Tuesday, 13 May 2014

10 things Labour need to fix if they want a majority in 2015.

1. Labour's Rebuttal Unit is not fit for purpose. It is overly staffed with decent MPs, but MPs who do not have the time to master the detail to accurately/swiftly rebut Tory lies.

2. Ed Miliband's closest advisors are perceived to be aloof/out of touch, and by instinct act as a firewall rather than a conduit between Ed and grassroots Labour.

3. Up to half a dozen Shadow Cabinet Ministers are regarded as either elitist, underperforming or at worse 1-2 have no strategic interest in a Labour victory in 2015. A reshuffle is needed.

4. In key policy areas (EU, Rail, Tuition Fees and Free Schools) Labour appear to prefer triangulation over clear/unambiguous policy pronouncements. This is confusing voters.

5. Voters were right to remove Labour from power in 2010. They remain unconvinced that we have learned the lessons of defeat. We need to atone aloud, often.

6. The MPs most in touch with ordinary voters are less represented in the Shadow Cabinet. Ian Lavery is perhaps the best example of this.

7. Labour have some great policies (housing, NHS, Energy and Childcare) but we are squandering our limited media exposure in failing to communicate these.

8. Labour are failing to accurately or concisely communicate to voters the failures of David Cameron's government. There is a lack of fact based research at Labour's HQ.

9. Voters think Labour are incapable of taking tough unpopular choices. Especially on the EU, Welfare & Immigration. Economic Nationalism can solve this.

10. Social Coalitionism can deliver a majority for Labour in 2015, but at present, the working poor and public sector workers dissatisfaction is not being harnessed.

Monday, 12 May 2014

An open letter to Labour's Shadow Cabinet, by @DrEoinCl

(percentage of voters who struggle to tell the difference between the parties)

Voters are less inclined to cast their vote when they struggle to tell the difference between the parties. This is evident in the fair correlation between the two graphs (above and below). The Thatcherite consensus between 1979-2010 disenchanted voters. This is a reason turnout declined. It is by no means the only reason for a recent decline in voter turnout but it is one nonetheless. 

(percentage of voters who do not think it is worth voting)

The difference between Cameron's Tories and Ed Miliband's Labour are plentiful. Labour are determined to muzzle the free market and put people before profit. At times of heightened exposure of Labour Party ideas voters are increasingly aware of this, and Labour's stock in the polls rises accordingly. 

There is, however, much to be done. Labour need to spell out very clearly in very simple easily understood unambiguous language in every single policy area how they are different to the Tories. They also need to convince voters that electing a Labour government will make a big enough difference to a large enough number of voters to make it worth younger, less affluent and socially excluded voters casting their vote in 2015. 

At times, Labour triangulate and equivocate too much. There is an intellectual elitism and aloofness in some elements of the shadow cabinet that switches voters off. It is not clear that there is enough time, or will, to fix this before May 2015.