Against the coalition of the losers
Jess Asato has a good article about the need for Labour to learn the lessons from the elections:
"If Labour is going to win back the key seats needed to form a government next time, it needs to identify the best campaigns across the country and replicate their winning elements. This means selecting personable candidates who are willing to work 24/7, appointing diligent consituency organisers and identifying local issues which galvanise the electorate to identify Labour as a party which cares about their day-to-day needs, not the demands of lobby journalists."
Jess could have added that it also requires candidates prepared to vote against their party when they think Labour is doing the wrong thing - whether that's Andrew Smith over Trident, Andy Slaughter over Heathrow, Gisela Stuart over Europe or John McDonnell over everything.
One implication of this which people haven't yet realised is that it means that Labour can't be part of a Lib/Lab "coalition of the losers". Dozens of Labour MPs got elected by pledging to be strong, independent voices who would put their constituents first. But in a coalition government, if as few as two or three Labour MPs put their constituents ahead of their party, it would lead to the defeat of the government on key pieces of legislation. Even if it were possible to get them all to vote exactly the same way on everything, it would be undesirable.
The electorate gave a clear preference for independent-minded, effective Labour candidates who are rooted in their communities, who keep in touch all year round and are on the side of the people they seek to represent. It's vital for democratic renewal and social justice that Labour learns how to campaign effectively in every constituency and every community, spreading and learning from the good work where this already happens. This is far more important for the people who need Labour's help most than trivia such as which Oxford educated former Special Adviser becomes our next leader.
This process of learning and renewal will take a little time, but will reap great rewards. But just at the moment, it means that Labour can't enter into coalition government.