Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Discouraging news

Guardian - "As Labour prepares to launch its May election campaign, the bulk of its resources will go into the London mayoralty elections, headed by Tessa Jowell, the Olympics minister, while Hazel Blears, the communities and local government secretary, runs the wider local campaign."

Nooooooo! This is either a piece of extreme delusion or a deeply brilliant satirical idea - 'we're trailing in the opinion polls, with a difficult set of elections coming up. Who can save us? I know, send for Tessa Jowell and Hazel Blears'.

"At the cabinet session Blears argued the party could not afford to let its Respect agenda, pioneered by Downing Street three years ago, fall by the wayside as it remains a vote winner with Labour's core voters."

Well, kind of. I remember in 2006 being told about how good the Respect agenda was as a vote-winner, right up to the point where the government announced that it had let out a load of foreign criminals just before the election (I guess at least this year the plan isn't to bring back Charles Clarke as well). Local parties which had run campaigns all about how the opposition were 'soft on crime' were quite rightly a bit fed up.

But I do like this idea that we can't afford to abandon policies which are vote winners with Labour's core voters. Worth remembering next time a government minister does a speech about how we'll lose the election if we retreat into a left-wing 'comfort zone' and so on.


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