Ed Miliband

Ain’t that the truth


In the on-going post-mortem of Labour’s destruction in?the?UK a former pollster for Labour has provided the clearest example of why Labour can’t and won’t win.

Voters not trusting Labour on the economy and not viewing Ed Miliband as prime ministerial were both crucial factors in the defeat, she said. The Beckett report, however, made only a cursory mention of these problems, and did not analyse them properly, she said.

?If you look at every election since the 70s, what you see is that the party that has the leader with the best ratings is the party that wins. There?s no exception to that,? she said.

?If this report didn?t address those issues then I am not sure when they will be addressed. No political party has a divine right to exist and unless Labour really listens to those people it must persuade, it stands no chance of winning the next election.?

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Lynton Crosby tears apart dopey Labour and their equally dopey review process

Lynton Crosby, the man who destroyed Labour’s hopes at the last election in the UK,?castigates the post-mortem into their loss.

IBTimes UK reports:

Labour’s post-mortem into its devastating general election defeat has been slammed as “arrogant” by Sir Lynton Crosby. The Conservative political strategist, speaking at a Centre for Opposition Studies’ event at Westminster University attended by IBTimes UK, also accused former Labour leader Ed Miliband and his party of attempting to “flop over the line” at the May ballot.

“[Labour’s] approach, by and large, predicated on the belief that the Conservative Party could not win — ‘if they could not win in 2010, they certainly can’t win in 2015. All we, the opposition, need to do is stay upright and we will flop over the line’,” Crosby said.

“They never did the work on developing a credible policy agenda, they stuck with a leader who most voters would never see as prime minister and most importantly, they never really faced up to why they lost in 2010 or admitted [inaudible] that they got things wrong.” ? Read more »

Labour’s problem

This is from the Guardian and is talking about the UK Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn:

The makeup of what might be called the coalition of the unwilling is pretty clear: a mixture of Blairites, Brownites, the inheritors of the part of the old Labour right once rooted in some of the unions, and that great swath of Labour MPs who have no great factional loyalties but are deeply unsettled by their party?s sudden left turn. Their pain, it seems, is shared by a reasonable number of activists, some of whom have decided to quit the party altogether. But so far, most of these people have displayed a remarkable lack of willingness to even understand their own predicament, let alone do anything meaningful about it.

Their script goes something like this. Never mind 50 years of deindustrialisation, a deepening Europe-wide crisis of social democracy, or the downsides of the Blair and Brown years, to quote the Labour-aligned thinktank Policy Network: last year?s election defeat could be reduced to two key factors ? Labour?s failure to pay enough attention to ?economic competence?, and the fact that ?the public did not perceive Ed Miliband as a credible prime?minister?.

As and when the Corbyn project implodes, goes the apparent argument, a new leader with the right plan will finally be summoned, and Labour will be back in the game.

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How Twitter has wrecked the left wing

One of these days Labour will get it and who knows maybe even the Media Party might figure it out too.

Twitter has turned left-wing Labour supporters into a ‘digital mob’ out of touch with the rest of the country, the party’s Tristram Hunt will warn today.

In a major speech, the former shadow education secretary will say Labour has ‘marched decisively away from the views of the voters’ since losing in 2010 – driven in large part by social media.

Mr Hunt’s warning comes after David Cameron used his party conference speech on Wednesday to ridicule Labour MPs for failing to understand the public mood because they spent so much time talking to each other on social media.

The Prime Minister said: ‘The vast majority of people aren’t obsessives, arguing at the extremes of the debate. Let me put it as simply as I can: Britain and Twitter are not the same thing.’

Mr Hunt, a Blairite MP who has refused to serve under Jeremy Corbyn, will today warn that left’s use of Twitter and Facebook meant it was losing touch with ordinary voters.

In a damning passage Mr Hunt warns left-wing activists that if social media was ‘significantly growing the number of people engaged in politics? rather than confirming pre-held bias, then Ed Miliband might now be sitting in 10 Downing Street’.

Mr Hunt is expected to say: ‘What people say to each other on the internet ? and social media in particular ? rewards strong, polarising opinions and primary coloured politics.

