Is the Labour shadow cabinet half-asleep?


9:05 am - May 31st 2011

by Sunny Hundal    


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Not long after Ed Miliband took over as Labour leader, he started getting warnings: “Labour must not be a party of protest,” with reference to the growing student and UKuncut movements. He must choose “between protest and power” said some solemnly.

The very serious people nodded their heads vigorously. Of course no one was going to take Labour seriously if didn’t lay out a comprehensive plan for what it would offer voters in 2015. Why is an opposition party getting all oppositional anyway?

But it seems this idiocy is being taken seriously.

A few months ago, Chaminda from False Economy sent FOI requests to every single PCT in the country and was able to show that up to 50,000 jobs were being cut from the NHS.

The NHS is an open-goal for Labour on which to hammer on about Tory cuts and incompetence. The polls are overwhelmingly against Conservative plans, their message is confused and unclear, and Lansley’s credibility is shot to pieces.

But they look half-asleep.

After David Cameron appointed an “expert panel” of names to advise him, Labour should have gone into over-drive to investigate their background. Instead it took SpinWatch to uncover his quote that the NHS “will be shown no mercy”, and Political Scrapbook made it go viral before the Observer and MPs picked up on it.

Health isn’t the only area where there’s an invisibility problem either. Michael Gove’s free-schools “revolution” is crashing and burning and Britons are over-whelmingly against the £9,000 tuition fees. But have you seen Andy Burnham on television leading the charge? Don’t bother answering. I could say similar things about other areas too.

To be clear, I agree with Mark Ferguson that Labour will have a hard time getting heard in the media – I said the same a while back.

Ed Miliband’s own strategy is to concentrate on rebuilding the party and developing an over-arching narrative around stagnating growth. He also dislikes publicity stunts (hugging hoodies, huskies etc), so inevitably his media profile will be low.

But this means the Labour shadow-bench to step up and try their best to get the party heard.

Rather than waiting around for a call from BBC or Sky, they should look to be creating news (where Tom Watson is way ahead) and finding ways to trip up the Tories. Labour need to remember they are the official party of opposition, not the Libdems.

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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


1. Matthew Evans

Every few weeks I need to check to make sure that John Healey is still alive. At least I think that’s his name. As I remember he was put in charge of Labour’s policy on health. But he seems to be pursuing the Huhne family line that if you don’t comment you can’t get into trouble.

John Healey polled well among MPs, but was perhaps the lowest profile entrant to the shadow cabinet, so it’s anyone’s guess why he was given Health. As for Burnham, the less anyone sees of that perennial car crash the better.

Meanwhile, geniuses like Peter Watt think Labour should just accept the cuts and get on with the 2015 election, to hell with everyone who suffers from the cuts in the meantime – http://labour-uncut.co.uk/2011/05/19/labour-must-stop-fighting-the-cuts/

If you want to know why Labour’s top tier isn’t making much noise about the cuts, I’d suggest one reason is that half of them aren’t all that opposed to the cuts in the first place.

3. Yorkshire Terrorist

In a lot of cases, the problem is the level of support that the shad cab and shad ministers have.

A lot of the short money has been channelled to Ed Miliband’s office, but that acts as more of clearing house for ideas for ideas from other frontbenchers, and a war room for preparing for PMQs than it does as a policy or campaign-generating machine. Same goes for the research team at HQ.

Lots of shadow ministers – particularly those who were ministers before the election – channelled all of their allowance into constituency staff and so are now effectively fending for themselves in terms of proactive media generation.

Add to this that the 2010-intake frontbenchers were promoted before they even knew how to be MPs, and it’s not hard to see why things are a bit sluggish.

I have to say though, even though when some real and illuminating research is put together (assuming you can guide it through the layers of clearing) the mainstream media still usually aren’t interested.

Michael Gove’s free-schools “revolution” is crashing and burning…

That’s right Sunny, keep your eyes focused on the free schools – they’re the really important revolutionary part of Gove’s education policy and all the attention should be concentrated on them.

A third of English secondaries are now academies or becoming academies. Two schools a day are applying to convert

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/may/23/education-academies-gove-private-schools

Britons are over-whelmingly against the £9,000 tuition fees. But have you seen Andy Burnham on television leading the charge? Don’t bother answering. I could say similar things about other areas too.

