Labour’s wonks are becoming part of the problem


8:23 am - January 23rd 2012

by Sunny Hundal    


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It’s a relatively easy argument to make that when Ed Balls was loudly opposing the cuts, Labour’s positioning in the polls was higher. Since his speech to the Fabians laying out the more complicated position – the fall has been relentless.

But I fear the problem is broader than that: Labour just doesn’t have a coherent message. The more incoherent the party gets the more voters get turned off by it.

The party seems to be full of people who want to carve out narrow positions that appeal to newspaper commentators while ignoring the bigger picture.

I said over a week ago that it’s simply absurd to think a narrow Labour discussion on deficit spending will increase Labour’s standing on the economy. Most people just don’t pay attention to policy detail.

Yesterday YouGov revealed its polling on the cuts:

Turning to Labour’s policies, YouGov asked how well people think they understand the Labour party’s position on the cuts. 37% say they understand it, very (4%) or fairly well (37%). 54% say they don’t understand it well or don’t understand it at all.

Just 4% of people understand the position well. No wonder a huge percentage don’t trust them on the economy – they don’t actually know what the party stands for. Thanks Ed Balls!

The messaging is further confused by the view that a ‘strong’ stance on welfare cuts or against the unions will solve things.

It won’t, and there’s a simple reason why: the public are extremely cynical and generally uninterested in Westminster reporting. A few newspaper reports over a couple of days on an issue (Liam Byrne on welfare, Ed Balls fighting the unions) – makes very little difference. Besides, people soon forget it.

The public won’t easily believe Ed Balls is defining himself against the unions unless he fights them viciously for a month. The public will be unconvinced on welfare until Liam Byrne does something drastic like whip a welfare scrounger live on TV (I wouldn’t put this past him).

The point is – Labour simply cannot deal with certain perceptions through a few stunts. Either do it with a big bang (Tony Blair/Clause 4) or simply don’t bother confusing your message.

The wonks and their obsession with nuance have become part of the problem.

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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


Is this an attack on the other Ed? He is well known as a wonk after all.

2. orangebooker

Except your ‘easy’ argument is nonsensical. Labour’s poll ratings started to go downhill in December around a month before Balls’ speech

The last thirty years should be a clear indication to any voter of the folly of listening to politicians of any political persuasion.
Firstly, they are liars.
Secondly, they are almost without exception worthless self serving parasites.
Wonk or otherwise – nobody is listening .

Alternatively Labour could present the electorate with something different rather than ‘the same as the coalition, but a bit slower’.

5. Mr Eugenides

A shame then, Sunny, that you agitated so noisily for the election as leader of the biggest wonk of them all…

“Wonk or otherwise – nobody is listening”

Exactly. It’s absolutely pointless outlining any policy position at all. All labour needs to do is shut up, then 3 weeks before the election say “we’ll cut taxes on booze, our leader likes football, and we’ll reinstate christmas (because you all think its banned)”.

Thats a strategy for a landslide!!!

The Conservatives and parts of the media pay close attention to Labour policy details even if the Labour membership isn’t up to it and want to hear simple and attractive slogans. The fact is that Britain’s economic issues are complex and what is happening in the Eurozone compounds the problems because 40 pc of Britain’s exports go there. A good issue for Labour to pick up is this report by Centre for Cities in today’s news:

The gap between the relative economic performances of towns and cities across the UK is widening, a report has said.

The difference between the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in Hull and in Cambridge has nearly doubled since the start of 2008.

Six times as many are claiming in some parts of Rochdale as in Cambridge.

Research group Centre for Cities said the private sector’s struggle to create enough jobs to aid growth was “playing out very differently across UK cities”.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16672239

In the knowledge economy where the numbers of unskilled manual jobs is virtually static, differences in the education and skills of the workforce in urban labour markets have come to matter more and more in expanding employment opportunities. Job prospects are aren’t going to flourish in Local Education Authorities (LEA) which stay consistently at or near the bottom of the LEA league table because lower cost educated and skilled labour at prevailing exchange rates is available through outsourcing or by employing incoming young EU migrants from east European countries.

That may not be a palatable message in that bunch of LEAs with poor education attainment in the north of England but it’s the truth.

