Lord Ashcroft’s latest poll was out today putting Labour in a miserable position. Labour at 28% are seemingly at a new low, even among their own voters who are not confident in their leader who has yet to find an identity outside the vacuum that has filled his supposed leadership position. I am traditionally a labour supporter, someone who believes in equal opportunity and feels we live in a society which traps many of those who don’t have the privileged start which so many crave and so few receive. However the non-leadership of Ed Miliband and the lack of fundamentals in campaigning are killing the Labour party and will lead them to another five years of opposition if it continues.
The game Labour are playing is to paint the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats as friends of the rich, oblivious to the poor and them gleefully cutting every service to the bone while simultaneously being gluttonous with fat cat bankers laughing at those poor souls at the food banks. This is simply fantasy, not only is it not true but it doesn’t paint for a good electoral strategy for three key reasons. Firstly for this to be able to work it requires the public to have a sophisticated knowledge of economics and government this simply does not exist and is unlikely to in the next four months. Indeed in Ashcroft’s poll 49% of people said they paid little to no attention to the campaign, let alone the gritty details of government. To assume people will suddenly start pouring through charts is just not realistic.
The second reason why this is doomed to failure is that for this to work Labour have to be a credible party of the left which they are not. They are consistently outflanked by the Greens and the new challenge of the SNP on radical leftist policy, and of course they still maintain many MP’s from the landslide in 1997 which brought Labour to power on a genuine platform but a platform of the centre ground. Labour hasn’t been a party of the left since before Kinnock and it cannot just go back. They fail to show genuine leftist credentials when they pander to the UKIP onslaught on immigration and they seem to have left all values at the door stood up. Instead opting for the pretty girl of electoral success with a considerable lack of charm, wit, charisma and intelligence. At least with Tony Blair you knew what the party stood for, you may not have liked it (although many did) but it had a vision and ideal which it stuck too.
The way Labour have sought to deal with the wealth gap simply is not adequate. This has been seen with Christ Bryant’s heated argument with James Blunt, an argument which Blunt eviscerated Bryant and made the flaw in Labour’s election plan all too clear to see. Labour talk too much about cutting off the knees of the well off and not enough about extending the reach of those closer to the bottom. They spend too much time talking about the mansion tax, raising the top rate of tax by 5% (a move which raises nothing) and of course the infamous banker bonuses. They don’t spend enough time talking about improving schools, making paid internships available to those who like me aren’t fortunate enough to have relatives in privileged positions and full employment which David Cameron has already highlighted. All of this and more needs to be talked about its inadequate to be talking about the wealthy in of itself. When you see Labour talk about the living wage you can see people nodding and wanting to hear more, if they want to win the election they need to give people more of what they want.
By Sam Mace, Junior Writer for Daily Political View.
– Lord Ashcroft poll – http://www.conservativehome.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/ANP-summary-150119.pdf