‘Far from broadening the mind through access to the greatest library human beings have ever created, people’s experience of the internet is increasingly a narrow online world where anyone who puts their heads above the parapet can be the target of an anonymised digital mob.’ ?? Read more »

Ok so now Corbyn is leader, what happens next?

Well whatever happens and how it is perceived depends very much on what side of the political fence you sit on.

One thing is for certain though…irrespective of your political persuasion is that bloodletting is about to commence.

This was not a good result for the Left. The unalloyed ecstasy will last for about 20 minutes, and then natural events will take their course. On the extreme Left, that natural course is for victory to produce, first, factional argument over who actually lays claim to power, rapidly followed by accusations of betrayal and ideological impurity, and ending with purges, coups and counter-coups. And that?s what happens when something small is at stake: the editorship of a Trotskyist publication, or the running of a protest organisation. Given that we are talking about the fate of the country?s main opposition party, the bloodletting should be awesome.

It will be awesome indeed as the purges in the Labour Party start. Already many front benchers have resigned, some just a few minutes after the announcement of the result.

The bottom line though is that the Labour Party is dying.

[I]n truth, it would not have mattered whether Corbyn had won or lost. His campaign has allowed the Left to install itself into the heart of the party?s mechanisms. And it was able to do this because Labour is dying as a national force. The Corbyn phenomenon did not represent a resurgence of interest in the Labour party: it represented a collapse of interest in it. Almost no one was involved in this or even taking it seriously ? apart from the hard core Old Left (some from within, but mostly from outside the party), a handful of extremely well-organised, self-serving trade union leaders, and a cohort of very young enthusiasts who know almost nothing about grown-up life.

The great mass of real people (especially working class people) has fallen away, and it is their absence that has allowed these tiny activist minorities to take control of the abandoned entity formerly known as the Labour party. That is why the real story of this leadership election has not been the triumphal march of Corbynism ? which simply rushed in to fill a vacuum ? but the uninspiring mediocrity of all the other candidates. Here is the puzzle: why couldn?t a party which had so recently performed an electoral miracle of historic proportions come up with a more impressive stable of aspirants?

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This is just embarassing

So Jeremy Corbyn got elected as Labour next leader in the UK.

And he celebrated by singing a socialist anthem…badly.

Jeremy Corbyn has celebrated his election as Labour leader by launching into an emotional rendition of socialist anthem The Red Flag at his victory party in Westminster.

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Labour in the UK is seriously poked now

They really did it, the fools in?the?Labour Party in the UK, despite getting beaten in the last election with a left wing candidate as leader, have now chosen a complete and utter communist as their leader in the forlorn hope that they think he will be the one to convince the voters they were wrong.

They are complete fools and Matt Chorley at the Daily Mail tells us why:

Social media has given us so much already. Cat videos. Rage Against The Machine at number one. Kim Kardashian. And now Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader.

The Twitterfication of politics ? previously capable of triggering little more than micro-climate storms like #CameronMustGo and #Milifandom – is now complete.

But winning the internet and winning over Britain are two different things.

A month ago Alastair Campbell claimed that the rise of Corbyn was like the way the public suddenly weighs in behind the likes of Susan Boyle and Leona Lewis.

But he was wrong. Both women could sing and went on to shift millions of records.

Corbyn, on the other hand, is Steve Brookstein, who won the very first series of X Factor.

At 36, he was older than your average pop star but his cheeky chappie style and gravel tones won through.

Winning the internet and winning over Britain are two different things.

In the final in December 2004, he won six million votes. His first single sold just over 100,000 copies.

Within eight months of his momentous, hype-fuelled victory, he was dropped by his label. Within two years he was singing on a car ferry leaving Portsmouth.

It turned out that on a Saturday he could win a popularity contest among a self-selecting group of voters. But people didn’t want to buy his records.

And Britain will not buy Corbyn’s softly spoken versions of songs which failed to trouble the charts in the 1970s and 1980s when he first sang them.

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UK Labour’s leadership disaster – blame a Tory

It seems that a Tory is to blame (unintentionally) for the disaster that is unfolding in the UK?s Labour leadership mess.

