Admit it, Labour dropped the ball


by Sunny Hundal    
12:59 pm - May 6th 2011

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One of the cardinal rules of politics is always, ‘know thy enemy’. But who was our enemy? Across the country Labour activists said they were going to vote No2AV because they wanted to punish Nick Clegg. It was even a centre-piece of their campaign?

Why? Because its easy to distract lefties from the real enemy. Since last year most of the fire has been on the Libdems for their betrayal. Fair enough, they paid a heavy price for it last night. But the Tories are relatively unscathed and they are the real enemy. They have always been the real enemy.

While Atul Hatwal , Anthony Painter and Will Straw see silver linings to yesterday – I see a wider unwillingness to admit that Labour took its eye off the ball.

By the time Ed Miliband started saying that Nick Clegg was not the real enemy, it was too late to stop that narrative.

And it’s not like the Tories aren’t offering open goals either. The economy is still stuck in a rut; Michael Gove is facing lawsuits over cuts to EMA; the NHS proposals are in shambles and Andrew Lansley looks like he’s on his way out.

So why did the Conservatives escape relatively unscathed?

1. The wrong focus. Constant attention on how Clegg, Cable and Huhne are doing has permeated everything. We’re more interested in hearing them say sorry or pull out of the Coalition than on what the Tories are planning and doing.

This goes for Labour politicians, the left commentariat and even anti-cuts activists, who seem to spend a lot of time raging against evil libruls than organising against the Tories.

The focus on the Libdems then turns the wider media narrative also about Coalition disagreements rather than Coalition plans.

2. Not enough fire. When Conservatives quietly announced plans to cut NHS spending drastically, where were Labour?

Healey was wheeled out, but he’s just not charismatic enough. He may be a highly competent and knowledgeable shadow minister but there is no fire in his belly. He does not generate any headlines or interest.

The shadow Health team need more fire-power: they’re failing even in their basic task of alerting the public how bad the NHS reforms are getting. Ed Miliband also needs to start getting more vocal about Tory plans, and not just at PMQs. We need a racheting up of verbal attacks similar to the time the Tories were being accused of ‘social cleansing’ in London over housing cuts.

Last night’s results should be a wake-up call. While people were getting ecstatic over Libdem losses, the Tories were quietly sniggering away at their own results.

I see it less as a victory and more as a consolation prize. The Labour party cannot allow this to happen in a year’s time.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Excellent post, Sunny.

What the hell’s happened to Ed Balls recently? He was far more visible shadowing Gove than he is shadowing Osborne.

‘Evil libruls’? Trying to make a point through deliberate mispelling? Really?

Anyhoo, yes on 1, although I’m not sure that was avoidable. But on 2 we need to offer positive alternatives. Doubling-down on harsh rhetoric isn’t going to solve that problem.

As a declared floating voter, I think that Labour needs to appreciate that its enduring enemy is the millstone of New Labour, not because New Labour was too left-wing or too right-wing but because it was too incompetent and because there was too much of say one thing and do another.

FWIW for a variety of reasons, I now regard the three mainstream parties with extreme distaste, which doesn’t mean I’m set to vote for lunatic fringe parties. In the 2005 election, I simply chose not to vote because I thought none of them were worth it. IMO it’s no accident that turnout at the last three general elections has been low by historic standards:
http://www.ukpolitical.info/Turnout45.htm

4. Matthew Evans

I don’t agree at all. The public’s anger is directed at the Lib Dems because they went back on their word on a whole range of issues. The Tories are broadly doing what they said they would do.
2 As the parliament passes the economy is likely to improve. labour’s best chance of winning would be to have an early election. For that to happen the coalition has to break. The Liberals are the weakest link.
3 I voted NO to AV on the merits of the case. But I also realise that if the Yes vote had passed there would have been no chance of getting an early election. That is now a possibility.
4 Martin Kettle, usually very supportive of the the rightward drift of the Liberals admits in his column today that what was possibly in place was a political realignment on the Centre-Right, not the Centre-left which too many people have dreams about. That right wing realignment would have been disastrous for Labour the events of the past week have killed it and will force the Liberals to look left.
Far too many labour people are wimpish about the Liberals. They always want to be nice to them. That never pays.

I agree, for once! The Lib Dems vote completely collapsed in Scotland last night, but the SNP were the party who picked up all the disillusioned Lib Dem voters, and it’s Labour who have taken the bullet for it.