I understand the problem that Labour are in. We are not even half way through this parliament and the economic situation domestically and globally is changing all the time. It is not possible to say “in 2015 our policy will be…”.

Of course, Nick Clegg has compounded this problem by insisting on fixed term parliaments. A hung parliament should be unstable which means that the opposition must keep their policies up to date just in case there is a sudden election. We know that the Coalition will survive until 2015 so that means Labour will release policies, say, during the year before then. So we have effectively 2 and a half years before we will see any detailed policies. We are now on a relentless production line, with everything delivered to a schedule with the major milestone that is May 2015.

There is no point in Labour delivering policies now. What we need is for the next 2.5 years is for Labour to say what its values are. I know what the values should be, (“protect the vulnerable”, “better public services for all”) the problem is that much of what I hear at the moment is not the values I think Labour should have. With the Welfare Bill we hear that Labour’s point of view is “stop scroungers”, when it should be to amend the Bill to make sure that the vulnerable are not treated badly. With the cuts we hear that it is to accept everything that the government will throw at us. Labour should stick to the big picture: tell us your values and argue against (or even for!) a government policy based on those values.

9. Leon Wolfeson

@8 – Sure, you can whitter away.

But that’s not opposition. It’s not pointing out alternate ways to do things. It’s not making the Tories work. It’s not trying to break apart the coalition.

It’s not the ACTION Labour are apparently unable to take.

Their fall is a direct result of their surrender.

The unfortunate truth is that on the big issue of the day – the deficit and its reduction through spending cuts, growth and tax rises – a position has to be nuanced if it’s going to be credible.

“If we simply stop spending money we don’t have, growth will take care of itself and a 9%-of-GDP deficit will disappear in a few short years”

– not credible. Hence the Tories find themselves having to concede the necessity of raising taxes and spending borrowed money on infrastructure projects, apprenticeship schemes, etc., and having to spell out that the success of their plans depends on the state of the global economy, etc.

“Even if the economy has barely grown for eight years by the time of the next election, we can simply reverse £80bn+ of spending cuts upon taking office. Even if that pushes the deficit back up to £150bn or more, we can close it before our debts get out of hand simply by taxing the rich and investing in jobs and growth (regardless of what’s happening in the global economy, what interest rates are at that time, and how much the costs of pensions and debt interest payments have risen)” – not credible. Hence Labour find themselves having to concede that, especially if the economy continues to stagnate, many of the Tories’ spending cuts will be irreversible (in the short to medium term, at least).

It follows from this that a position has to be nuanced if it’s going to be honest. A political party that grasped the reality of the economic situation could only make one of those incredible, nuance-free claims if they were prepared both to lie, and to rely on the electorate to be sufficiently ignorant and/or sufficiently inclined to wishful thinking not to see through it.

All this is another illustration of why communication and ‘spin’ matter. It’s not easy to boil down complex issues into a clear narrative, but sometimes it needs doing.

“The difference between the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in Hull and in Cambridge has nearly doubled since the start of 2008″

Hull and Cambridge – well that’s comparing like with like!!!

@10 – I agree. Labour does need a detailed alternative of what it would do now were it in power. this won’t not necessarily win it votes, and will probably be just of interest to the few, but it will help to change the terms of debate inside the corridors of power – it will enable organisations to challenge decisions and help local campaigns. You can revise the plan every 6 months or so based on circumstance.

12. Chaise Guevara

@ 6 Planeshift

““we’ll cut taxes on booze, our leader likes football, and we’ll reinstate christmas”

That’s basically the UKIP manifesto, isn’t it?

13. Leon Wolfeson

@12 – Easy to spot the Ned’s, yes.

(Yes, I AM poking the Bobbit)

@10 – Sure, you defend a refusal to challenge. A refusal to come up with alternatives. Writing millions off. Typical right-wing shit. Labour and the Tories, in bed together.

The Labour Party are just sitting on the wall and appear to give this Coalition of Evil the nod every once in a while.

It is beginning to look like both Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband are wearing the Tory rosett.

I thought Labour were supposed to be agreeing with the cuts?

