Monday, September 21, 2009

Jackie Ashley: political strategist

Jackie Ashley, June 2009: "what is silly is to imply that Labour would not make cuts or that they would not have to raise taxes for ordinary families...Better to admit the obvious and draw clear lines between Labour policies and Tory ones. There is a sensible, grown-up argument to be had, and it's one that Labour could end up winning."

Labour followed Jackie's advice. So how did that strategy end up working out?

Conservative Home, September 2009, "It's certainly now much easier for the Conservative government to make cuts. Labour has provided cover and, deliciously, Ed Balls has started the process."

Matthew d'Ancona, September 2009, "What the PM has achieved is remarkable, nonetheless. He has decontaminated the very word he so successfully drenched in ugliness and horror. For more than a decade it was brave at best, and sometimes politically suicidal, to declare oneself a "cutter". That was thanks to Gordon Brown. With bleak symmetry, it is he who has declared an end to this once-robust consensus. It is he who has given "permission" for others to argue for much deeper cuts."


Conservative Home, September 2009, "George Osborne is now determined to blame tax rises on Labour, too. This is Phase II of the Tory campaign. Phase I has seen all the parties become cutters. CCHQ now want the need for tax rises to be conceded too."

And the subject of Jackie Ashley's column today? The need for Labour to set out its plans for tax rises.

Here's a tip for Ashley's future columns on political strategy - next time don't write a newspaper article about how Labour would be more popular if they did what George Osborne wants them to do.


At 4:10 pm , Blogger Liam Murray said...

Fair enough observation Don but only if you attribute really Machiavelian motives to the Tories (not a stretch for you I'm sure) and a huge dose of luck & good fortune.

I'd be more interested in your views on what the alternatives would've been - would you have tried to hold the 'Labour investment vs Tory cuts' line? Not sure that would've survived the Treasury leaks so....

At 6:27 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frankly, Toynbee, Ashley and Kettle between them are consistent in giving ridiculously bad advice to Labour.

At 8:51 pm , Blogger Martin S said...

Yes, but it is not the fault of Ms Ashley if her message was heard and acted upon by idiots.

At 9:48 pm , Blogger Madasafish said...

As anyone knows, Ms Ashley is not really to blame. It's not her fault if the Party she supports gets its knickers in a twist of its own making.

After all, who denied - repeatedly there would be any cuts in spending?
Who lied that the Budget contained no cuts?
Who wittered on endlessly about Investment and Tory cuts?

Which idiot invented the phrase 0% rise in spending?

Who became a figure of ridicule when it became obvious to any intelligent or thoughtful person that the Chancellor's forecasts were out of kilter with reality as Government Revenues collapsed with the recession?

(that is to anyone outside the Labour party).

Answers on a postcard to Number 10 please.

Jackie Ashley and other Labour supporters are trying to support a man who is clearly a liar and totally out of his depth in his current job.

Leadership? Unless you call leading lemmings over a cliff is leadership.

The Tories? lucky? yes. Good leaders need luck. They position themselves so events strengthen their position.
Bad ones position themselves so events show they are wrong.

Say nor more.. But don't blame Labour apologists.. It's not their fault.

At 10:16 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why should the government / labour party deny cuts when they are planning cuts?

The answer is self-evident, but to place the blame on one dippy, pointless, unimportant, hopeless Guardian journo is a trifle unfair.


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