I feel a bit sorry for Labour in some respects, because their vote hasn’t dropped as such, but they haven’t capitalised in the way they should have done. And as a result, the Labour Party in Scotland is more likely to suffer negative press than the Lib Dems will. There’s several excellent Labour MSPs who won’t be returning to Holyrood because of issues which have arisen out of the Lib Dem collapse. That seems a bit unfair to me. But then, they didn’t do anything as a party to pick up the votes.

Labour have just bumbled along, with the same old same old, trying to appease everyone – and as a result have alientated everyone by being too wishy washy. It’s time they picked which side of the centre line they’re on, and have the courage of their convictions to stand up and be counted.

You have to remember that a lot of Scotish Lib Dem voters were once the Scottish Conservative voters, who have now gone on to vote for the SNP because they can’t stomach to vote Labour.

7. Margin4error

Sunny

The evidence doesn’t back what you say at all. Indeed it seems to contradict it.

In Scotland Labour focused very little on the Lib Dems – instead focusing on the SNP. The SNP focused on the Lib Dems and won well by taking up (pretty much % for %) the Lib Dems’ lost votes.

In England meanwhile Labour has focused on the Lib Dems a lot – while the Tories continued focusing ire on Labour. The Tory vote fell from this previous round of elections – and Labour grew dramatically by taking up (roughly) % for % all of the Lib Dems’ lost votes.

That suggests attacking the Lib Dems is a strong card electorally.

Likewise the “real enemy” when in opposition – is the government.

Of course we have an unusual situation here with a government of two parties, but the enemy is still the government. The weak link in the government is the Lib Dems. As such the greatest chance of influencing that government or bringing it down or defeating it – is to target the Lib Dems. There is little point targetting the government’s strengths (Cameron’s seemingly cuddly persona among the middle england voter, their focus on balancing numbers, their choice agenda)

More over – never ever ever make the mistake of fighting two wars at once.

In war we often find ourselves fighting several enemies. To win that the best option is not to split our forces to and fight seven battles at once. It is to use holding forces to stifle and defer, while a main force eliminates one enemy. Once eliminated the main force can move on to the next enemy.

At the moment Labour’s aim has to be to utterly defeat the Lib Dems. Once they are nothing more tha a shell of a party, a joke, and widely percieved as a Tory government offshoot – then Labour can go toe to toe with the tories.

Until then attempting to do that – as seen in Scotland – would be idiocy.

8. Margin4error

I should also add that Labour’s focus so far has yeilded surprisingly good polls.

To rise from 30% to consistently over 40% in the polls in one year following ignominious defeat is remarkable. The extent of their recovery is partly down to succesfully attacking Lib Dems and benefiting from the votes of their defectors.

Following defeat of that nature, few parties rally so quickly.

That is not to say Labour can be complacent. The long hard slog of battling the tories is still to come – and they will feel vulnerable if not hitting 45% in the polls by the end of 2011. But the foundations are there.

Sunny – perhaps if every other left/liberal media outlet (e.g. the Guardian), commentator (e.g. Toynbee) or politician (e.g. Cable) hadn’t spent so long arguing there was a ‘natural’, ‘anti-Tory’ alliance between the LibDems and Labour, the feelings of ‘betrayal’ might not have run so high. Likewise with the idea that the AV referendum was a chance to vote ‘tactically’ to f*** up the coalition. And thirdly, there’s always the assumption that dissenting LibDems will break for Labour, which in the case of Scotland they seem not to have done. Since the LibDem strategy re. the coalition is clearly ‘Murder? Definitely. Divorce? Never’ (see Ashdown’s recent bleatings), it’ll be increasingly difficult to take the LibDems seriously as anything other than helpmeets, which might enable a greater focus on the Tories. As it is, this year’s results did for the monkey; next year’s might do for the organ grinder.

Two points, as someone who is not a Labour member. First, while it may well have made sense to focus on the Lib Dems, they’ve now been driven back largely to their old Liberal rump. Further focus on them will bring diminishing returns; you have to think back to the early-mid 90s and start going after the Conservatives, and fast.

Second, let’s be clear – the local government cuts, which are among the severest across the public sector, are hitting far worse in the north (and London, which didn’t vote yesterday) than in many parts of the south and rural areas. In other words, the kind of councils the Conservatives disastrously lost under Major haven’t been as badly hit; and, frankly, a great many natural Conservative voters don’t especially mind what this government is doing (at worst they feel it’s necessary, at best they positively welcome it) and certainly don’t trust Labour a year after they were turfed from office.

