembath

    @RB2: Possibly Conservative voters don’t *want* to destroy the NHS – it wasn’t in the Tory manifesto – but that is where the Health & Social Care Act is rapidly leading us, to the benefit of many Tory donors and business connections.

    Probably they don’t *want* the economy sacrificed for neoliberal principle, but there you are. Quite likely the voters don’t *want* the poor to be vilified as scroungers, the sick made homeless, and the rich exempted from tax – but that is *actually happening*.

    Can I suggest that their votes may be misplaced? Labour were bad enough, but not entirely useless and sometimes did some good. The current shower would be even more wicked if they were remotely competent, and utterly shameless with it.

  5. October 21, 2012

    Rainborough

    In the Peter Kellner political universe, all that matters is what the polls reveal. No matter that what the polls reveal is very largely a function of the domination of political discourse by the ruling class in the form of its servile corporate media and the barely distinguishable political parties which that class has groomed to represent its interests. The main reason why Kellner’s polls “reveal” that the redistribution of wealth is not wildly popular is that immense effort is constantly expended by the wealthy and their ideologues (among them Peter Kellner) to convince people that radical change is neither feasible nor desirable, to foster resentments between different sections of the population so as to divide ordinary citizens while others rule, and to distract their attention from the scandal of how people are robbed blind by self-serving and utterly ruthless financial and ruling cliques.

    What Kellner’s metaphor of the “mainland” and the “small, outer islands of Britain’s political archipelago” seeks to conceal is that this ideological geography is by no means a geography of natural features. It one which has been deliberately created, and is reinforced every time the media deliberately marginalise, traduce or ignore inconvenient radical voices which refuse to play the game of pretending that only capitalist solutions are feasible, that only the political elite should exercise power, and that the best which working people can hope for is some slight amelioration in the burdens which are laid upon them, in the degree of exploitation of their labour, and in the extent of the demonisation of those unfortunates who lack jobs or the physical fitness to perform one, but provide convenient scapegoats for the failures of an utterly dysfunctional politico-economic system.

  6. October 21, 2012

    Chris Beckett

    “Class-specific institutions, such as working-men’s clubs, industrial trade union branches and council homes are far rarer than they were.”

    Much less VISIBLE than they were perhaps. But you can sit all day in the cafe of Cambridge University Library all day (as I sometimes do to write) and never once hear a hint of any British regional accent.

    The recent row about Andrew Mitchell reveals that under the surface old class divisions – old assumptions about entitlement and worth – are still very much alive.

  7. October 21, 2012

    Richard Sage

    I was a lifelong (61 years) Labour voter that did not vote Labour in 2010, and I can tell you the reason is exactly articles like this one. The Labour party needs to believe in something and stick to it. If it is a party that will say anything and sway anyway to get votes then it is not a party of principle. Lack of principle is why most people have been turning against politics and politicians.

  8. October 21, 2012

    Eoin Clarke

    The piece makes several important mistakes.

    Social Grade Classification that includes C1 posts as “middle class” includes millions of jobs that pay minimum wage. The squeeze on living standards renders the assumption that the middle classes are expanding at anything like the rates suggested as devoid of reality. Consumer debt is up 500% at will hit more than £2.2 trillion by 2015. 2% of the Electorate will go bankrupt this term.

    In addition, Labour lost most votes among the “private rented sector”. Whilst it is correct to say these people are not social renters, it would be naive to ignore the serious squeeze on their income caused by lack of affordable housing. Annual rents average £8,700+ (and they are even higher in the south). The working poor are absent from this analysis.

    In terms of policies that are favoured by the majority of the electorate – yes EU & Immigration feature strongly, and yes Labour should reexamine their stance but let us not forget that the most pro-EU & pro-Immigration leader Labour ever had was Tony Blair. Thus, rather that reduce his failings to triangulation and Iraq it is important to recognise that his lack of understanding and clear mistakes in 2005 a la EU expansion are crucial in all of this.

    Economically, there is less evidence the public embrace right wing thinking. The majority of the electorate support 50p rate, bankers’ taxes, mansion tax (£2m) etc. etc. As for predistribution, it offers the key to loosening the squeeze on living standards by curbing rail, energy and other utility price rises. Blair opposed all of this, and this further renders him irrelevant to today. In short, selecting social/political policies that the public have moved right on as justification for resurrecting Blair’s right leaning thinking on economics is daft and devoid of polling support.

  9. October 22, 2012

    Richard

    “Among defectors, on the other hand, 36 per cent describe themselves as left and 48 per cent as centre or right.”

    Why do you not give the exact percentage for ‘centre’ and ‘right’ separately? Is it because it would spoil your argument?

  10. October 22, 2012

    Richard

    “Among defectors the figure tumbles to 14 per cent. One defector in three chooses the Conservatives or Lib Dems”

    Again, you fail to break down the percentage of defectors for Conservatives and Lib Dems separately, providing stronger confirmation that you’re constructing an argument to fit a preconceived conclusion.

  11. October 22, 2012

    Richard

    “To reassemble an election-winning coalition of voters next time, these are the people Labour must win back. This means rejecting the language of ideology, class and social division, and reviving the appeal of national purpose.”

    This just pure opinion alone, not supported by any of the ‘data’ provided.

