Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Don't be Conned
The next couple of months will be important for Party members as we consider the lessons of thirteen years of Labour Government and work out how to best defend and advance the progress made-not just over the last Government but by every Labour Government since 1945 because thats what's being threatened by this coalition.Lets not be mistaken,the aim of the Tory hand inside the Lib Dem glove puppet is to roll back Labours welfare state. They are using the smoke-screen of "having to cut the deficit" to fundamentally re-order society.
We need to be on the front-foot in opposing them and to do that we need to get our politics and our campaigning right.
We need to be proud of the many achievements our Government made.The Tories and Lib Dems seek to trash our record in order to justify their own dirty work by blaming it all on our economic and social policies-So NEVER FORGET-in an economic crisis caused by bankers greed in the states and The City ,Gordon Brown and the Labour Government took the decisions that staved off economic collapse and introduced measures to protect people from unemployment and repossessions. If the Tories had been in Northern Rock and other banks would have collapsed with disastrous consequences for every family in the country.
Labours core policies of economic intervention and industrial partnership are what this coalition opposes because they are ideolgically committed to free market solutions. That's why both the Tories and the Lib Dems opposed the minimum wage in the first place and that's why that "nice" Mr. Cable has cancelled the loan to Sheffield Forgemasters.
To be proud of our legacy doesn't mean we didn't make mistakes. In the grown up world people make mistakes, acknowledge them and learn from them( I don't think there will be much demand from the members for re-introducing ID cards!) It isn't heresy to admit this-No-one expects a Labour Government to be perfect-Very good will do and people are already seeing the difference between us and this shower.
That said I'm proud of what our Government achieved and .proud to have worked for its re-election.
One of our key tasks before the next election will be to win back the support of skilled workers: Engineers; IT workers; Lorry drivers-theC2's in the jargon. Always a key part of Labour's core vote and a group we did very badly amongst at the last election. The feelings of this group were best summed up about a year ago by an engineering shop steward I know "I've never been so well paid and I've never been so badly off" Partly this is related to the costs of housing and bringing up young families and we need to re-assess how our economic policies affect this group of supporters.
A general Election may well be nearer than many think and the first task of any new leader will be to review our policies to ensure we are speaking tothe Britain that exists in 2011/2012