Back in the day, when the Tories were in opposition and trying to work out how to defeat Gordon Brown, there was a brief flurry of interest in the idea of repairing Britain?s grand, old political parties by making it easier for people to join as ?friends? or associate members. Steve Hilton, then the Tory leader?s shoeless guru, was hot on this stuff. His hotline to David Cameron buzzed with talk of ?open primaries,? in which anyone could rock up and vote in party selection contests. The prize supposedly lay in making the Tories a mass-participation party again, with a whole new category of member. In the age of the direct debit or online micro-payment, shouldn?t it be possible to use the same techniques deployed by mass membership organisations ? such as the National Trust ? to reinvent a party?

It was all (very) mildly exciting and some of us (puts hand up, shamefaced) wrote pompous pieces backing these initiatives. It seemed obvious even then, seven or eight years ago, that the old parties had had it. Hilton and a few others were doing some fresh thinking. Well done them.

The practical concerns of old hands who suggested there might be a problem were swept aside. What, they asked, is to stop opponents of the party joining up to have fun and cause havoc? And might hardliners join in huge numbers skewing local selections and even national leadership contests? I remember Phil Johnston of the Telegraph making this very point to me on the fringes of an editorial conference years ago.

Luckily for the Tories, it turned out, the efforts at internal reform failed and there was no surge of newbies. There were some open primaries and the results were mixed at best. The ?friends? programme was a complete flop, after much money was blown on an expensive newspaper advertising campaign, although it had a useful spin-off years later in the creation of the Team 2015 initiative ?that allowed Tory headquarters to recruit teams of volunteers online who could then be bussed in to a constituency at short notice to undertake work on the ground.

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Panic sets in with UK Labour as Corbyn leaps ahead

Panic is breaking out in UK Labour with calls to halt the leadership contest because of fears it is being hijacked.

A senior Labour MP has called for its leadership contest to be “paused” over fears it has been infiltrated by supporters of other parties.

Barry Sheerman said those registering to take part included members of the Socialist Workers Party, the Green Party, the Conservatives and UKIP.

Labour rejects claims of “hard left” and Conservative supporters signing up to back left winger Jeremy Corbyn.

And a Labour spokeswoman rejected calls to suspend the leadership contest.

She said said there was a “very robust” system in place to prevent fraudulent and malicious applications and additional checks are being carried out to make sure the rules are upheld.

An exclusion list is being drawn up of those who have stood against Labour in the past or had helped others to oppose the party. The BBC understands that up to 1,000 applications have been rejected.

One of Mr Corbyn’s backers called Mr Sheerman’s suggestion “ridiculous”. ?? Read more »

Why social media is a dud bet in politics

The left wing loves social media. Mainly because some tool claimed it was how Barack Obama won in the US.

They of course have tried themselves and failed using the same techniques so we can safely assume it wasn’t social media.

Helen Lewis at the New Statesman explains why this is.

Here?s my melodramatic theory: social media lost Labour the last election and it?s going to lose Labour the next one, too.

It sounds bonkers, doesn?t it? But look at it like this: ?political Twitter?, the small subset of the social network that isn?t tweeting about One Direction or surfers being ?attacked by sharks, is undeniably skewed to the left. Twitter probably evolved into lefty heaven as a reaction to the right-wing dominance of the printed press, and because of?the many arts and comedy bigwigs who imported their existing followings on to the platform. Most progressive commentators and columnists are on there, tweeting away several times a day, while their right-wing equivalents avoid the service altogether, or venture on very occasionally to share a link to their piece.

Then there?s Facebook, a much bigger fish, which ought to be more reflective of the wider population because it?s made of networks of schoolfriends, former colleagues, and parents and children. But news on Facebook travels through ?Likes? and shares, and people won?t Like a crackdown on benefits, even if they secretly support it. A lot of what happens on Facebook, as with Twitter, is ?virtue signalling? ? showing off to your friends about how right on you are.

It was this ?Tyranny of the Like? that had many social media users convinced that Ed?Miliband could squeak the election; after all, their friends seemed to be lapping up?the mansion tax and the action against non-doms. No one seemed enthused about taking ?12bn off the benefit bill, or reducing the help given to disabled people.

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