Let’s face it – cuts to Supporting People grants may cause outrage in Liverpool, but they don’t mean squat in Worcester.

The Conservatives, frankly, had a tremendous night and probably can’t believe their luck. In many Tory-Lib Dem fights, the Tories won; possibly because the Lib Dem anti-Tory vote collapsed in these seats. I wonder if Labour was even standing in many of these council wards; if they weren’t, expect a focused effort to change that for 2012.

Other than that, I think you’re broadly right that there needs to be a much more aggressive focus on health, and on the economy. The incompetence argument will increasingly take care of itself. But steer clear of inflammatory ‘social cleansing’ rhetoric; that’ll play well to the converted, but switch everyone else off.

Oh, and I should add – let’s be honest here. No-one really knows what Labour stands for, policy-wise or with the fluffy (and imo largely meaningless) ‘vision’ stuff. I follow these things fairly closely and I don’t know what Labour stands for; people with better things to do don’t stand a chance.

12. Watchman

The problem with focussing on the Conservatives is quite simple – where are the votes going to come from as a result? It appears from last night’s results that the Conservative vote held up. In Birmingham, although a couple of Conservative seats fell to Labour, this seems to be because of Liberal Democrat voters switching – in the fairly straight Conservative-Labour fights in a number of traditional working-class seats (albeit all with some gentrification) held by Conservatives, Labour won none of them. Looking at the picture in the north, the same probably holds true (allowing for local variances – the Liberal Democrats gaining Burnley needs to be explained for example).

Conservative voters seem to be quite solid in their support – and it is likely that by the next General Election, the Conservatives will be attacking the Labour vote in turn (and my gut reaction is that there are votes to be won there), holding up the state of the economy (note that the recovery may be stuttering, but it is ongoing and will almost certainly pick up around the time the cuts actually bite in terms of unemployment) and probably a general competence. Note also that if Labour continues scaremongering over the NHS, and it is still working reasonably well in a few years time, Labour will have lost that weapon.

Targetting the Liberal Democrat vote makes sense – but what Sunny fails to provide is a way to target the Conservative vote (I suggest it probably should not involve Ed Balls…).

@10 chaminda

“The Conservatives, frankly, had a tremendous night”

No, they really didn’t…. they had to do very little but watch the LD’s suffer a melt down, see Labour make some progress but not enough, and smile as the non-Tories knocked lumps out of each other. They could effectively do quite nicely by doing nothing much… but your deluded if you think they had a trmendous night.

14. Flowerpower

When Conservatives quietly announced plans to cut NHS spending drastically, where were Labour?

There are no plans to cut NHS spending, which will You are misrepresenting efficiency savings (which will be re-invested in the NHS) as “cuts”.

If you reduce your spending on beer so as to spend more on your curry, you are not “drastically reducing your spending” on a meal out. You are just changing your priorities.

The only thing Labour stand for is crippling public debt. 12 months is not long enough for people to forget why they are about to be made redundant. Have another go in a few years, once the mess has been sorted out (again)

@15

Yes, yes….. because the Tories had such a wonderful track record in their 18 years in government didn’t they? I mean, it’s not as if the financial sector opened it’s arms to New Labour when they came into power or anything…?

And of course, the Tories wouldn’t have been doing much the same as New Labour did… they were calling for stricter regulation of the banks and more control weren’t they….?

Oh….. wait…..

Damn straight.

@13 – it’s true that they’ve done well by doing very little, but that doesn’t change how pleased they’ll be at seeing their number of councils and councillors rise when they were expected to fall. Yes, a lot of their gains came from the Lib Dems, and yes, Labour gained Lincoln, North Warwickshire and Gravesham – but start looking at Basildon, at Worcester, at Dartford, at Southampton. Many of these councils (and many of their ilk) were Labour-run within the last 20 years. The Tories held on comfortably last night.

The Lib Dems have had the kind of night the Tories had under John Major – but the Tories have not. Many of those voters, at local and national level, who have switched to the Conservatives in the last few years may be concerned about the government’s performance, but they’re willing to give it a chance.

No doubt the Blairites will jump around saying the party should chase after right-wing voters. That would be daft (though it won’t stop the Blairites trying). But they do need to be much clearer in what they stand for, where the government is going wrong, and what they’d do differently.