Incidentally, don’t blame Burnham for this. University policy comes under the remit of the Dept for Business. Who is the shadow business secretary? John Denham? Did anyone actually know without looking it up?

6. Alisdair Cameron

Glad you’re finally getting what some of us have been banging on about for ages, Sunny. Current (I’ll call it that until it settles upon which colour it is) Labour is low-profile,bordering on no-profile on the major domestic issues of the day like health.
Some (myself included) ascribe this to a lingering discomfort that in Lansley’s plans are things that many still within the parliamentary party, and lingering in Blairite/neo-liberal think tanks would endorse.
In other words, their Tory-lite leanings make it impossible for them to effectively oppose measures for which they went some way towards preparing the ground.

@3. I cannot believe more than tuppence-hapenny of Short money is put into preparing Ed Miliband’s wooden performances at PMQs.

The Labour Party front bench should be making the lives of the Tories an absolute misery, but all of them seem strangely subdued.

I don’t know whether they’re sulking because their choice for leader lost the leadership election or they just haven’t got the stomach for the fight. But the government is being let off the hook.

I think I said on this site last year that Labour must be seen to be a government in waiting. It isn’t. Ed’s “blank sheet” has been a liability. It could have been an advantage because Ed could have said “right at the top of our blank sheet are these values; all our policies will be underpinned by these values” and then stated a commitment to the poor, the vulnerable, the sick and to public services.

I have also said – persistently for the last two years – that the NHS would be the key battle ground and this message did not, and still is not, getting across.

Let’s be frank, Labour cannot win the next election on its core vote. It cannot even rely on disaffected LibDems to give them a majority (because of the boundary changes). Labour has to get some Tories. Getting Worcester woman to vote Labour is difficult in the best of times and shifting to the Right is not correct thing to do. However, pointing out to Worcester woman that Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust is on the list of 22 hospital trusts that are not likely to achieve FT status by April 2014 and hence will cease to exist, will make her rethink about voting Tory (and someone not voting Tory is almost as good as someone voting *for* Labour.).

(Reported a month ago by HSJ, the Dept of Health is currently consulting management consultants about what to do with 22 hospital trusts who will not make FT status. A “Hinchingbrooke” solution is likely for most of them, but closure may be the “solution” for one or more of the trusts in London.)

Labour needs to get the NHS campaign going now.

I am frankly amazed that Labour did not campaign on the NHS at the local elections. The Bill says that local councillors will be on the Health and Wellbeing Boards (the *only* bit of public accountability the Bill has allowed us). The Bill also transfers public health (3% of NHS spending) to local authorities. The Lib Dems, of course, want councillors on GP consortia boards. Thus the people you were electing two weeks ago were not just being elected to make sure the bins are collected regularly, but potentially could be making healthcare rationing decisions in a few years time. So why didn’t Labour campaign that it would be better to have a Labour councillor doing that rather than a Tory or LibDem?

Incompetent.

@9 Richard Blogger

“Incompetent”

Sadly it increasingly looks that way.

@4. Tim J

“A third of English secondaries are now academies or becoming academies. Two schools a day are applying to convert

You are right to focus on academies. Although, according to Chris Cook at the FT, the education policy that is being developed (for example, on admissions) is adapted from the previous government’s and this assumes almost all schools are LEA controlled. Since we are moving to a situation where no school will be LEA controlled Cook reckons that there is a car crash waiting to happen as education policy will not fit the situation on the ground.

Also, we still have the BSF fiasco bubbling away. A lot of schools need rebuilding and the promise of BSF money meant that some repairs were not done (some are un-repairable because of asbestos). Gove is doing fuckall about these schools. They *will* be big political issues in a couple of years time when roofs fall in.

Half-asleep is a compliment, they’ve spent the last year virtually comatose. When John Smith was making Major’s life a misery over Europe Major asked Smith why he was opposing policies he actually agreed with and Smith simply told him he was leader of the opposition and it was his job to oppose. Labour should be doing any and everything they can to weaken and discredit this government, they should be on to the television stations, radio, newspapers and the internet every time a Tory flaps his wobbling chops and if the media are reluctant to carry criticism a reminder that no government lasts forever and that a future Labour government might finally do something about Britain’s rancid media might not go amiss.