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics-news/2012/01/22/jim-murphy-blasts-david-cameron-over-ministry-of-defence-pay-offs-86908-23712592/

Shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy said: “David Cameron is culling the Army in their thousands while spending millions on civil service pay-offs.

“He needs to get his priorities straight. People worried about the impact of the cuts on families and the front line will be angry at this news.”

“hat’s basically the UKIP manifesto, isn’t it?”

I thought Farage hated football ;-)

No shit sherlock!

The party might also like to reflect on the recent YouGov poll in Scotland:

http://www.newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-politics/4164-anti-independence-party-leaders-face-catastrophic-poll-ratings

Looks like come the next GE, you might not be getting quite as many of those Scots Labour MP’s huh?

18. Frances_coppola

Maybe I’m dim, but it seems to me that you can’t win an election by saying what you don’t stand for. You have to say what you DO stand for. Why is Labour trying to do Tory-lite deficit reduction strategy? Why isn’t it publicly committing to full employment policies?

@18 Frances

How about because promising full employment will be seen for what it is: an undeliverable promise taking you back to the days of Michael Foot’s longest suicide note in history?

You don’t have to promise things that simply aren’t credible… you have promise things that demonstrate clear water between you and the Coalition, and convince the electorate that you will implement them when elected, and not revert to the New Labour nightmare. Thus far we aren’t convinced!

The SNP haven’t trounced Labour in Scotland recently because everyone who votes for them wants independence, it’s because they have policies that are attractive to voters, which have been delivered upon, and because they have a charismatic and effective leader and a stonking party machine to get the vote out. Shame the same couldn’t be said of Labour either in Scotland or the UK as a whole!

Leon, as I have patiently explained to you more than once, I have never defended a refusal to challenge or to come up with alternatives. It’s imperative that we challenge and come up with alternatives, *precisely because* if we don’t, much of the damage the Tories are doing will end up being irreversible in the short to medium term.

You talk about the need for an alternative, the evils of ‘writing millions off’ etc., yet you won’t acknowledge how high the stakes actually are. You won’t acknowledge the possibility that eight years of recession, stagnation, underinvestment and social collapse could put any kind of dent in the next government’s ability to increase spending by £80bn a year.

I wish you’d flesh out your own view a little. As far as I know, you still haven’t suggested the sort of alternative you think people like me should be considering. What would your ‘new party of the Left’ be proposing to do in its 2015 manifesto that would let it boost spending by £80bn+ a year, regardless of the cost of borrowing, the state of the global economy etc.?

As for the doublethink involved in dismissing Labour as a party of ‘right-wing shit’ while calling for a left-wing moral crusade to restore spending to Labour levels on all the things Labour either introduced (EMA, Sure Start, Tax Credits) or made it a priority to invest in (the NHS, education) – well, the mind continues to boggle. Has it occurred to you that every cut you oppose is a Labour spending commitment you endorse? That the £80bn we’re talking about is all money Labour chose to invest in public services, or redistribute to low-income families, where the Tories would have chosen to cut taxes for the rich?

Orangebooker – you’re wrong. The polls were remarkably consistent apart from a brief Cameron bounce over the EU Treaty. It clearly is the attempted nuancing of the economic message that has caused our nosedive.

But I would question whether the infamous “Clause IV moment” achieved anything either! Most people had never heard of clause IV before Blair started talking about it; fewer people knew what was in it or worried that a Labour government might nationalise Marks and Spencer. Blair was very good at creating a problem and then dealing with it as an apparent demonstration of his strength. But, like the recent Ed posturing, it was a message to politicos and a slap in the face to supporters rather than anything that resonated with the public more generally.

At its “best” it backed up a narrative that Labour had changed (in some way) – although the “New Labour New Danger” campaign might well have been successful had the Tories had any kind of support: after all the rewriting of Clause IV was (in and of itself) an illusory change indeed.

At its worst, it was just the leadership kicking party activists and “old-timers” many of whom had long since shed their “demonic” media personae to become broadly liked.

22. Leon Wolfeson

@18 – Right,

@20 – You can say that all you like. I’m not seeing you step out of the shadow of the official line when it comes to policies.

