It is hurting and it isnt working – Labour’s ‘credibility’ drive
We are told that Labour must ‘be realistic’ about the deficit and spending etc. Pay freezes etc are must-haves to win back our shattered reputation for economic competence. So the story goes; however, the polls themselves tell a different story.
As The Green Benches points out;
In March of last year when Labour & Ed Miliband marched for an alternative we led by 11% in the polls and hit a record high of 45%. But 10 months on that position has been reversed by 16%. By any measurement Labour’s recent rightward shift has been a polling disaster.
Today’s UK Polling Report breakdown brought further disastrous news. Ed Miliband’s approval ratings stand at an eye-watering minus 53%. This includes 50% of Labour’s own supporters who disapprove of Mr Milibands leadership. Meanwhile, slightly over 50% of the electorate basically haven’t got a clue what our position is on cuts and austerity at all and frankly, who can blame them.
So, why is this occurring? Basically this leadership feels an insufferable and all-consuming desire to pander to Labour’s right-wing; this dilutes and distorts anything worthy that is said. Glimmers of a coherent alternative are snuffed out at birth by a weak desire to pander to a wing of the Party who’s answers to our current crisis are totally discredited in the eyes of the electorate.
This means Len McCluskey was exactly right in what he said – the leadership is leading the Party to electoral disaster and a heavier defeat next time around. The solution is simple – we must have member-driven policy that is decided at a National Policy Forum which actually meets. Trade unions need to start punching their weight in policy-making and we need greater internal democracy.
The leadership needs to find a backbone and start ignoring Dan Hodges columns and the pressure being brought to bear from the right. It needs to open a democratic and two-way dialogue with Labour’s natural allies – its members and staunch supporters and build from there. In short, it needs to fulfil its own promises and start to offer a coherent and radical alternative to the policies of this government. If it wants to reverse the polling collapse and return to government these are the essential things it must have; not ‘tough’ rhetoric and policies that attack its own natural allies. We tell the Conservatives often enough it is hurting but not working – maybe its time this leadership looked in the mirror and heeded its own words.