Saturday, December 18, 2021

On Electability

Yes of course it's all about presenting credible plans to the electorate - but if they don't like our plans, or they don't trust us to deliver against them, we can't just wait for a new more supportive electorate to come along.

Only three Labour leaders have ever won a majority in a General Election to become Prime Minister - and only one of those was born in the last 100 years.

We have to learn something from our limited successes and our repeated failures.

If we acknowledge that together with social justice, we must also support individual aspiration - and together with rebuilding public services, we must work in partnership with business - then we stand a chance of being elected and making a difference to people's lives.

If we carry on banging the "Labour is only for the working class" drum, we will carry on marching on and on into obscurity, becoming more and more irrelevant every day.

Labour needs: 
  1. policies that are attractive across the country
  2. to engender a feeling of trust that we will deliver against those policies
  3. credible candidates everywhere
Keir Starmer is doing his level best on all three, under a barrage of crossfire from the left, some of whom are arguably responsible for the lack of all 3.

It's said that Labour struggle to understand why people vote Tory, and it's true. 

I was a Tory voter - read my journey - but I didn't change all that much; the parties changed. 

The Conservatives drifted ever rightwards, comfortable in their complacency, while Labour became more broad-minded - accepting that it had to attract working people not just working class people - improved its credibility, and got a whole lot better at explaining itself.

People don't move very far politically, but an awful lot of them really don't need to move very far.  Our enemy is the Tory Party - not Tory voters. 

The one nation conservative myth exploded a couple of decades ago, but many perfectly reasonable Tory voters near the centre ground of politics didn't feel the rug move under them, until now.