19. Anon E Mouse

The trouble with Labour is that no matter how many times they lose by using negative campaigning such as Tory Toffs and in Scotland by deliberate lies about the SNP they continue to do it.

The public do not like smearing negative comments and all it serves to do is take votes from Labour.

With these cuts Labour should be light years ahead in the polls and now the Lib Dem’s will have to stick with the coalition or else they are doomed.

If Cameron called an election tomorrow the Lib Dem’s would be destroyed and Labour would go bust and then be finished.

The sooner Labour wake up and get real the better…

No, they really didn’t…. they had to do very little but watch the LD’s suffer a melt down, see Labour make some progress but not enough, and smile as the non-Tories knocked lumps out of each other. They could effectively do quite nicely by doing nothing much… but your deluded if you think they had a trmendous night.

It’s all about expectations isn’t it? The Tories were predicted to lose about 900 council seats (http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article2988466.ece) and about 35 councils. At the moment they’re actually up 60 odd councillors and 3 councils. That’s pretty good going…

Yes, Labour dropped the ball, but they did that ten years ago when the let the money lenders into the temple (so to speak – when Blairism turned into neo-liberal corporatism). The public still do not know if Labour is the Labour of Milburn, Byres and Hewitt or whether it has moved back to be the party who will protect the vulnerable. Time for Ed Miliband to reflect, time for him to think about what is the most important issue – getting elected, or protecting the vulnerable.

1) evil libruls well, yes perhaps Labour should have concentrated on fighting the evil tories but while the evil libruls insist on chanting the Tories mantra (“mess that Labour left” etc etc) there will be no chance of Labour working with them. And while they keep to the Tories’ script they have to be treated as Tories. Let’s face it, we have a Conservative government, and it is about time Liberal Democrats realised this. There is a place for them to work with Labour, but only once they stop behaving like Tories.

2) Not Enough Fire. Yes, I have been very critical about this. I think Labour lost the 2010 election because they did not focus on the NHS, and for that I blame Burnham (someone else who lacks fire, he merely walks around with a massive chip on his shoulder, Get over it, Cambridge Boy!). After the election I wanted Balls as Shadow Health Sec because I knew that it would become a huge issue and it needed an attack dog like Balls. Healey is cerebral and quiet, but he is starting to deliver. You won’t get a shouting match at Health Qns but I think Healey has a firm grasp on the subject. I would love to see him make a few more decisive blows. As part of this I would like him to show how incompetent Lansley is. For far too long people have heaped too much praise on Lansley for his NHS knowledge, when it is quite clear that someone who knew the NHS would not have driven it into the ground like Lansley has done.

3) Last night’s results should be a wake-up call Yes, but here’s the most important point that Labour has ignored. They have no policies, so they had to campaign on their values. But their values are in tatters – either by their own making (the privatisation of parts of the NHS, cutting some welfare benefits etc) or through the demonisation that can only be described as the “Coulson Project”. Labour should have spent the last year building up their values: identifying what they were and publicising them. If you have no policies you have to fall back on your values, and since the public is still unsure about Labour’s values they could not give Labour their support.

22. Planeshift

I think the results show another thing.

The UK is a doomed political entity. Scotland will now have had successive nationalist governments and a referendum on independence will follow. I’d put money on the impact of cuts plus tory domination in london pushing the vote towards independence. Wales will take longer to go this way, but a competent plaid cymru leader could well start the ball rolling. Plus English nationalists will demand an end to their subsidy of wales.

What the last 10 years (if not longer) has shown is that England is a far more right wing country than Scotland and Wales. The conservatives have held their own despite cuts. Wheras in England, labour will continue to struggle. The demand for an English parliament will only grow, and the concessions wales and scotland have had in terms of representation in parliament will end. When that happens its likely to further mean political divergence. (To win in England, Labour will have to be significantly more right wing than it needs to in Wales and Scotland).

Labour really is in trouble.

10 @Chaminda

I agree with much of what you said, but…

Let’s face it – cuts to Supporting People grants may cause outrage in Liverpool, but they don’t mean squat in Worcester.

But there is an issue that will affect Worcester: the NHS. Specifically the fact that their local NHS Trust is unlikely to reach the April 2014 deadline to become a Foundation Trust. If a hospital does not become an FT by that date, it will not be licenced to do NHS work. Worcester woman may be a bit more wealthy than Liverpool woman, but she is still not able to afford to have all of her healthcare from the private sector, particularly if she has a chronic condition.

