Monday, 25 April 2011


Labour's performance in the elections, both in the districts and devolved nations, will be very interesting.  There is something of the post-1979 period in terms of the Micawberish assumption that something will turn up and fall into the lap of the mildly-reconstructed denizens of the court of King Edward (a suitably tuber-like epithet for a party with more chips on its shoulder than might be regarded as decent).

It's obvious that some of the mud about Labour's mess is sticking, but there is much more that they should be doing to pick holes in the Coalition's economic strategy, particularly the gap between rhetoric and reality with respect to public service reform.

Making the case for higher taxes, cracking down on evasion and avoidance, and a return to much more central control of public services might well be attractive, given the extent to which there remains a considerable level of resentment towards those at the top of the economic tree who appear to have been thoroughly insulated from the recession and the consequential policy interventions.

Mister Ed would be well-advised to shift his focus onto the Murdoch/City duopoly, and the way in which it poisons and shifts the terms of political engagement.  Waiting for the Coalition to collapse is not a strategy, especially if the Tories see it as an opportunity to lay waste to the Liberals and Labour through gerrymandered constituency boundaries.  There is a collectivist, social solidarity message waiting to be articulated.  Whether Labour can do this may determine how far they can reclaim a decent vote share at the next GB election.

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