Friday, 8 May 2015



This clip has fascinated me for a while. Who was right? Tony with his theory that the mountain was just too high, or Ken with his theory that nobody trusted Labour's sums? Or secret Tony with his secret theory that Labour weren't centrist enough? 

Well, we know Tony got it right in 1997 because he was elected Prime Minister by a landslide. But then we also know Ken got it right because he was elected Mayor of London by an even bigger landslide in 2000.

But maybe that's just London.

Watching the results come in this morning in 2015 I witnessed Labour - which I've recently joined - lose no time in blaming the electorate. Neil Kinnock stood there in a strangely brown, smoke-filled room, essentially accusing the voters of being cowed into compliance by a campaign of fear. But blaming the electorate didn't work for him in 1992 and it won't work now. Blaming me won't work either. Okay, I never went leafleting, but who likes leaflets? Not putting people off is a very important part of campaigning. No, for all Miliband's achievements in opposition, Labour had five years to campaign and did next to nothing apparently in the belief that Conservatives are just people conned by the media into believing they're Conservative, and that if you take on the media the spell will lift. That's not how fear works. "How to be radical and still get elected" - that was the plan, but you do have to get the electorate on board, and in hindsight Miliband's biggest mistake was most concisely illustrated by what he said to Russell Brand six minutes and fifty seconds into that second game-changing "Trews" (game-changing in London, I mean):

"Tories are a sort of Virtual Party these days, so they sort of exist with advertising and money but they don't have people."

Do you see where he went wrong? It turned out they do, Ed. Lots of people. All over.


I like London.

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