I have several suggestions, namely: 1. ALL Labour MPs should either refuse to take the 10% pay rise that has been given them or donate it to charity as the SNP are doing. How can you expect people to believe you stand for them if you accept this pay rise when they are struggling? My former colleagues at Walsall Council (I am now retired) have recently been told they are going to have to take a 2% pay cut AND take three days unpaid annual leave each year - this at a time when MPs pay is being increased by 10%. 2. MPs and local ativists should organise lots of local "get togethers/street parties" for people in their constituencies so they can meet their local Councillors and activists to talk about matters, both national and local, that concern them. 3. In terms of housing and mortgages, introduce the type of mortgage my husband and I had through the Housing Commission in Brisbane, Australia, where we paid only 25% of our income, IRRESPECTIVE OF WHAT THAT INCOME WAS. So, if we were out of work, we only paid 25% of our dole money. That way, you ensure that people don't lose their homes. 4. Impose the "Robin Hood Tax" to pay off the deficit - this will ensure that the deficit is paid by those who got us into this mess without having to cut funding to local authorities and to those in need. The counter argument always runs that, if you deprive these people of their money, they will leave the country. We should say to such people, "If you love your money more than your country, please leave! We'll drive you to the airport if you like!" 5. It is our belief that a lot of Labour voters, particularly here in the Midlands and in the North, turned to UKIP and the SNP because they no longer felt a connection to the Labour Party. As Owen Jones has asked, how many Labour candidates in the last election ever worked in a factory? Not many, I would think. Ordinary working class people, particularly "North of Watford", feel that the Labour Party has become too much like the Tories (only a light blue instead of a dark blue!). They, quite wrongly, believed (and probably still believe) that UKIP is a socialist party which the Labour Party no longer is. We need to redress this - and quickly. 6. Employ a really good, effective advertising company to promote the Labour Party and Labour ideals - after all, that's what the Tories were doing when they employed Saachi and Saachi in the late 70s/early 80s - and it worked!! Don't just rely on the Daily Mirror to get our message across. AND 7. Above all, when Labour spokespersons are interviewed by the likes of Andrew Neale - ATTACK THEM back for lying and ATTACK THEM back for continually interrupting (politics is more complex than a three second sound bite, after all) and, if necessary, demand that the Producer provides a different interviewer, explaining that the man (and it's usually a man) is unfit for the job for which he is employed.
I've just joined the party at 35! All my life I expected to join much earlier on, I would even go so far as to say I had some political ambitions. Although most of my north east working class family are staunch Labour supporters I never felt there was any point in getting involved in the party as each constituency I have lived in my adult life has always run 'all women short lists' for the candidacy. I understand the desire to make the party more representative of society. However personally I think equality of opportunity is more important than the end result, a parliamentary party artificially manipulated to represent society rather than one that actually does by provision of equality or opportunity is fundamentally flawed. The email I received yesterday telling me that Caroline would make the party "look like us" and then listing nobody who looks like me was very poorly thought out, but I appreciate that it helps me decide on my vote more by exclusion unfortunately rather than any one individual shining.
1 - Burst the 'Myth of the inherited mess' - Say this 'If Labour overspent why was the Uk's national debt in 2010 lower than any of our major competitors, including Japan, France, Germany, the USA etc etc. This is after 13 years of Labour Government, a global recession, pumping money into infrastructure investment to get the economy moving and bailing out the banks'. 2 -Parody the Tories 'Long term economic plan'. The Tories short term economic plan was a double / almost triple dip recession. Their medium term economic plan is an unsustainable housing boom. Their long term economic plan is to cut the deficit in the first 3 years of this parliament followed by 2 years of pumping money into the economy to win the next election. This will result in an overheating of the economy followed by a recession in the next parliament. Nigel Lawson did this in the late 1980's and is known widely amongst economists as 'the Lawson boom'- classic boom and bust economics. Tell people to Google 'the Lawson boom'. Repeat this all the way up to the next election until people are sick of hearing you say 'The Lawson boom'. 3 - Quote the statistics with a direct comparison between 13 years of Labour Government and 6 years of Tory Government. The economy grew by about 2.5% per year, including the 2 years when the country was in recession under the Labour government. In 6 years of Tory Government it has been an average of about 1%. The Labour Government spent 42% as a percentage of GDP, including the 2 years of recession, under the Tories in the last 6 years it has been 43-44%, despite the cuts. Never refer to the last Government as a 'Coalition'. 4 - No. 3 leads on to the final and most important point. We need to have a narrative to explain why it is bad for the economy for there to be such a wide gap between the richest in our society and the poorest. I would say 'If you give a £10m tax cut to a billionaire they will spend the money on a yacht in the Bahamas, give £1 to 10 million people they will spend the money in the shops and boost the economy. This is why one of the main reasons the economy boomed under the Labour government was the introduction of the minimum wage and why the Tory attack on the poorest in our society will never work'.