  12. October 22, 2012

    RB2

    @Carl G & Paul Tremblath

    Clearly you guys are doing a pretty good job of providing personal counter examples to my point that the electorate are more moderate than political parties, with your starkly Manichean views of current government policy. But I still think that it’s the case; I don’t believe that the view that, for example, the government’s NHS policy is driven by wickedness or corruption is either correct or a representative view.

    For the record, I do not think that the current round of NHS reform is a good idea. But this is at base a managerial question about means – how public money gets translated into medical care most efficiently and effectively. I don’t think that there will be riots about the extent to which the private sector plays a part in this process, while the NHS remains funded by general taxation and free at the point of use.

    Believing that those with opposing views are actively malign makes proper political dialogue all but impossible, meaning that there is a lack of rational deliberative process in our democracy. The resulting slanging match reinforces perceptions that politics is the preserve of unpleasant weirdos, rather than an activity vital to our individual and collective good in which we should all be involved.

    • October 22, 2012

      Chris Beckett

      Okay, it’s not a good idea to characterise your opponents as wicked, I agree with you about that, but there are values questions involved, and questions about the interests of different sections of society, not just technical ones!

      If ‘managerial questions about means’ was all politics was about (God how New Labour can you get!), most of us probably shouldn’t vote at all. In fact, it’s probably why a lot of us DON’T vote, because we increasingly find it hard to discern an actual difference in terms of values, and don’t really get the technical stuff.

      There has to be a forum where VALUES are battled over. Otherwise it’s all so dull and anaemic and (since really grotesque inequalities continue to exist) ultimately FALSE.

  13. October 22, 2012

    Richard

    “Half a century ago, two-thirds of voters were working class. In 1997, they still outnumbered middle-class electors by two million. Today, Britain has six million more middle-class than working-class electors.”

    No definition of terms provided nor a single data source, just lazy assertions which we’re supposed to take as evidence.

  14. October 22, 2012

    Ferdinand von Prondzynski

    This is a really interesting analysis, with some fairly predictable comments coming in response. Politics is not a theoretical game in which purity of purpose is recognised and rewarded, but a process of adaptation and compromise that recognises the uncertainty and hesitation with which most people view their political choices. Political parties need to recognise the landscape before they can change it.

    A Labour Party heading for a ‘principled’ stand on the left of the spectrum will contain many self-satisfied people, whose purity of purpose will never be rocked by the demands of government. That’s the reality the party faces.

  15. October 22, 2012

    ChristoClifford

    This is morally vacuous. It’s trying to be all things to all men & women.
    YouGov polling suspect to begin with in asking right of centre questions.
    You don’t do ‘tough on immigration’ because lots of ex Labour voters hate immigrants, you tackle the issues that make people feel that way.
    Working Class, Middle Class? Define what that means today. We have millions unable to save and buy a home or hanging into heavily mortgaged homes by their fingertips. Plenty of ‘ I’m alright Jack’ folk in steady jobs doing ok blindly unaware that the Government is full of people who look down on them.
    I voted Labour until it left me behind. Nothing in D Miliband’s New Labour/Blue nonsense. Too many have seen through the lies. What are they going to do to tackle the organised crime form of Capitalism we have descended into?

  16. October 22, 2012

    Martin Pierce

    There doesn’t seem to be any analysis of what must surely be a significant proportion of the 2010 Labour 8.6m voters – those that didn’t vote in 1997, mostly by virtue of being too young (any voter in 2010 under 31 would not have been able to vote in 1997). How many of these were there within the 8.6m? If the number is significant, wouldn’t that increase the number of defectors still further? And what was it about Labour that made them vote for the party that wasn’t somehow rooted in being part of the ‘it is a new dawn, is it not?’ moment early morning on May 2nd 1997?

  17. October 22, 2012

    RB2

    Of course there are still some real ideological distinctions, although I don’t think NHS policy is necessarily one of them as most people agree about what they want the NHS to achieve.

    But I’m not convinced by the conventional wisdom that the clash of ideology is what is needed to get people interested in politics. I think discussing things that matter, and reaching conclusions that lead to action that makes a difference in people’s lives will get the population more engaged than headbanging about values.

    Re New Labour – yes I accept that. I think that the post ideological ‘just make it work’ bit was probably the most successful bit of the NL project, and I don’t think there was anything wrong with it. NL was of course hugely politically successful, and had there been a) no Iraq war and b) no simmering feud at the heart of government then it might have been a great deal more successful.

  18. October 22, 2012

    Mark Thompson

    One word: IMMIGRATION.

  19. October 23, 2012

    Mick

    So don’t mention ‘social contest’ or the ‘pitching of our people against their people’ – even while the Tories and their friends in the press are doing this day in day out? How are you supposed to highlight and challenge that without acknowledging it?

  20. October 23, 2012

    John

    If Labour get back into power it will simply be – faute de mieux- because people have had enough of the pain of austerity rather than anything to do with the party offering a coherent alternative. Miliband has in any case already admitted his redundance and has little to offer apart from personal ambition and mood music. And with Balls at his shoulder the electorate should be forcibly reminded of the reckless expenditure under Brown that helped to get us into this mess. There is in effect no plausible alternative within the available political structure that offers anything worth voting for.

    • June 6, 2013

      Will

      Couldn’t have summed it up any better! Until the ‘irresponsibles’ have been eradicated from the opposition front bench – quite simply Labour are in for another long haul in opposition………..the current bunch, wouldn’t trust them with my refuge.

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