Its not like its difficult, Cameron packed his cabinet with half-wits and has beens to ensure no Gordon Brown type challenger fermented dissent. Their policies are the same clapped out rubbish that has driven this country to ruin. Cameron’s chief weakness is his vanity, when attacked he rapidly becomes the epitome of the sneering contemptuous toff and his artificially neutral accent slips towards Prince Charles territory. All easy targets if the shadow cabinet could actually be bothered to get off its arse. All I can assume is Labour was neutered by living the high-life when in government and just wants to wait for buggins turn and the good days to come round again. Time for the tired rump of New Labour to be told to fit in or fuck off.

The most dangerous thing Labour could do is ensure Citizen Newt becomes Mayor of London once again which will see Boris rapidly installed in the Commons and plotting Cameron’s removal.

‘To be clear, I agree with Mark Ferguson that Labour will have a hard time getting heard in the media ‘

Honestly, the TV is not magic. Neither are shadow cabinet members. Them appearing on It doesn’t signify.

It’s not just that though. It’s also the case that it might be more effective to have these criticisms come from people who can’t be dismissed as merely politically motivated deficit deniers with no plans of their own – and that these people who are doing a good job might give it up if Labour butts in. Or spend more time pointing out how many Tory policies are continuations of those of the previous government.

And really, are we looking for changes, or for credit? If the NHS plans are actually changed for the better because Clegg actually does oppose them, and not just for the cameras, then that is a good thing, coming in part from increased Labour visibility in the previous months. If you have Labour people on the telly banging on about how they are the only ones who can save the NHS, you’re going to risk increasing the probability that any changes end up only being cosmetic (assuming you don’t already think that any changes will only be cosmetic, natch).

Additionally, there’s a long way to go in this parliament. Haven’t you ever read the story of the Boy Who Cried ‘This is the end of the NHS’? Also bearing in mind that one of the many, many problems with Labour’s reputation as it stands is being known for headline chasing.

I understand the worries, but really.

Incidentally, does ‘They need to recognise they are the official party of opposition, not the Libdems.’ mean that Labour needs to remember that it’s the opposition, or that Labour needs to stop acting like Lib Dems?

Why attacking the free schools and academies policy?

That just shows that the Labour activists are not worried about those who receive the education but more interested in protecting the providers of services ie teaching unions.

Academies have improved academic performance and that is the verdict of the Public Accounts Committee and this was one of the most successful Labour policy.

Labour cannot win or make any headway unless they get rid of the leadership who are more suited for running coups rather than running and winning election campaigns.

There is a deficit in putting forward intellectual arguments which would be hard to come from the contradictory message HQ in Labour. So get rid of the leader and bring in some momentum.

But that’s not going to happen – Labour party loves losers but hates winners like Blair.

> Labour cannot win or make any headway unless they get rid of the leadership who are more suited for running coups rather than running and winning election campaigns.

Wouldn’t that be, er, a coup?

Anyway, who’d replace them? The problem isn’t just the leadership, it’s most of the parliamentary party. Ed M actually has an advantage over almost any rival you care to name, in that he is less tainted by association with the policies Cameron is building on, and can oppose him without looking like an utter hypocrite – if he would only bother.

Labour party loves losers but hates winners like Blair.

you’re fighting yesterday’s war Shamit. The world has moved on – get used to it.

CS Clark – in answer to your final question – the former.

Shamit is entirely right – the free schools is just an extension of the Labour Academies policy. Which, as John Rentoul recently pointed out, has now been in place long enough for a full academic study to show conclusively that it has raised standards in individual pupils (rather than, as critics claim, just attracting all the clever kids, thus raising overall achievement). So, while we can happily criticise Tory reforms in most areas, we need to be very careful about education.

@Chaminda: really, I’m quite upset: in between your ad hominem attacks on various party figures, you gave Peter Watt’s article a free plug and not mine. There is a detailed breakdown of the arguments, and evidence, against our current cuts positioning here.

No I am not fighting yesterday’s wars.

The voters in England – local elections and Scottish Elections said so much.

So did the voters on AV.

