Friday, 7 November 2014

The challenge for Labour candidates

I have to feel some sympathy for Labour candidates for next year’s General Election who feel duty bound to express support for their party leader Ed Miliband. Indeed I have noticed recent tweets from our own candidates Cllrs Julian Ware-Lane and Ian Gilbert questioning the existence of any leadership challenge or doubts as to Ed’s performance.

It reminds me of some of the comments made by fellow Conservatives during the leaderships of William Hague and Michael Howard.

We are told that it is all mischief making by a couple of disenchanted mps and the wicked national media. Oh come on boys you know as well as the rest of us that Ed’s leadership is doing a good impression of a car crash. You would garner far more support if you were honest and accepted that there is a problem.

After all just consider his poor personal ratings, conference speech debacle, spat with his party’s Scottish leadership, inability to connect with the public etc etc.

Now obviously there is not much you can do about it this close to the next election, and in any event there appears to be a dearth of other more appealing candidates, but until you recognise the problem how can you find a solution. Of course it is not just about Ed’s poor leadership – there is a deeper malaise affecting the Labour Party. They can’t decide if they want to return to their true Labour roots or continue to hang on to last remnants of New Labour. Is it simply to be the politics of envy and the nanny state or a continued albeit half hearted appeal to aspiration and economic reality. At the moment it seems to me that they continue to blur any message and in any event I am not convinced that the ambitions of the party leadership are in line with the ambitions of their local activists – certainly in this part of south Essex.

The frustration for the candidates must be that the politics of opposition are far easier than the politics of government – as our own band of Indies, Lib Dems & Socialists are already proving. If they can’t even hit the right notes in opposition then they have indeed got work to do.


  1. Imagine how embarrassing it would be to lose to such an oaf. How terrible it would be for an established Conservative Party to be unable to gain a majority for 22 years when up against such a weak opposition leader. With such disastrous personal ratings, such terrible speeches and feuding with the Scottish Labour Party it is impossible to imagine Ed as PM.

    Are you a betting man Tony?

  2. I obviously meant Nigel. Apologies, the trouble with reading all of your blogs in one evening :)