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Darrell Goodliffe

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Wanted: A strategic vision for Labour...

Posted: 29/08/11 23:00

Last week, The Observer, reported on a leaked-memo that shows that the Labour Party's allegedly finest political minds have decided the way to hammer David Cameron is to portray him as right-wing. Well, talk about stating the obvious. Most people know this government is pretty right-wing and they make their decisions accordingly. Secondly, another flaw in this supposedly brilliant plan is that its not that strikingly new or original. Labour tried it during the election and we do remember how that turned out dont we? In fact, this useless line of attack was brought to a screeching-halt following a major own-goal which saw Labour portraying Cameron as Gene Hunt, a character many people found cool and actually ended up enhancing his image.

Strategic vision, communications strategy, these are all things that Labour currently lacks any coherency in at all. This, sadly, directly flows from the leaderships lack of an overarching vision of where it, and the Party are actually going. As well as not being able to see where we are going, we can't seem to understand where we are. So, this report is framed in the context of Cameron polling negatively during the riots. This is not because of his response, regrettably, but because he was seen, rightly, as being derelict by staying in Tuscany while Britain was burning.

Cameron's absence reinforced the feeling amoung many that he simply isn't one of 'us' or 'in it with us' together. He was seen as distant and what he said about the riots no longer mattered as much because people had already formed a opinion of him based on his dereliction. The way therefore to land a blow on Cameron in this context was therefore to have Ed Miliband behave in a workmanlike fashion to contrast the styles and therefore character of the two leaders. While Cameron finished his holiday, Ed should have been hard-at-work in his constituency and making much hay of the fact that he was.

This sense of drift, the air of perpetual confusion and fog that hangs over the leadership is starting to find its echo in the polls. Slowly but surely, Labour is losing ground to the point where parity between the two major parties is not a question of 'if' but 'when'. It is not just these factors which encourage the impression that the Party is in utter chaos and rudderless at the top either, its the very fact that some enterprising Labour official obviously saw fit to leak this document in a ultimate bid to persuade his colleagues of the error of their ways. Dark whispers abound that the top-team is riddled with division and it must be because its currently as leaky as a sieve with extra holes.

Ed Miliband's 'Hackgate' honeymoon is well and truly over, he needs to get a grip and fast, if he doesn't it will not just him but the entire Party that suffers.


 

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