To achieve FT status NHS Trusts will be frantically cutting over the next couple of years, and standards of care will plummet. Worcester woman needs to be reminded that the state of the NHS under Cameron was a Tory choice, it did not have to be so. If Labour fights on NHS cuts it will make the Tory core vote stay at home, or even, issue a protest vote. Labour must not ignore the political power of the NHS, nor the fact that it can unite people across the political spectrum.

@14. Flowerpower

There are no plans to cut NHS spending, which will You are misrepresenting efficiency savings (which will be re-invested in the NHS) as “cuts”.

So you actually believe that Brownism? “efficiency savings” are cuts because, well, because the money aint there! Give me the figures and show me where this “re-investment” is coming from. Let me spell it out t h e r e i s n o m o n e y t o i n v e s t. If you still think they are about “efficiency” then explain this to me. The NHS knows hopw efficient every hospital is. In fact, it knows how efficient every department is (this is what you get from having all of those administrators implementing the internal market). Yet the “efficiency savings” are being applied across all hospitals. The most efficient are not spared.

It is dishonest to call them “efficiency savings”. If they had anything to do with efficiency then the least efficient would be hardest hit, and they are not. (FWIW some of the most efficient hospitals in the country are in debt, this clearly shows that the funding is too low, and artificially kept too low/)

If you reduce your spending on beer so as to spend more on your curry, you are not “drastically reducing your spending” on a meal out. You are just changing your priorities.

::sigh:: but that is not what is happening with the NHS. The NHS is being told that this year the cost of “beer and curry” has to fall by 6.5% compared to last years cost, and to encourage that, the government is cutting the money. Funding only increases with CPI, so inflation eats any extra cash, however, the NHS relies on drugs and equipment where the inflation is more than CPI, and there is increasing demand. On top of this, the government has cut the tariff (the fixed price paid for about half of all procedures) by 1.5%. So in effect the government has cut your “beer money” by 1.5% compared to last year while demanding that you also pay for the person sitting next to you. So if the NHS wants to “eat curry” it has to completely stop drinking beer. That is apparently what is described as being “efficient”.

To achieve FT status NHS Trusts will be frantically cutting over the next couple of years, and standards of care will plummet.

As someone whose only experience of the NHS is on the receiving end, I’d point out that there is a danger with ‘end of days’ language. The more that you predict that standards of care will ‘plummet’ and that the Tories will ‘destroy’ the NHS and that everyone will have to pay for private healthcare, the more you risk letting rhetoric gallop ahead of reality.

It’s the same point with the economy. The two Eds have been so apocalyptic in their tone, that even fairly low growth will be seen as being much better than expected. ‘Cuts’ have been shouted about so loudly that most people are likely to be pleasantly, rather than unpleasantly surprised by their impact. That’s the danger of over-egging the pudding this far out from an election.

@23 – yes, which is why the NHS is such a major issue (as well as all the other reasons). We’re in agreement here…

The over-riding problem is the way party tribalism dominates politics and political discourse.It runs right through the thread. What motivates most people in party politics is defeating the enemy – whoever that might be. And it’s easy to win votes that way. And it’s successful because it guarantees that those who aren’t party tribalists become so alienated they either don’t vote or reluctantly join in the bun-fight fun.

Where are the ideas for a better society? For more housing, a better welfare system, a productive economy, better transport? What would make people here who are fully engaged in party politics most proud? An implemented, intelligent, non-ideological, cross-party policy which gave everyone a decent place to live? Or a scorching political victory accompanied by electoral ignominy for their hated political opposites?

“Far too many labour people are wimpish about the Liberals. They always want to be nice to them. That never pays.”

What planet have you been living on for the last year? No one is saying be nice to them, they’re saying focus on the Tories. Politics isn’t about attacking people who are the most hypocritical (Labour have form in this regard), it’s about attacking people you need to attack to win, and attacking the policies you most disagree with. If you stop doing both of these things and attack people you aren’t going to be able to win too much from in general elections, just because it is easier and feels good, then you are setting yourself up for failure.

Don’t think its a question of presentation to be honest.

The simple truth is the country is far more conservative than you believe. The problem with lefty blogs is they seal themselves off from the outside world and public opinion in general. Where is the ‘progressive’ majority hiding?