This man can’t persuade his own party and he expects to persuade the country. People do not trust Ed Miliband and they do not trust Ed Balls and if you think that is yesterday’s war – I think you are mistaken.

And there is intellectual deficit in the labour shadow cabinet – and Ed Miliband is as hypocrite as the next Labour politician – Iraq war.

So please. And if you think the Labour party overall is happy with the leadership of Ed miliband – I think you are mistaken.

At a time of huge financial cuts and spending cuts – Tories have increased vote share in local government elections while being in government – increased oveall seats in England.

In Wales, now they are claiming 25% of the vote and in Scotland they lost 2% of their vote share.

This is in a midterm – and if that was not failure on part of the Labour party especially after Miliband and Balls took over the Scottish elections. What is failure then?

Both Eds have to go and they will go – but the question is whether they would leave after a huge election defeat or before so the party has a fighting chance. That is the question.

What does Labour stand for now on public policy – can any one of the shadow cabinet members give a comprehensive response – based on recent performances NO.

Hi Rob,

“@Chaminda: really, I’m quite upset: in between your ad hominem attacks on various party figures, you gave Peter Watt’s article a free plug and not mine. There is a detailed breakdown of the arguments, and evidence, against our current cuts positioning here.”

Lengthy response to your arguments at http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/05/31/the-case-for-raising-taxes/

Would be interested in your views :)

20. Greenleftie

I think that the main problem, as mentioned earlier, is that a lot of the policies are an extension of the Blairite agenda. NHS is a good example.

EdM needs to make a clean break with the past, his Clause IV moment, and admit the amount of Private encroachment was and is wrong & come up with a different approach. The much vaunted co-operativisation/mutlialisation brought forward by various centre left groups.

I also think we should develop closer links to the greens, (by doing so we would also re-engage the left of the Lib Dems) & create a proper ‘clean technology’ industrial base, and a great exporter.

21. Watchman

Simple answer to Sunny’s question is that the shadow cabinet are not half asleep (in the main – some members might be) but that they are not engaging with narratives that carry any weight with media or people.

And calls for them to engage in hyperbole such as ‘saving the NHS’ (not actually threatened – unless the government has decided to introduce compulsory insurance without me noticing) will not help. That is reactive, which concedes the narrative to the opposition. And giving the narrative to Messrs Cameron and Osborne is politically stupid – they are good at guessing how Labour will react.

At the moment Labour are in the echo chamber – listening to what their supporters say, what they have always done, what they think will appease their own party – and those outside have no reason to support them. If Mr Milliband is really basing a strategy on stagnating growth (now there’s a gamble) is that really going to work – historically, Conservatives do well in economic bad times remember.

22. Matthew Evans

Ed Miliband is not the problem. He’s doing quite a good job. Made harder by sniping from bad losers. It is the big departmental people who are failing.

Matthew @22:

You and I must be living in different political worlds.

– 1) The Scottish Campaign fiasco.

– 2) Failure to hurt the Tories in the English local elections

– 3) The Mandela – Martin Luther King Speech while next day saying he would cut 3 out of four quid the Tories are cutting

– 4) Being seen as someone who is keen to protect not the public services but providers and reinforcing the view he is a union stooge – although he is not.

5) Is seen as anti-inspiration and too busy focuing on preaching to the choir

6) Weak Weak Weak Leader.and 47% of people in the country thinks he is not fit to be Labour Leader let alone Prime Minister.

He is doing swell – and after 2015 we will all sit around and say that damned electorate. “At least we did not compromise woth the electorate and Neil got his party back” – so who cares if he collects three pensions from the public purse and one from the completely unaccountable European Commission.

***************************

And contrary to popular belief on this site the wider electorate thinks Ed Miliband comes with a lot more baggage – baggage of being a Brownite and using dark arts – baggage of back stabbing his brother – baggage of equating himself to Mandela and Martin Luther King – baggage of failure to win two out of three constituency groups in the Labour party.

And still he is doing a good job. If this is what activists think no wonder Labour is losing.

Apparently he speaks human – may be for the choir but to the wider electorate he speaks a language that very few comprehend. In fact to many he goes back to the ideals of class war –

So sue he is doing a great job of persuading voters with an intellectual argument and vision on why they should vote Labour like he did in AV.

