Tag Archives: labour party

A safe haven for Labour migrants

If politics is a numbers game then evidence is gathering which shows how misguided the Labour party’s attempts to straddle the electoral fence truly are.

A Labour party intent on waving Brexit bills through parliament in a misguided attempt to preserve the notional ‘will of the people’ at the expense of principled opposition is now leaking members. The dramatic surge of Corbynista enthusiasm which saw party membership top 500,000 last year is now looking more like a freak high water mark than a prolonged shift in progressive politics as has been claimed.

A report in the Guardian details how Labour party membership is on the decline as record numbers of members fall into arrears whilst others simple don’t renew when the time comes.

For the Liberal Democrats, these internal fluctuations of a rival’s fortunes matter enormously. Those people who are leaving Labour in disillusionment are the people who will help us continue our fightback. These former Labour members either are, or were, politically engaged and likely to hold views that can be broadly defined as progressive. While accepting that these are wide generalisations, the trends of the last 2 years which saw the surge in Labour party membership would seem to support them. You have to be engaged to sign up to any political party and the Corbyn revolution was publicised as a progressive one, no matter what one’s views on the validity of such statements. 

Posted in News | 20 Comments

A Labour leopard doesn’t change its spots

Don’t tell anyone, but George Osborne probably let out a sigh of relief when Baroness Manzoor’s fatal motion failed last night.

Of course, it was inevitable that Labour peers would rather bravely abstain on the cuts to tax credits, as their elected counterparts did in July. And Jeremy Corbyn is probably skating on thin ice, given that the scandal of Labour abstaining in July put him where he is today.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 44 Comments

Read my lips: No seat reduction

I just got back from two days at the Conference in Bournemouth. The absence of discussion of strategy was deafening. However, no less than three people either said to me or mentioned from the dais the reduction of seats from 650 to 600 “which the Tories are going to do”.

I have bemoaned the lack of psephological nous in the party before but, really, some members seem to like to wallow in misery and fantasy.

It is true that the seat reduction as proposed was set to disadvantage us and Labour at the Tory benefit. That is a given. However time and events have moved on.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 29 Comments

A warning from the Labour party: The difference between leadership and management

Politicians think government is 90% policy and 10% management, in reality it’s the other way round.’ Civil service aphorism

As iron sharpens iron so one person sharpens  another.’ Proverbs 27:17

A lot is being written about the Labour leadership election and rightly so. That a candidate unable to get the support of more than 20 MPs from the fringe left may be about to become leader of the opposition is astounding. Good reasons have been given for this state of affairs but I fear one more than any other has been glossed over.

Jeremy Corbyn is a far better candidate than Yvette, Andy and Liz.

Objectively he makes the best speeches, is the best communicator, has the clearest message and has the most coherent and (at least within the party) popular ideas for changing the labour party. Now whether the rest of the country will warm to him is another thing but one question that has to be asked is how a parliamentary party with 231 MPs to choose from has picked such mediocre mainstream candidates? Compare it with the recent Liberal Democrat leadership election and Norman Lamb and Tim Farron’s impressive campaigns.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 45 Comments

The Independent View: Analysing the common ground between Lib Dem and Labour policy positions

Today sees the release of a combined piece of work between the Fabian Society and CentreForum that details what the policy overlaps between the Lib Dems and the Labour Party are, according to the most up to date data. The report is entitled “Common Ground? An analysis of the Liberal Democrat and Labour programmes”, and can be read here. By extension, the paper sets out what the discussion might look like should the two parties find themselves negotiating a government after the general election in May. The report does not recommend such an arrangement; it only seeks to outline …

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged , and | 20 Comments

So, the Labour Party pledge a positive campaign

Oh look, the Labour Party is pledging not to get personal during the election campaign.

From the BBC:

Labour has vowed not to feature Prime Minister David Cameron on billboards ahead of the general election.

The party said it would focus on issues rather than personalities. and not use negative personal campaigning.

Its election strategist Douglas Alexander said the Conservatives were preparing to spread “fear and smear”.

This is in response to poorly photo-shopped Conservative posters of Ed Miliband costing up to Alex Salmond.

It’s always nice to see a pledge of positive campaigning, even if it does come from masters of the dark arts of the real, nasty, personal stuff. I mean, could this possibly be the same Labour Party who, just 9 months ago, devoted an entire Party Election Broadcast to doing a hatchet job on Nick Clegg? “The un-credible shrinking man” they called it. Stephen Tall gave a run down of the plot at the time:

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 35 Comments

A sign of the trouble Labour faces in Scotland?

Liberal Democrats face their challenges in Scotland, there’s no doubt about that, but what about the party that that for so long dominated Scottish politics? The Evening News reported this week that the Labour Party has had to cancel a fundraiser due to lack of interest in one of their key seats in Edinburgh:

Deputy Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, local MP Sheila Gilmore and a shadow minister from Westminster were among the speakers lined up for the Edinburgh Eastern fundraising event on Saturday.

But after poor ticket sales, the local party executive decided to cancel the supper, promising refunds to those who had booked.

Former Edinburgh East Labour party chairman Paul Nolan said the event had been a popular fixture in the diary for many years and usually attracted up to 150 people.

But he said he understood fewer than 50 tickets had been sold and admitted the situation was embarrassing.

He said: “It is worrying that we can’t get members to come to a fundraising Burns Supper two or three months before an election.

“If we can’t get the activists motivated, it’s going to be even harder to get ordinary voters to turn out on polling day.”

Mr Nolan said last year’s Burns Supper had raised around £1000.

Edinburgh East will be a key constituency at the general election in May as Labour fights to stop a predicted advance by the SNP across Scotland.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 13 Comments
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