Saturday, June 28, 2008

Labour - are they actually trying to lose?

The result of the Henley bye-election had Labour in fifth place behind both the Greens and the BNP. They lost their deposit. This is a very bad result for them, and for the Liberal Democrats. One reason that it may have been so bad is that Harriet Harman chose polling day to announce legislation that would allow companies to discriminate against white men when hiring. I think that all discrimination is odious, and dangerous because if you allow it as a principle then the argument moves on to who is discrimminated against, which may end up in a very bad place indeed. In political terms it is also deeply stupid. If you analyse the demographics of Labour support then at its core is working-class white men. This measure is aimed against them like a missile, but the barrage doesn't end there. Ed Balls has threatened to close what he calls 'failing' schools, but that amounts to about a third of the schools in the country, 3 in Basildon, and it went down like a lead balloon. Then there are the polyclinics that threated GP surgeries to the point that over a million signed a petition against them. Meanwhile the chancellor wants to retrospectively rise car tax to hit just about every motorist in the country and there are still millions of people who have not been baled out by the government's package to help the poorest hit by the 10p tax fiasco.

Who is running the political strategy for the Labour party? Are they actually trying to drive away support? At this rate they will end up not only with less than 200 MPs but hardly any councillors, no money, and a legacy of bitterness that will keep them out of power for a generation, or finish them off entirely. I am genuinely perplexed as to what may be going on. These are not stupid people after all, but they are acting like political morons.

2 comments:

Chris Black said...

I don't think the Lib Dems did badly at Henley, merely that our chances of winning were hyped up too much by some people from within the party.

The worst time in the political cycle for the Liberals/ Liberal Democrats has been when a waning Labour government is about to be replaced by a waxing Tory party (1970, 1979), which seems to be happening now.

However this time 'my lot' appear to be in a good position to keep most of the Tory seats we've gained in the last decade or so, and to make inroads on Labour.

On a different matter Steve, I'm dismayed at the lack of comments on here- you clearly make an effort, you aren't getting the response you merit. Can't you introduce some other Basildon councillors to blogging?

Steve Horgan said...

There is no doubt the Liberal Democrats are being squeezed, though I will say that Clegg doesn't really seem to be setting anyone alight. As for comments, don't fret. I am pretty sure that I am reaching a key audience or two.