Cameron came in and won the AV for his party – Nick Clegg lost but took his party with him – but poor Ed could not persuade his own party. And you think the country would elect him as PM?

Michael Portillo reminded us on ‘This Week’ recently that being Leader of the Opposition is the hardest job in British politics. It’s even harder when (a) you’re a Labour Leader of the Opposition and have most of the media against you, and (b) your party has only recently ended a long period in office and the public may not yet be ready to listen to it again.

Cameron was rubbish as Leader of the Opposition. For years, he had only two policies – to legalise foxhunting and to cut Inheritance Tax, mainly to the benefit of millionaires. He flip-flopped on policies, with talk of sharing the proceeds of growth and then sticking to Labour’s spending plans, and he only got lucky because of the global credit crunch and Brown’s lack of charisma. Even then he needed Clegg to push him through the door of Number 10.

Don’t write off Ed Miliband, he’s an intelligent man, and he’s the nicest of the three main party leaders (which may not be saying much!). It looks as if he’s playing the long game and expects this awful coalition to last until 2015. He may even feel that the voters will have to really suffer before they’re ready to listen to Labour again; the Tory cuts have hardly started to bite, as Sue Marsh reminds us in an article posted on ‘Labour List':-
http://cuttingedgeuk.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=uk&action=display&thread=226

Despite all the spin in the Tory media, the election results south of the border were good for Labour on 5 May. Labour gained 800 council seats – 300 of them from the Tories – and they have had sound parliamentary by-election results and an astonishing recovery in the opinion polls in the last year. The only reason the Tories gained some council seats was because of the collapse of Lib Dem support.

Yes, Ed has to be ready for the possibility that the Lib Dems will do the right thing for a change, prevent the fragmentation of the NHS, and then pull out of this nightmare of a government. However, without wishing to sound complacent, he might not have to do anything other than be there when the voters wake up and see what a very nasty, callous bunch of arrogant toffs are ruling them. As Sue Marsh says: “When unemployment soars, growth falters, poverty increases, the middle classes feel the squeeze, hospitals start to close, disabled people start chaining themselves to railings, homelessness shoots up, schools fail, crime doubles and our military staff find themselves joining police officers, fire-fighters, nurses, doctors and paramedics in the dole queues, exactly who will be inclined to vote Conservative?”

Shamit you’re getting very boring and repetitive, and now just trolling this site.

1) In Scottish elections, Ed M mattered less than the local leaders in Scotland. And Labour failed to pick someone who connected with Scotland’s concerns.

2) in Local elections, Labour won 400 seats from Tories, and 400 from Libdems. How you see that as “not laying a scratch on Tories” is incomprehensible.

The rest of the points are just bollocks.

Rob: Shamit is entirely right – the free schools is just an extension of the Labour Academies policy.

It doesn’t necessarily mean that’s ok. A policy to remove all government regulation is simply an extension of removing a bit of legislation that hinders businesses. Doesn’t make it any better does it?

That aside, the free schools policy is still a farce and failing badly, as pointed out in the article.

Well said Sunny. The shadow cabinet seem to be half asleep on just about everything. They could be crucifying the Tories over the NHS. Where are they?

Here’s a golden opportunity for Labour to show its changed and give Cameron a hard kicking http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/may/31/consequences-benefit-changes-mental-health If a foreign government was subjecting British citizens to such inhumane treatment that they would rather die then I suspect Cameron and the Mail might have something to say about it. All Miliband has to say is the last government’s policies are now having unforeseen consequences and that the process should be halted and a new process based on helping the disabled into work created before more die. I’m not holding my breath, Miliband was recently seen praising ATOS.

Any passing Tory troll or astroturfer attempting to defend ATOS should clearly say at the start of their post exactly how many dead they think is a price worth paying.

Incidentally, the two sites most critical of ATOS came under sustained cyber attack at the weekend

As a non-Labour supporter with no strong views either way on Ed Miliband, watching the wild thrashings of the Blairite rump reminds me a lot of the Thatcherite Tories post-1990. They could never accept that they’d lost; they could never accept that they didn’t have a god-given right to run their party and run the country; they could never accept that their Chosen One had grown unpopular with the electorate (both Thatcher and Blair had belly-low poll ratings when they left office, which is precisely *why* they were effectively forced out by their own parties).

