Thursday, January 27, 2011

The 2010 election explained


"I suspect the dividing line between the Continuity Blairites and everyone else on this[economic policy] is as follows: Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling, and Ed Balls actually realised how awful the Tories would be and that there was a real risk of a double dip recession, and that therefore it was necessary to fight the “language of cuts”. Balls did get to cut loose on this towards the end of the campaign. I suspect Labour would have done better to define against them on this.

However, conventional wisdom demands that Brown be seen as an egghead with no grasp of campaigning. The media-savvy eye catching initiative peddlers, however, were the ones who ended up campaigning on a line of “cuts! cuts! cuts! but not like those evil Tory cuts!” which wasn’t clear or convincing."


At 12:18 pm , OpenID yorksranter said...

Also, perhaps some people could have remembered which prominent Labour minister was in charge of election campaigns 2001 and 2005...would it have been that big Scottish bloke with the funny eye by any chance?

Anyway, water, bridge, etc. But I agree with Paul Mason that "gut Labour" is the political flavour of the near future. You need a lot of eye-catching initiatives and clever positioning to make up for being in the wrong place on the broad strokes.

It's similar to the crack about needing a lot of Harberger triangles to fill the Okun gap - given the typical relationship between GDP and employment, it's unlikely that you can find enough efficiencies on the supply side to fix the problem, so for any significant level of unemployment it's probably wise to start with the demand-side.

Come to think of it, that's a point Ed Balls should be making if he can think of a way of getting the econospeak out of it.

At 12:36 am , Anonymous Alun said...

That as good as nails it; well, closer than anything else I've seen written down anyway.

Of course part of the issue there is that the media base so much on how people perform to the media; therefore socially awkward types must know nothing about appealing the electorate, while the slick and the smooth-talking must have a hot line into the motivations of the average swing voter.

At 12:34 pm , Blogger Hughes Views said...

Gordon Brown is a fantastically astute and effective back room politician and tactician. But, alas for him, for Labour and for the country, he has almost zero charisma at least when viewed through the mass media.

The real tragedy is that he and his most ardent supporters apparently failed to spot this fatal flaw before he became PM.

At 9:49 am , Blogger Robert said...

I would have put a bet on Blair being leader of labour, I would have doubled that bet that Brown would never lead this party.

Brown was seen as a climber and his back stabbing antic did not place him well within the party, but he knew his job, sadly personality left him years ago, even when he first came into politics he had the smile of death.

But of course when you have been out of power for so long then obviously democracy within the party died and Blair and Brown joined in a deal. It's that deal which may well keep labour out of power for even longer, oh yes labour would like people to think it would be the party which could take the UK forward, sadly labour is more like Thatchers party then labour these days.

At 1:23 pm , Anonymous Alun said...

But, alas for him, for Labour and for the country, he has almost zero charisma at least when viewed through the mass media.

No, when viewed through the telly. He was usually pretty good on the radio.


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