Friday, 2 January 2015

the wrong people were voting Labour

in 1997, apparently. Neal Lawson says so, and it's in the Guardian, so it must be true. A little light fisking to begin with.

 Oh and Nealie babes, open letters are Always Wrong.

"Dear Tony,
You seem to be suffering an unusual bout of the dithers as 2014 ends and the year of the general election begins." Really? Having a say is dithering is it? Oh unless Tony says what the Guardian wants to hear. Silly old me.
"First you argue that Labour will lose if Ed Miliband rejects the third way. You fear a situation “in which a traditional leftwing party competes with a traditional rightwing party, with the traditional result”. " Yep. Spot on Tony. As even you seem to understand, Neal...
"But then you say you have been misinterpreted. " He was. Because he didn't say he didn't support Dead Ed, but was reported as having done so. "The words, though, seem pretty clear and you were always so good with words. And, apparently, at winning elections." Not apparently. He won three consecutive ones. No other Labour leader has done so.
"But we both know it’s not quite that clear or that simple. The truth is that any Labour leader could have won in 1997 – by then the nation was heartily sick of the Tories. It was time for change. Your great fortune was that the leadership came up just when most of the Labour party was desperate enough to accept victory at any price." Clearly you spent no time in Labour circles in the 1990s Mr Lawson, or you would know different.
"If he had lived, John Smith would have won in 1997 – not by as much as you, granted – but then your majority was too big, wasn’t it? " Was it? How big is too big? What would have been the correct figure? One that excluded the south of England? " I well remember crunching my way up gravel drives past BMWs in Enfield the day Stephen Twigg ousted Michael Portillo – oh, how we cheered later that morning. But in hindsight the wrong people were voting Labour. The tent was too big and you spent the next 10 years trying to keep the wrong people in it: the very rich, for example. What meaningful project includes everyone? " Any meaningful project does. You govern for all the people or you do not meaningfully govern at all.
"You remark, almost with pride, that the population hasn’t shifted to the left – well, what exactly was your job as a political leader supposed to be about then?
Had you not been so disdainful about anything remotely old Labour there would probably be much less support for Ukip now. True, you sneaked in some transfers to the poor in the shape of tax credits, and you introduced the minimum wage. " yes, you may well sneer about the minimum wage Mr L, your Guardian-reading dinner-party companions have no need of it, hein? "But never with a political flourish, never with a sense of moral purpose. It was all stealth and no one knew why they were better off" so- with more soundbites everything would have been better would it Neal?
"British politics is now crying out for a real choice. A society that is more equal, sustainable and democratic." Maybe so Neal, though I have my doubts that those notions are what most people are crying out for. Housing need and zero-hours contracts are their concerns, more like.

Extracts from this Guardian gem inside quotes. My remarks outside them. #thewrongpeoplewerevotingLabour - tell that to the people who were, and are, proud to be wrong. Now I must go and put some coal in the bath. Because that's what Labour voters do, isn't it Neal?  Can't have nice clean Guardian readers in their leafy homes doing, can we? Because then we'd have Labour governments, and that would never do, would it?

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