Both Blair and Thatcher left office before imminent electoral defeat could prove to their supporters that the game was up. As a result, their supporters convinced themselves that *if only* their hero had been allowed to get on with the job, they’d never have lost power (even though Thatcher’s successor unexpectedly held onto power at the next election). They never accepted that they’d got it wrong, they convinced themselves that they were victims of some great historical backstabbing (witness the nonsense about the Miliband ‘fractricide’), and they give themselves the moral right to wage war on the party’s new leader.

The Thatcherites did this to the Tories throughout the 90s, and left the party with William Hague, Anne Widdecombe, Save the Pound and electoral oblivion in 2001. And then followed it up with IDS. Now the Blairites are at it. Witness the nonsense from Shamit on this thread (I’ll give Rob Marchant the credit of at least not drowning in hysterics). Witness the constant ranting from the Labour ‘loyalists’ at Harry’s Place. Witness the never-ending stream of off-the-record anti-Ed briefings in the Times, no doubt coming from David Miliband and his Praetorian Guard of embittered devotees. I get the distinct impression, from the outside looking in, that many Blairites would rather see Labour out of power with a Blairite leader than in power with Ed Miliband; that they’d rather Labour lost the next election than see Ed Miliband win and prove them wrong.

Labour are ahead in the polls a year after an electoral thumping. That’s a strange kind of crisis. The reality is that Labour is not in crisis – but in many ways this country is. So can all you moaning Blairites stop banging on about a non-existent crisis in your effing party and help the rest of us fight this government’s policies and fight this crisis.

Or failing that, kindly sod off.

“Labour are ahead in the polls a year after an electoral thumping. That’s a strange kind of crisis. The reality is that Labour is not in crisis – but in many ways this country is.”

Chaminda. I agree with you on that point, but unless you have any evidence that David Miliband is briefing against his brother, I suggest that you pipe down and stick to fighting this government’s policies, as you advocate.

On another point, when Tony Blair left office in 2007, he wasn’t “facing imminent electoral defeat”, as we were only two years into a parliament.

31. blackwillow1

I’m a Labour man to the core, not new labour, not communist. I am a socialist, I believe it is our duty as human beings to offer food to the hungry, shelter to the homeless, comfort and protection to the persecuted and help and guidance to the lost. Religious or atheist, left, right or centre, nobody can offer a sound argument against those beliefs. If Ed Miliband can get his head around that fact, then we will see a truly socialist Labour party, unfortunately, he seems too concerned with not offending anyone too much, painting himself as ‘Mr Reasonable’ and holding back, when he should be beating the living s..t out of the coalition. I would never say kick a man when he’s down, but that bunch of lying cretins, blue and yellow alike, are not down and hurt rather, a dangerous maniac, rampaging through the land. If you face such a creature, with no option but to fight or die, you fight, fight hard, put him down and make him stay down. Life is not like a box of chocolates under the coalition, you can see exactly what you’re gonna get. SHAFTED! Grow a pair Ed, get stuck in, show them just how angry we,the people really are. NOW! 2015 is too late for all those who will suffer under the right wing cosh, now and in the future. General Election 2012 would be a good target to set for you and your party, if you have the balls for a fight. If not, step aside, let a fighter take on the challenge.

Nuts, it’s obvious that Labour don’t want to scare the horses while they’re up in the polls. Why would they?

Labour’s position is fragile and getting a bunch of protest voters to agree on a policy position is impossible, but without any intellectual critique or an alternative suggestions (let alone any solutions) who are they going to please?

The best thing Labour can do is put their heads down and act like tories, waiting for the inevitable government balls-up to explode. Labour know they are to blame for the financial mess in the eyes of the majority of punters, so going on about it will only hurt them more and deepen the top level divisions in the party.

Wonderful situation this, basing their hopes of success on hope for a full-blown crisis!

Chaminda/Sunny.

Nonsense and trolling – nice adjectives but neither are true.

In a mid term local election when the government is taking very unpopular and wrong decisions (as both of you have implied) and when Ed Miliband and his comms team have told the country its a tory led government with tory policies – the Tory party not only held on to the number of seats and councils but increased them.