You are ignoring what I have said, and coming up with ridiculous nonsense. I’m not some maniac “cuts denier” or anything LIKE. You then try and paint Labour as left wing..you’re just convincing me you’re a hard right winger.

I’m a mutualist. Which includes gradualism.

@21 – You say nuance, the left see surrender.

“Most people just don’t pay attention to policy detail.”

This seems like a fault with our electorate, and with democracy in general – not with Labour, or any other party.

And this is what needs to be changed.

G.O.

“You can say that all you like. I’m not seeing you step out of the shadow of the official line when it comes to policies.”

OK then: I’d introduce a mansion tax and/or a Land Value Tax. I’d abolish higher rate pensions tax relief. I’d increase the top rate of tax to 45p instead of abolishing Child Benefit for higher earners. I’d embark on a major house-building program. I’d mutualise the railways on the model Owen Jones suggests. Bla bla bla.

Hopefully that would do something to boost growth and raise tax revenues; maybe it would close the deficit by £15bn. Maybe you have some policies of your own in mind that would close it by another £15bn. Great. Let’s implement all of them. That *might* get rid of the deficit the next government inherits, depending on how large it is, but it’s still not going to let them reverse a single cut.

“I’m not some maniac “cuts denier” or anything LIKE.”

I know, and this is what I just don’t get; you can see the damage the cuts are doing, but you don’t seem to accept that the amount of money the next government is able to spend depends on how much the economy grows between now and 2015. At the minute it looks as if the sort of tax rises and pro-growth policies I’ve just been talking about might enable them to sustain 2015 levels of spending, but where are they going to find *another* £80bn a year to reverse all the cuts?

“You then try and paint Labour as left wing..you’re just convincing me you’re a hard right winger.”

Hang about… I’m defending the *exact same spending* on the *exact same things* as you, and this proves you’re a man of the left while I’m a “hard right winger”?

“I’d increase the top rate of tax to 45p ”

A cut from the current rate of 50p then ;-)

26. Leon Wolfeson

@24 – No, it does not. You’re accepting EVERY SINGLE CUT is irreversible. That nothing can be done for the people, they’re DEAD AND GONE. That only 2015 and beyond is worth discussing.

That’s not opposition. It’s pathetic.

You’re once more accusing me of wanting to reverse all tbe cuts. Tory. There’s no other possible explanation of your constant mania for trying to do so. Go back to ConHome.

(And no, I don’t care about your whining any more, you’re not reading a word I type)

OK then: I’d introduce a mansion tax and/or a Land Value Tax. I’d abolish higher rate pensions tax relief. I’d increase the top rate of tax to 45p…Hopefully that would do something to boost growth and raise tax revenues; maybe it would close the deficit by £15bn.

Expansionary fiscal contraction?

28. Cheesy Monkey

All that’s happened is that we’re back to the old Blairite strategy of focusing on floating voters to win elections. Give the floaters what they want and they might vote for you. Unfortunately, what the floaters want at the moment is:
• Fewer taxes, or at lest they should pay less in tax
• Unemployed people to be punished for being unemployed, because anyone worse off than them must be a thieving peasant, right?
• Less brown people out and about. It’s perfectly fine for such people to clean bogs for a derisory pittance, but they must be not seen and not heard
• Public littering and bad language to be seen as worse as inner-city knife crime, because it clearly is, OK?

Nothing will change unless the gerrymandered Blairite and Brownite MPs are kicked out of Labour. And this won’t happen. Maybe a concerted campaign to get all Unions to disaffiliate from Labour and thereby killing it stone dead? Won’t happen either. Everything is going to get a lot worse. Then a lot of people will starve to death. Because there’s no such thing as climate change, but overpopulation needs to be dealt with now according to our Right-wing overlords.

So I would like to say that we’re collectively fucked. But we’re not. We’re collectively dead.

@ Leon

Not ony am I reading every word you type, but I’m responding pretty much line by line. It’s perfectly possible, though, that I’m missing some nuance of your position, which is why I keep imploring you to flesh it out so that I can nail down any disagreement we actually have.

“You’re accepting EVERY SINGLE CUT is irreversible.”

