Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mark Ferguson talks about his frustrations with the Labour party

In this article for LabourList Mark Ferguson talks about his frustrations with the Labour party:  http://labourlist.org/2014/11/10-tangible-changes-ed-miliband-could-make-today-to-kickstart-his-leadership/

The putsch against Ed Miliband has failed (“The attempted coup is over”).

The Leader of the Party has re-established his authority (“Ed Miliband’s leadership of the party is no longer under question”).

BUT things are far from rosy: 

The leadership is not ruthless enough over communicating a single message (“Ed Miliband has been known to say that Labour under his leadership has sacrificed clarity for unity”).

The leader is out of touch (“He needs to find out the unvarnished truth about what people are saying on the doorstep, and get out there himself – meet voters, unannounced”).

Mr Ferguson is contemptuous about the louche MPs at Westminster (“Frankly, there are too many MPs - some shadow ministers are amongst the worst offenders - sitting around in Westminster drinking coffee and moping about…”).

Labour is in denial about UKIP (“…how many more wake up calls to the UKIP threat does Miliband need?”).

Labour morale has collapsed (“Labour activists and members... there isn’t the swaggering confidence you’d hope for six months before the election, because those activists know better than anyone the challenge we face. They are the people who knock on doors and have them slammed in their faces. They know that the British people are not running towards us with open arms.”).

The Labour Conference was a flop (“Poor morale was one of the major problems with conference this year – it deflated activists and MPs for a month afterwards and led in no small part to the current leadership questions”).

Mr Ferguson is scornful of top-down one-way communication (“…please Ed, stop using speeches as a single transferable blunt implement for message delivery”).

Mr Ferguson is openly contemptuous of Labour’s communications strategy (“A string of speeches and announcements doesn’t add up to a coherent narrative… I honestly can’t remember what Labour’s conference slogan was now, and I forgot Miliband’s 10 year plan for Britain before I’d left Manchester”).

Personally I am sorry the uprising against Ed has failed.  At least it provided some kind of story-line for the Labour party against which we could all position ourselves.  Now it has no story-line, no narrative, nothing except a void where the leadership should be.

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