The Labour Leadership contest and the challenge presented by Right to Buy

A short blog on the Labour leadership contest and the latest Conservative Right to Buy policy; the latter usefully exposes shortcomings in the leadership field.

The latest labour leadership contest started, rather too hastily in my opinion, in the aftermath of the May 2015 election defeat, a defeat that I saw as an inevitable consequence of a party with no defined message or vision failing to connect with the voter. The election was lost by Labour rather than won by the Conservatives, and lost badly. Continue reading

Labour didn’t lose the election in 2015….

Better put than I ever could and a must read

Paul Bernal's Blog

…it lost it a lot earlier than that. It lost it in 2010 – not by its conduct in what was always likely to be a disastrous election, but in its reaction to that election. It lost it through cowardice, through short-termism, and through  what must have felt like political expediency at the time. It lost it by failing to challenge the Tory (and to an extent Lib Dem and UKIP) attempts to rewrite history, and to set a new agenda. It lost it by failing to stand up for itself, by failing to stand up for exactly those people that Labour was created to support and protect. It lost it by failing to stand up for the truth – and by failing to challenge a whole range of myths.

The first of those myths is the most obvious – the cause and nature of the economic crisis. Labour didn’t cause…

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Well, that went well, that election

As The Labour Party enters yet another leadership contest after yet another defeat, a few observations on why the campaign ended so badly.

In my view the defeat was worse than any election since 1983, in that the incumbents were driven by cruel ideological instincts aimed at the poor and the weak, and if that were not enough, defended a poor economic policy predicated on low skill, low pay jobs, low investment, and the consequent appalling productivity record. They were also deeply hated and despised. But still Labour could not win. Continue reading

Labours slim manifesto offering on the private rental sector

Perhaps I should be grateful for The Labour Party Manifesto policy offering on the private rental sector, after all there was virtually nothing in the previous four manifestos.

This is it, lifted from the manifesto; a handful of lines, it took me a while to find it.

“For the 11 million people who rent privately, we will legislate to make three-year tenancies the norm, with a ceiling on excessive rent rises. A ban on unfair letting agent fees will save renters over £600. We will drive standards up by creating a national register of private landlords.”

So dissecting the above… Continue reading

Housing

With just over 4 weeks to go before votes are cast Labour policy offerings on the housing situation continue to disappoint.

In last Thursday’s leaders debate on the ‘housing crisis’ Ed Miliband repeated the usual mantra on helping young people onto the housing ladder, and with regard to the private rental sector, continued in the same vein of vagueness with promises to encourage long-term agreements, clamp down on letting agencies and deal with rising rents. Continue reading

Pledge 4 and an issue of honesty

Of the main political parties in English politics Labour are very much the odd one out and this goes some way to explaining that crass, tasteless pledge 4 mug, and, more importantly their anti-immigration policy which is basically just UKIP with the honesty stripped away.

Parties come into being for a reason;  Conservatives to protect the interests of land owners and business, and the status-quo, the Greens born out of an environmental pressure group, UKIP to address the concerns of those who have a strong ‘fear of the other’. All three of the above have ‘the reason for being’ very much in current focus and this leads to consistent policy that sticks close to their ‘principles and values’.

The Labour Party is an orphan. Formed in the 1890s to give political muscle to millions of industrial workers in the mills, coal mines and factories of predominantly northern England, the Labour Party’s reason for being is long gone. Continue reading

Labour adrift

ThornberryGate

One interpretation of the Thornberry tweet is that Labour not only have no understanding of voters in general, but more significantly have an existence (and policies that flow from that mind set) rooted in a past long gone.

As an aside, ThornberryGate was dealt with swiftly and decisively by Ed Miliband. Shit happens but how you deal with it is more important.

Continue reading