No, I’m not. I’m acknowledging that many of them may well be, in the short to medium term.

“That nothing can be done for the people, they’re DEAD AND GONE”

Nope. I just listed various things I think can be done, and I’m sure there are others.

“That only 2015 and beyond is worth discussing.”

Nope. As I have now said more times than I can count, it’s well worth discussing what can be done *now* to stop things ever getting as bad as it looks like they might. But Ed Balls happened to be talking, the other day, about the situation post-2015, and that’s what I’ve been responding to.

“You’re once more accusing me of wanting to reverse all tbe cuts.”

I thought that was your position. Sorry if I’ve misunderstood, but I’ve asked you again and again to clarify your view and you just haven’t been willing to do so. You’ve just attacked a caricature of mine.

“Tory. There’s no other possible explanation of your constant mania for trying to do so. Go back to ConHome.”

I’ve tried to rise above the nasty, dismissive tone of your comments and talk to you respectfully as someone who’s broadly on the same side as me but with whom I have a disagreement. But alas, you appear to have developed some sort of personal hatred for me. I’m not a Tory. I’m a Labour voter on the centre left who has a genuine concern that if the Tories keep this up, it could take a generation to restore our public services. For that reason, it’s imperative that we pursue an alternative to their austerity agenda.

What’s ridiculous is that you probably think the same thing. Especially now you’ve spelled out that you accept some of the cuts may well be irreversible, I’m damned if I can work out what it is we actually disagree about.

In any case, I’d rather chalk this up to two well-meaning people unintentionally talking past each other and move on. Tomorrow we’ll be backing each other up on another thread.

So: handshake? Only please don’t call me a Tory again.

a position has to be nuanced if it’s going to be credible.

Credible with those? Westminster wonks? Great! that’ll win the election!

How credible was Tory immigration policy before the election? Have they managed it? Did it stop them from being 15-20pts ahead on the issue?

Why waste time energy and brain cells supporting such a party then? Neither people or the planet have the time for anyone to spend years realising that labour are almost as true blue as the real ones, and are only interested in votes, with a few very rare exceptions. Policies ? no, they are far to scary!

@30 Sunny

You didn’t take a beating at the election on that one issue; pandering to misinformation of the red-tops isn’t a substitute for principles, and much as New Labour would have us believe otherwise, it is possible to formulate policies which are principled and popular.

The relentless concentration on focus groups, chasing the floating voter and ending up to the right of the Tories on many areas of policy is what got you into the current mess. Sadly, it would seem that lessons haven’t been learned, which is of course just what many of us have been saying since the GE… New Labour isn’t dead, it has just been re-bottled.

Look at the situation in Scotland.. you now have a Labour party openly siding WITH the Tories on the referendum issue, and your poll ratings are dropping like a stone. At this rate, you’ll lose a bunch of Scottish seats, and have even less chance of winning in 2015. Great job!

@ Sunny

“Credible with those? Westminster wonks? Great! that’ll win the election!

How credible was Tory immigration policy before the election? Have they managed it? Did it stop them from being 15-20pts ahead on the issue?”

So what: economic credibility is not going to be an issue at the next election? We can just ape the Tories’ approach on immigration, tell the public what they want to hear, and wait for the polls showing a 20pt lead on the economy to roll in?

Don’t forget, the Tories had a loyal right-wing press eager to sell their ‘tough line on immigration’. Who’s going to sell a Labour policy of “we’ll reverse the cuts without additional borrowing and without putting up taxes for the squeezed middle”? Where are we going to find 50 economists to sign *that* letter of support to the Times?

Maybe I’m misunderstanding your position. Is the idea that Labour have simply jumped the gun – i.e. they’re going to have to adopt a credible position by the time of the next election (based on the reality of the situation at that time), but right now they should be pressing for an alternative to austerity? I have a lot of sympathy for that view, but if expressing a more nuanced view is going to be perceived by some as a U-turn (as it has been), isn’t there a case for getting it out of the way early? Could we really go into the next election with everyone trying to work out why we suddenly “supported” (= couldn’t pledge to reverse) cuts we’d spent five years opposing?