@ 29

Are you so sure that “all” the country shares this right of centre bias? No? Thought not… because it isn’t true… particularly not in the North and in Scotland. How well did your Tory chums do there by the way? ;)

@29: “The problem with lefty blogs is they seal themselves off from the outside world and public opinion in general. ”

That is complete crap. Many posters here profess to be Conservative supporters and/or are hugely critical of either Labour or New Labour or both. I’ve often mentioned that I’m a floating voter and that in the 2005 election I deliberately (but unusually) chose not to vote.

We also occasionally have some strange visitors from America who tend to make Sarah Palin and her supporters look veritable models of sanity and intelligence..

Before migrating to here, I tried the Conservative Home forum, where I was challenged as an alien intruder and where a post of mine critical of John Redwood’s (ridiculous) diagnosis of the cause of the recession was censored out – he claimed that the Bank of England kept interest rates too high, an extraordinary claim to make in the light of the consumer debt mountain of £1.3 billion. Of yes, and I was also dubbed “a friend of David Irving” because I ventured criticism of Israel and the (documented) atrocities it had inflicted on Palestinians.

The truth is that I’ve been debating online in various forums for 15 years. Around the late 1990s there was a powerful UK lobby online for a conservative or “right-wing” only forum. As a fact, the Liberal Conspiracy forum here is both very open and a very popular forum of political debate – see the ranking here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_blog#United_Kingdom

Btw it would be as well to investigate why the Conservative Party found it necessary to disband several Conservative student associations. Whatever happened to the Monday Club – and to the Primrose League?

Exactly Sunny.

The tories are always the enemy. And you always do what they least want you to do. It was quite obvious at the vast amounts of dodgy money they were throwing at the no campaign what the feared. Tory mps said there would be an rebellion if the yes vote passed. Yet certain traitorous Labour politicians like Margret Beckett, and John Reid, were so stupid that they thought they would vote with the Daily Mail, the Express, the torygrapgh and the Sun. Don’t expect those scummy papers to do you any favours at the next election morons .

And thanks to Clegg we no have a gerrymandered system with 50 less seats, mostly Labour ones, and no change in voting system. We are back too where we were in the 80s. A tory govt for probably the next 109-15 years and a divided opposition.

“The simple truth is the country is far more conservative than you believe.”

So why have you not been able to win outright power for the last 19 years dipstick?

@sally
Because the Labour Party was captured by centrist moderates like Mr. Blair. Thatcherism was such a success that was once considered ‘right-wing’ in the early 80′s had become normal middle of the road stuff by the mid-90′s.

Anyway, are you now saying the New Labour government was of the Left? I thought you considered everyone traitors except Wedgie Benn, George Galloway and the Red Army Faction?

Here are my thoughts on the Scottish elections results, with reference to the Welsh ones. I think it’s a combination of poor campaigning, but also a much harder electoral contest than we anticipated.
http://danieljfrost.blogspot.com/2011/05/tale-of-two-countries.html

36. Lisa Ansell

”evil libruls”
Sunny-it isn’t liberals that people object to ya daft sod. Its you, and its a fair enough consequence after your 3 year trip round the political spectrum, and changing of principles according to wind…alongside your attempts to wind up just about everyone on this left you imagine, who isn’t a card carrying Labour member. Take a look at aims of your site Sunny= it isnt very clear it is a Labour recruiting site- you might want to put a banner somewhere.

To describe people’s problem with you as a rejection of liberalism would require you having the same principles for more than a day, and even when the labour party say you can.

While I appreciate that us ‘leftys’ are easily confused- it is very difficult to focus on the tories as the ‘real threat’ when the economic strategy that Labour have, is so similar to the Conservatives that the IFS struggled to find differences. It isn’t liberals that object to this being discussed, it is careerists pretending who don’t want any narrative by ‘my party will save you’.

The failure of the AV referendum owed more than a little to ridiculous campaigning of #yestoav camp- and the fact that the debate was more or less manufactured by politically affiliated media desperate for us to talk about anything but what is happening. While I am sure your threats to er…beat anyone who didnt vote for it were effective…. Unfortunately that learning might take some reflection- which I appreciate might be difficult for you.

By the way Sunny- your little outburst the other day. It really isn’t that wise to continually refuse to discuss perfectly valid criticisms, block someone and pretend it is because they are spamming- then launch into childish abuse on twitter. Not while you are marketing yourself as ‘serious’. It is almost as funny as you putting out a blog post having a go, without telling me it was out there.http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/11383 (Still it was certainly within the tone of discussion put about by passionate democracy campaigners like yourself).

