Labour — Be Bold!
A response to Owen Jones’s very reasonable doubts about Jeremy Corbyn.
Disclosure: I am not a member of the Labour Party or any other political party; I am signed-up as a Labour “Supporter” to be able to vote for Corbyn in the upcoming leadership election.
Question 0: Is Labour the only means the left in this country has ever had to wield influence through national government?
If no party offers an outlet for left-wing ideas then a wide-spread people’s movement will demand it. If the Labour party doesn’t offer an outlet for this or fails trying then people will coalesce around something else. I understand the concerns of Labour not being an effective opposition or not being elected as the government in 2020, the problems with our FPTP general elections, but power is pointless without principles. The left is on the rise, it is time for bravery.
Question 1: How can the disastrous polling be turned around?
By sticking to your principles and continuing to offer inclusive courteous politics. Right now in the midst of the battle it is impossible to judge how a future general election would pan out, and more than likely that election will be closer to 2020 than today. Many people are sick and tired of lying politicians, stick to your ideals and the message will cut through.
Question 2: Where is the clear vision?
Jeremy’s vision, as you quote, is fantastic even if it isn’t snappy.
“An economy that doesn’t cut public expenditure as a principle, that instead is prepared to invest and participate in the widest economy in order to give opportunities and decency for everyone. A welfare system that doesn’t punish those with disabilities but instead supports people with disabilities. A health service that is there for all, for all time, without any charges and without any privatisation within that NHS. And a foreign policy that’s based on human rights, the promotion of democracy around the world.”
It is honest and cuts to the heart of what we need to do. Yeah, we need to turn it in to sound bites to get the message across.
Standing up for people. Building a fairer Britain. Economics for all, not just an elite few. Taxation to rebalance our society. Cleaning up politics. Giving everybody an opportunity to contribute to our great country.
Question 3: How are the policies significantly different from the last general election?
A new economic strategy. We need to really explain why PQE, more progressive taxation, and a Green Infrastructure Bank is going to make such a big difference. Over the next decade the majority of our infrastructure spending will be in energy generation, Labour needs to put this into renewable energy, energy storage, and overhaul of the national grid. This will generate jobs and rebalance our economy. We need to double down on all the great ideas that were presented to Jeremy’s team throughout 2015.
Question 4: What’s the media strategy?
There is far too much focus on the failure of the media strategy. The problem is really how do we get the Corbyn team out of the bunker, and the answer to that is simple: stop bombing the bunker. Once Labour rallies around the leader in the autumn then there will be an excellent opportunity to build a media strategy.
Question 5: What’s the strategy to win over the over-44s?
Many of the supporters returning to Labour are over-44s. Don’t assume that people are content with the consumerist market driven lifestyle that we have. People want a more compassionate form of politics and a more inclusive society, I think this may be especially true of so many older voters. Let’s stick it to the Nasty Party by being a party of compassion, dignity, and peace.
Question 6: What’s the strategy to win over Scotland?
I’m not a LP member, so I think the answer is accepting an alliance with the SNP. For Labour to succeed in Scotland it needs to show that it is more compassionate than the SNP and has the answers to strengthen the Scottish economy and provide jobs.
Question 7: What’s the strategy to win over Conservative voters?
Compassion. We want an inclusive nation that is respectful and builds on the best of its humane traditions. Strength comes from standing up for what you believe in, this country is a beacon of liberal democracy.
Question 8: How would we deal with people’s concerns about immigration?
We’ve got to take immigration head-on, as you do Owen. Your solutions are targeting funds to communities impacted by immigration, that and by sharing the benefits of our economy more fairly addresses the problems associated with immigration. It took a long time for immigration to become so embedded as a core issue, it is going to take at least as long to combat.
Question 9: How can Labour’s mass membership be mobilised?
I don’t know the answer to this one. I really want to hear more about what you and Jeremy have to say on it. You’re absolutely right to call-out the aggressive, over-defensive, attitudes of many Corby supporters, I feel we need to get over the hump of the leadership contest so that bridges can be rebuilt and Corbyn’s belief in compassionate politics can shine through.
We’ve got to stick to our guns. Don’t despair, a tide of support for compassionate politics is rising and this is not the time to give into fear. Be bold.