34. Gordon McMullan

I don’t see what’s so wrong with two simple messages, 1. George Osbourne got it wrong, we told him he was wrong, but he wouldn’t listen. 2. Wherever the country is after the next election labour will take decisions on different priorities to the tories, e.g. jobs that provide decent living standards, security for you and your family, a fair share of the wealth you help create, etc.

35. Leon Wolfeson

@29 – You’re emoting over my posts, not reading them.

I can keep saying “I’m a mutualist” to doomsday, and you still refuse to acknowledge it! Free-market anti-capitalism isn’t just a random slogan, it really does outline where I’d like things to go, long-term.

“I thought that was your position. Sorry if I’ve misunderstood”

Rubbish. I’ve never said ANYTHING of the sort. I’ve argued specifically in terms of revenue-negative changes ONLY against the HB cuts, and only because they refuse to use rent caps!

(Argued against plenty of changes which COST the country money, sure!)

Labour’s general pre-election outline looked harsh-but-realistic to me.

I gave no time for people who CLAIM to be of the left, but are accepting the Tory and now Labour line. The BEST you could be is centralist, and I don’t believe that any more. I’m a left winger, and have no time for Labour now – it’s time for the left to have a serious party again.

You didn’t take a beating at the election on that one issue; pandering to misinformation of the red-tops isn’t a substitute for principles,

Nice cliche but I have no idea how it relates to this debate. I’ve not advocated anywhere to junk principles.

G.O. think you’re misunderstanding my position:
I have a lot of sympathy for that view, but if expressing a more nuanced view is going to be perceived by some as a U-turn (as it has been), isn’t there a case for getting it out of the way early?

Possibly, but it has little benefit other than annoy unions and activists, and give Conservatives the line to say – “aha but will you reverse this cut we’re introducing?” – which makes no sense but they’ve been using it anyway.

We could have still gone into the next election saying then that we’ll see how finances are…. but basically we’ve stymied our own key narrative on how the cuts are hurting the economy. Now any opposition to the cuts sounds hollow and just makes Tories laugh.

37. Leon Wolfeson

@36 – Worse, it’s ruled out intelligence alternatives and taken a LOT of pressure off the LibDems, who are showing cracks in the Lords.

But that WILL come to nothing, because the government is going to override their defeats. Because the pressure’s been taken off the LibDems.

I blame the PLP. And because I blame the PLP, as I said I strongly believe it’s time for the 5+ million who New Labour left behind on the Left to get their own party.

@29

“You’re emoting over my posts, not reading them.”

If I’m getting exasperated, it’s because I genuinely, honestly have been trying to understand your position so that I can respond fairly, but you haven’t really responded to my requests for clarification. Meanwhile I’ve been falling over myself to clarify any point I think you may have misunderstood in my posts, but you just keep attacking the same caricature of my position.

“I can keep saying “I’m a mutualist” to doomsday, and you still refuse to acknowledge it! Free-market anti-capitalism isn’t just a random slogan, it really does outline where I’d like things to go, long-term.”

OK, I’m happy to acknowledge that, and I hope Labour take the initiative on mutualism before the Tories hijack the term. As I’ve already said (I think), Owen Jones’ mutual model for the railways looks to me like the right sort of approach for a 21st century socialism. (I think the suggestion was a board made up of 1/3 workers, 1/3 passengers and 1/3 government.)

“Rubbish. I’ve never said ANYTHING of the sort. I’ve argued specifically in terms of revenue-negative changes… Labour’s general pre-election outline looked harsh-but-realistic to me.”

Then I *have* misunderstood your position. Again, I can only say “sorry, but” – I wish you’d put me right sooner. I thought this was an argument between someone (me) who thinks opposing the cuts now doesn’t mean pledging to reverse them in 5 years’ time, and someone (you) who thinks the opposite: that by saying you can’t pledge to reverse the cuts, you’re effectively supporting them. If that’s not the case, then (again) I’m damned if I know what we’ve been arguing about.

“I gave no time for people who CLAIM to be of the left, but are accepting the Tory and now Labour line.”

And this is the sort of thing that is confusing me. What is it about Labour’s “new” position that brings them in line with the Tories? All that’s happened is that they’ve said they can’t pledge to reverse the cuts – which as you’ve now clarified, you *don’t* think amounts to supporting them.