You want to discuss the perfectly valid criticisms I laid out here- http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/04/27/what-i-would-focus-on-if-i-were-the-shadow-chancellor/#comments

or here- http://lisaansell.posterous.com/the-new-left-and-progressive-movement-exploit- I have been very clear I am more than willing to discuss. This playground stuff is really making you look daft. I would say it is damaging your credibility, but that is unlikely really.

37. Lisa Ansell

9)-I had the conversation with Sunny at the time about the bizarre assumption that LibDems were somehow the party of the left- he didn’t grasp the problem then.But that is in the past- and he cannot be expected to reflect on his own actions.

38. Arthur Seaton

Agree with this post. It’s satisfying to see the Libs fry, but that job’s done now, all fire from now on most be concentrated on the Tories. The Tory vote did drop a lot in the northern areas which are taking the biggest hits from the government (ie. losing control of Bury and Blacpool council, Labour taking control in most of Greater Manchester) but they’re holding up worryingly in the south.

Good article Dan – I’ve linked it

40. Mr S. Pill

Yes to everything in this post. focus the fire on the scumbags of the Conservative Party. Clegg et al are toast, it’s pretty much official, and complaining about them won’t change their wipeout. They are done, over, an ex-parrot if you will.
The Conservative vote – percentage-wise – did not change since last year. Labour needs to start asking why. It’s not the Yellows Labour will need to fight and fight hard in 2015.

41. Mr S. Pill

@36

I’ve asked previously &had no reply… what on earth is your problem?? If you have a valid complaint then why not say it rather than this bullshit innuendo and beating around the bush. It’s dull dull dull otherwise.

It’s wrong to tell lies…

“In Birmingham, although a couple of Conservative seats fell to Labour,”

More than ‘a couple’; it was actually six. And Labour were unlucky to miss out on Weoley and Edgbaston.

“this seems to be because of Liberal Democrat voters switching

It doesn’t matter where the votes come from so long as they come.

” – in the fairly straight Conservative-Labour fights in a number of traditional working-class seats (albeit all with some gentrification) held by Conservatives, Labour won none of them.”

Longbridge: Labour gain. Kings Norton: Labour gain. Brandwood: Labour gain. Billesley: Labour gain.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Admit it, Labour dropped the ball http://bit.ly/jXciUj

  2. Broken OfBritain

    RT @libcon: Admit it, Labour dropped the ball http://bit.ly/jXciUj

  3. Jonathan Haggart

    RT @libcon: Admit it, Labour dropped the ball http://bit.ly/jXciUj

  4. Paul Crowley

    #yestoav lost because it is easy to distract lefties from the real enemy: the Tories. http://bit.ly/jXciUj

  5. Pete Bowyer

    RT @libcon: Admit it, Labour dropped the ball http://bit.ly/jXciUj <makes some sense but @LabourUncut arguing for clouds not silver lining

  6. sunny hundal

    My view: time to admit it, Labour dropped the ball. We forgot who the real enemy was http://bit.ly/jXciUj

  7. Soph

    #latetotheparty RT @sunny_hundal: My view: time to admit it, Labour dropped the ball. We forgot who the real enemy was http://bit.ly/jXciUj

  8. Adam Blane Richards

    RT @sunny_hundal: My view: time to admit it, Labour dropped the ball. We forgot who the real enemy was http://bit.ly/jXciUj

  9. Roland Ellison

    Admit it, Labour dropped the ball http://t.co/hTHAC57 via @libcon >- Totally agree. Focus on Clegg plays into Cameron's hands.

  10. Scott Duffy

    Whole heart-idly agree, tweeted the same but less eloquently RT @sunny_hundal: We forgot who the real enemy was http://bit.ly/jXciUj

  11. Aisha

    RT @sunny_hundal My view: time to admit it, Labour dropped the ball. We forgot who the real enemy was http://bit.ly/jXciUj > too true.