I am a promoter sth east London and I joined with a view of creating artistic stage and music shows shows and promotions and Comedy etc (as I had done for past 5 years) these were liable to bring in marginals - all i found was factions jockeying for position - all my ideas fell on deaf ears - all they wanted me to do was door to door canvassing - imv the whole thing was a bit of a fiasco and i'm not surprised the organisation can't get out of it's rut. Centrally the party need new and better ideas and restraint on the old guards trying to manipulate the local grass routes organisation for their own silly kudos
There's a gulf between the Parliamentary Party and ordinary members. I keep hearing MPs in the Leadership contest say that they know what people want. How do they know what we want when nobody asks us? The Election is dead and gone and talking about what happened then is NOT the way to plan for the future. Get over it. You need to talk to us, ordinary people. Use social media, use good old-fashioned doorstepping chats, public meetings in small towns; and do all this and lots more ALL over the country, not only in Labour territory. I live in a Tory safe seat. My MP doesn't listen to me, why would he? But nobody from the Labour Party comes here either. Why not? If you really want to win in 2020 you'll have to win in constituencies like the one I live in, so you need to come and talk now .
Labour is not opposing Tory cuts which affect the most vulnerable people in society. I regret joining the party as Labour is not a party opposing the awful things the tories are doing. I will not be renewing my membership and I will not vote Labour in 2020 unless the party remembers its founding principles. Labour created the welfare state and is now standing idly by while the tories dismantle it.
During the coalition time I wrote two long and detailed letters to Miliband. I heard nothing back. In my constituency, which used to be Labour held, I wrote occasionally to the Labour MP. I heard nothing back. In contrast, when I write to the now two term Conservative MP I always receive a reply, even to emails. What does this say to Labour voters? Labour is going through the motions...We don't care...We're not LISTENING?
Be the Opposition! Get some principles! Tell Andy Burnham to stop looking as if he's about to burst into tears! Except for Corbyn the leadership contest is a joke! Abstaining in the Welfare Reform vote is spineless and sends completely the wrong message to your core voters and to anyone else interested in moving forward into an equitable UK . Presently the SNP occupy the position of Opposition . They are gutsy, have new ideas, oppose with strength, and the Tories fear them. Mire than can be said for the Labour front bench, sagging under hypocritical spineless career politicians politicians! Also, sort out your IT technology and presence.
I like the Idea of using members' skills. One of the depressing elements of the campaign and since has been the basic inability to refute the weak Tory arguments. Shadow cabinet members just haven't mastered their subjects. Use members for precise information about universities, the NHS, public services and benefits. Replace the standard 'I met a woman who told me .......' response (which is now just a parody of engagement with voters)with proper argument. Replace the abstract nouns with informed argument
Over the last few years the Tory press has been stealthily steering people's opinions to the right. What is middle ground politics now was, not so long ago, very much a right wing agenda. And convincing so many of us that the poor should pay for the deficit was a masterstroke. Labour needs to fight back with a propaganda war of its own. It can do this by simply telling the truth and by injecting some compassion back into the debate. Many people think that everyone on benefits is a scrounger or an immigrant or both - this is how they've got away with it. When the Daily Mail headlines its one-off so-called scrounger living in Mayfair, we should be blasting all the deserving cases over the Daily Mirror. We have become a very hard and dispassionate society - we need to reverse this. Labour had some things right when people perceived the Tories as 'the nasty party.' They still are, but it shows how effective their propaganda has been. Labour people need to reinforce again and again just how nasty the Tories can be, and just how far right politics has moved. Is it really the case that every single mum bringing up children on benefits has got themselves into this position as a career choice? Ask your average Tory voter and they will believe this implicitly. The other major issue is the now received view that the deficit was all Labour's fault. Why are we not shouting back on this one? How could Labour be responsible for a world-wide slump caused by irresponsible bankers and placing any number of developed nations in danger of bankruptcy? Was it all Gordon Brown's fault that the economies of the USA, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece and Ireland all suffered because of his policies? This is the logic of Tory rhetoric - yet people believed it and continue to do so. Only recently I had a heated discussion with a Tory voter who was convinced that that nice Mr Osborne rescued our economy from the clutches of an inept Labour leadership. Labour's only fault as I see it was to trust people who were not to be trusted - yet this is the price we pay. Bankers still get their bonuses, the fat cats get away without paying taxes, all the usual friends of the Tories laugh all the way to the bank as Labour carries the can. Well we've carried it for long enough and we should be fighting Tory lies better than this. Don't rely on the common sense of people to see the truth - they won't... unless they're pointed in the right direction to see it.
Not one of the five deputy leadership challengers voted against the Welfare Bill yesterday, a bill designed to attack the very people this party was set up to represent. Only one of the four leadership challengers did. We are supposed to be an opposition party, and yesterday sent a message very loud and clear that we don't intend to oppose. It's not often I'm ashamed to be a member of this party, but yesterday I was.
Inspire Health Improvement for the Nation. Using the Health Trainers VRQ initiative, inspire a generation of health and well-being improvement. The number of Apprenticeships will cumulatively be (x) millions by 2020. City & Guilds could be persuaded via Hazel Blears (then Health Minister prior discussion with them) to add into Apprenticeships the Level 3 Health Trainers VRQ shaped into a Workplace Wellness context. All Apprenticeships can then connect with others in their workplace to stimulate knowledge based improvements (obesity, etc) reducing the future NHS bill. Healthy workplaces, healthy young people and grants to help small businesses create more running, swimming, tennis or gym clubs that help young people to also overcome social isolation. What better sector to start in than the Care Sector that has been crisscrossed with low level training. Each Carer to be inspired, becoming Community Health Trainers, better able to improve their own mindfulness, be able to better support those they care for, and through knowledge skills help communities improve their local citizens' well-being. I wish you every success. Burchick MBE