39. Leon Wolfeson

@38 – “What is it about Labour’s “new” position that brings them in line with the Tories?”

More to the point, what ISN’T? You’ve agreed to the cuts, You’ve agreed millions will be written off. That social cleansing is acceptable. (I always say “you”. Because politics is the art of the depersonalising, and I don’t play that game. If you support something, you support it’s consequences)

No. Time for the left, like me, to dissent from the PLP and get a left-wing party rolling.

Because Labour’s bowing to things like the social cleansing and the demographic changes as a result mean that their representation is going to plummet.

@ 36 Sunny

“Nice cliche but I have no idea how it relates to this debate. I’ve not advocated anywhere to junk principles.”

..and with an attitude like that it’s hardly surprising your party has been losing voters hand over fist. Perhaps your too invested in proving your loyalty to your new found political home? Converts are often the worst of course.

As others have pointed out above, it relates to this debate because Labour HAVE abandoned their principles. New Labour isn’t dead, and Newer Labour is simply recycling Coalition policy “lite”.

Your failures as a party aren’t attributable to policy wonks, or the fact that you picked a fight with the Unions, or even that you have fallen hook line and sinker for the line that the only way you can win is showing how tough you are on immigration/benefit scroungers/the unions (and now craziest of all lining up with the Tories and LibDems against those calling for more devolution in Scotland).

It is increasingly obvious that what some of the posters above are saying about the need for a truly left wing party are right; it certainly isn’t Labour.

@ Leon

“You’ve agreed to the cuts”

Once more: no I haven’t. I’ve just acknowledged that by 2015, all, some, or most of those cuts may not be reversible in the short to medium term, depending on how bad things get between now and then.

And if I’m now understanding your position correctly, you acknowledge the very same thing. After all, you got quite outraged a couple of posts ago when I suggested you thought all the cuts could or should be reversed after 2015, regardless of the economic situation at that time. You’ve even emphasised your preference for making changes that reduce spending rather than increasing it. So if I’ve agreed to the cuts, so have you.

But of course, neither of us *has* agreed to the cuts because we both think the government should be pursuing a different course *now* so that the next government inherits a less shitty situation.

This is 100 percent true. Only the GREEN party can STOP the ConDemEd REGIME.
Women and Children FIRST !


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

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  2. Tent101

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  3. sunny hundal

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  4. Anthony Parker

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  5. Just Say Noam

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  6. Cllr Timothy Godfrey

    Me > Labour’s wonks are becoming part of the problem http://t.co/MR6BLeg5

  7. Lynda Constable

    Me > Labour’s wonks are becoming part of the problem http://t.co/MR6BLeg5

  8. Soho Politico

    .@sunny_hundal going to hilarious lengths to avoid blaming party woes on EdM. It's all the fault of nameless 'wonks'. http://t.co/SWXyT9HY

  9. PlatoSays

    .@sunny_hundal going to hilarious lengths to avoid blaming party woes on EdM. It's all the fault of nameless 'wonks'. http://t.co/SWXyT9HY

  10. Miljenko Williams

    .@sunny_hundal going to hilarious lengths to avoid blaming party woes on EdM. It's all the fault of nameless 'wonks'. http://t.co/SWXyT9HY

  11. Patron Press - #P2

    #UK : Labour ’s wonks are becoming part of the problem http://t.co/Hfglcrwv

  12. anne

    Me > Labour’s wonks are becoming part of the problem http://t.co/MR6BLeg5

  13. Jennifer C Krase

    Me > Labour’s wonks are becoming part of the problem http://t.co/MR6BLeg5

  14. leftlinks

    Liberal Conspiracy – Labour’s wonks are becoming part of the problem http://t.co/XctisoFS

  15. NextGenerationLabour

    Labour's wonks are becoming part of the problem by @sunny_hundal (via @libcon) http://t.co/GgWFlDWv

  16. NextGenerationLabour

    'Obsession with nuance' means 'Labour just doesn't have a coherent message' http://t.co/GgWFlDWv