  12. dOSsdaz

    Yep. They also forgot to oppose. FAR too quiet of late RT @sunny_hundal Labour dropped the ball, forgot who enemy was http://bit.ly/jXciUj

  13. Matt Jeffs

    RT @sunny_hundal: My view: time to admit it, Labour dropped the ball. We forgot who the real enemy was http://bit.ly/jXciUj

  14. Tim Hardy

    RT @sunny_hundal: My view: time to admit it, Labour dropped the ball. We forgot who the real enemy was http://bit.ly/jXciUj

  15. Kirsty

    RT @sunny_hundal My view: time to admit it, Labour dropped the ball. We forgot who the real enemy was http://bit.ly/jXciUj <<Well said!

  16. Emily Davis

    RT @libcon: Admit it, Labour dropped the ball http://bit.ly/jXciUj

  17. Jill Hayward

    RT @sunny_hundal: My view: time to admit it, Labour dropped the ball. We forgot who the real enemy was http://bit.ly/jXciUj

  18. punkscience

    RT @libcon: Admit it, Labour dropped the ball http://bit.ly/jXciUj

  19. manishta sunnia

    Admit it, Labour dropped the ball | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/i3HI2uA #vote2010 #senedd11 #sp11

  20. Catherine Neilan

    Good summary of why No to AV is shortsighted for anyone opposed to the Tories http://bit.ly/kcjoGv via @libcon @sunny_hundal

  21. Leon Paternoster

    A reminder of Labour's real enemy: http://bit.ly/iPpxNw (don't agree with all this, but basic point is right, I think)

  22. Cameron Yarde Jnr

    RT @CatNeilan: Good summary of why No to AV is shortsighted for anyone opposed to the Tories http://bit.ly/kcjoGv via @libcon @sunny_hundal

  23. sunny hundal

    Winning against the Libdems is a consolation prize. Labour need to turn their fire on the real enemy http://bit.ly/jXciUj (from earlier)

  24. conspiracy theo

    Admit it, Labour dropped the ball | Liberal Conspiracy http://bit.ly/jsruCJ

  25. The Fat Councillor

    “@sunny_hundal: Winning against the Libdems is a consolation prize. Labour need to turn their fire on the real enemy http://t.co/EJxLuM6”

  26. Rukayah Sarumi

    http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/05/06/admit-it-labour-dropped-the-ball/

  27. Rukayah Sarumi

    http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/05/06/admit-it-labour-dropped-the-ball/

  28. michael burke

    RT @sunny_hundal: My view: time to admit it, Labour dropped the ball. We forgot who the real enemy was http://bit.ly/jXciUj

  29. Matthew Doye

    @wokingspidey Our losses are down to Labour choosing the wrong strategy, as I've said before & as they're admitting http://bit.ly/kwG50K

  30. hengist mcstone

    RT @conspiracyboy: Admit it, Labour dropped the ball | Liberal Conspiracy http://bit.ly/jsruCJ

  31. Jonathan Davis

    Admit it, Labour dropped the ball | Liberal Conspiracy – http://bit.ly/mIxF1U (via @libcon)

  32. Saying that the Lib Dems were ‘punished for their betrayal’ is too simplistic « the red rock

    [...] Hundal over at Liberal Conspiracy seems to agree and laments that we didn’t elect to punish the Tories, but rather the Lib Dems. He says [...]

  33. Natacha Kennedy

    http://bit.ly/kIVuQM Miliband dropped the ball. no attacks on the Tories…

  34. Sarah Lake

    Admit it, Labour dropped the ball | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/spzyELf via @libcon

  35. Anthony Binder

    Admit it, Labour dropped the ball | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/IQ0v9TL via @libcon

  36. Christine scutt

    RT @libcon: Admit it, Labour dropped the ball http://bit.ly/jXciUj

  37. sunny hundal

    @hopisen I'm all for bashing Tories. Wrote that post-5th http://bit.ly/jXciUj – just think saying we wd welcome LDs isn't entirely a waste

  38. Raf Noboa y Rivera

    Really struck by how viscerally angry Labourites still are at LDs. Relatedly, good take by @sunny_hundal: http://bit.ly/mcSlwP

  39. Labour Has to Be Ready to Work with the Liberal Democrats « Ed Paton-Williams

    [...] Sunny Hundal at Liberal Conspiracy rightly points out, Labour’s and many others’ obsession with wanting Clegg, Cable, Huhne and Alexander to [...]

  40. On the NHS, this is the week Labour need to get their act together | Liberal Conspiracy

    [...] shadow health secretary John Healey. Is he actually up to the job? I’m not convinced. I said last week that Healey has not been enough of a presence. For Labour, it’s like sending a boxer to a [...]





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