In terms of vote share, the Tories were pretty much neck and neck with Labour – that might seem a win to Ed Miliband and his die hard supporters but it is not a win. Same with Wales and Scotland.

The only poll that counts is that conducted at the ballot box and I am sorry your man came up short and saying that is neither nonsense nor trolling.

And now I would explain why I think the Shadow Cabinet are being failed by the Leader and his Comms team.

@sunny
“I would explain why I think the Shadow Cabinet are being failed by the Leader and his Comms team”

Yet you also say the shadow cabinet are half asleep.

Who is failing who?

Excellent post. One could also add Ed Balls’ (unsurprising) timidity at the time of the publication of the interim report of the Independent Commission on Banking. His reaction was more in line what his (and Gordon Brown’s) promotion of deregulation, than with the country’s need to see its banking sector regulated in a credible and effective way (and thus also put a wedge between the Tories and the reform-minded LibDem Cabinet members.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Is the Labour shadow cabinet half-asleep? http://bit.ly/j2UlCp

  2. sunny hundal

    Is the Labour shadow cabinet half-asleep? http://bit.ly/j2UlCp << by me

  3. Chris Paul

    Is that like half awake? Then no RT @sunny_hundal Is the Labour shadow cabinet half-asleep? http://bit.ly/j2UlCp << by me

  4. sheila mary roberts

    Is the Labour shadow cabinet half-asleep? http://bit.ly/j2UlCp << by me

  5. HullRePublic

    RT @libcon: Is the Labour shadow cabinet half-asleep? http://t.co/Gi8QHlm

  6. The Grim Reaper

    "@sunny_hundal: Is the Labour shadow cabinet half-asleep? http://bit.ly/j2UlCp <- They may as well be dead for all the good they are.

  7. Hali

    Is the Labour shadow cabinet half-asleep? http://bit.ly/j2UlCp << by me

  8. fauxpaschick

    "@sunny_hundal: Is the Labour shadow cabinet half-asleep? http://t.co/sBQcmfg << by me" Great piece! Totally agree. WAKE UP LABOUR

  9. Gurtej sandhu

    Is the Labour shadow cabinet half-asleep? http://bit.ly/j2UlCp << by me

  10. Mabel Horrocks

    Is the Labour shadow cabinet half-asleep? | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/j4uLSVV via @libcon

  11. Jas

    “@paulstpancras: RT @sunny_hundal Is the Labour shadow cabinet half-asleep? http://t.co/9ZXkkob << by me < um, catatonic?” <<SECONDED!!

  12. Emily Davis

    Is the Labour shadow cabinet half-asleep? http://bit.ly/j2UlCp << by me

  13. sunny hundal

    Is the Labour shadow cabinet half-asleep? http://bit.ly/j2UlCp (my post from earlier; even @Tony_McNulty agrees)

  14. Sienna Marla R

    Rn the govt is being its own opposition (successfully) > RT @sunny_hundal Is the Labour shadow cabinet half-asleep? http://bit.ly/j2UlCp

  15. Tom Adams

    Agree totally with this, the Tories are getting a free ride. RT @sunny_hundal Is the Labour shadow cabinet half-asleep? http://bit.ly/j2UlCp

  16. Sam Liu

    Is the Labour shadow cabinet half-asleep, asks @sunny_hundal: http://bit.ly/lRsclC

  17. NHS reforms live blog | Rubytall News

    […] on Liberal Conspiracy Sunny Hundal has another pop at the shadow health minister John Healey for not doing more on the […]

  18. Daniel Pitt

    Is the Labour shadow cabinet half-asleep? http://bit.ly/j2UlCp

  19. NHS reforms live blog - they're listening, what do you want to say?

    […] on Liberal Conspiracy Sunny Hundal has another pop at the shadow health minister John Healey for not doing more on the […]

  20. ‘Shameful’ anti-reform Lib Dem peers, the slowest recovery for 180 years, and is the Labour shadow cabinet half asleep?: round up of political blogs for 28 May – 3 June | British Politics and Policy at LSE

    […] Hundal at Liberal Conspiracy wonders if the Labour shadow cabinet is half asleep, and argues that they are missing many an opportunity to take the fight to the coalition. This is […]





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