  17. Son of Robespierre

    "Labour's wonks (related to my twonks?) and their obsession with nuance has become part of their problem" http://t.co/3IYUJgnM

  18. Darren Burgoyne

    Labour's wonks are becoming part of the problem by @sunny_hundal (via @libcon) http://t.co/GgWFlDWv

  19. alexsobel

    Well done @sunny_hundal the point is people don't understand what we stand for, so don't know whether to vote for us! http://t.co/CMHbLXFW

  20. Dr Eoin Clarke

    RT @libcon: Labour's wonks are becoming part of the problem http://t.co/fOw3uLXT

  21. MerseyMal

    RT @libcon: Labour's wonks are becoming part of the problem http://t.co/fOw3uLXT

  22. Neil McLintock

    RT @libcon: Labour's wonks are becoming part of the problem http://t.co/fOw3uLXT

  23. Sue Marsh

    Labour’s wonks are becoming part of the problem | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/8wiimbBL via @libcon

  24. sean bastable

    Labour’s wonks are becoming part of the problem | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/8wiimbBL via @libcon

  25. Kyron Hodgetts

    Labour’s wonks are becoming part of the problem | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/8wiimbBL via @libcon

  26. Michelle Wareham

    Labour’s wonks are becoming part of the problem | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/RgMMkQKe via @libcon

  27. Jeni Parsons

    Labour’s wonks are becoming part of the problem | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/8wiimbBL via @libcon

  28. Jayne Tattan

    Labour’s wonks are becoming part of the problem | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/8wiimbBL via @libcon

  29. Paul Trembath

    Labour’s wonks are becoming part of the problem | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/8wiimbBL via @libcon

  30. Kelly Kaye

    Labour’s wonks are becoming part of the problem | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/8wiimbBL via @libcon

  31. hayley

    Labour’s wonks are becoming part of the problem | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/8wiimbBL via @libcon

  32. Edward Cowling

    Labour’s wonks are becoming part of the problem | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/8wiimbBL via @libcon

  33. Janet Graham

    Labour’s wonks are becoming part of the problem | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/8wiimbBL via @libcon

  34. Martin Steel

    Appeasing the Westminster media is something labour should be avoiding – milliband seemed keen to during the summer http://t.co/o3FFrXo3

  35. william haymes

    Labour’s wonks are becoming part of the problem | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/lsQPdL47 via @libcon

  36. Andy Hicks

    Labour’s wonks are becoming part of the problem | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/R7eybROE via @libcon

  37. BevR

    Labour’s wonks are becoming part of the problem | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/8wiimbBL via @libcon

  38. sunny hundal

    Well done @sunny_hundal the point is people don't understand what we stand for, so don't know whether to vote for us! http://t.co/CMHbLXFW

  39. Rikbut

    Well done @sunny_hundal the point is people don't understand what we stand for, so don't know whether to vote for us! http://t.co/CMHbLXFW

  40. sunny hundal

    @Markfergusonuk hah! no, it was in reference to my post this morning http://t.co/suKSshzZ

  41. sunny hundal

    Me this morning > Labour’s wonks are becoming part of the problem http://t.co/suKSshzZ

  42. Graeme Stirling

    Yep. This. Writ large RT @sunny_hundal: Me this morning > Labour’s wonks are becoming part of the problem http://t.co/wpP5KIWW

  43. Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition should officially and unequivocally object, to everything, even good ideas, loudly and often « Left Outside

    […] of this is stupid. As Sunny has been documenting, not only is nuance from Labour Wonks confusing the public, those who aren’t confused couldn’t care less anyway. I have a better plan for Ed, to […]

  44. Have Labour realised the election isn’t more than three years away? | Liberal Conspiracy

    […] of this is stupid. As Sunny has been documenting, not only is nuance from Labour Wonks confusing the public, those who aren’t confused couldn’t care less […]

  45. Robert CP

    Labour’s wonks are becoming part of the problem | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/bVr4vVym via @libcon

  46. Have Labour realised the election is more than three years away? | My Blog

    […] of this is stupid. As Sunny has been documenting, not usually is shade from Labour Wonks confusing a public, those who aren’t confused couldn’t caring reduction […]





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