It’s unusual for an opposition party to have four newsworthy events taking place on the same day – but that’s exactly the position the Labour Party is in tomorrow. Three significant speeches are being given (of which more below) and perhaps most interestingly, the timetable (and format) of the party’s selections in target seats will be confirmed by the powerful “Org Sub” of the NEC.
As opposition goes – tomorrow is a big day.
So what are we expecting?
First up is Jon Cruddas in East London. He’ll be speaking at the launch of IPPR’s “Condition of Britain” (a reference to GDH Cole perhaps?), which – whilst being separate from Labour’s policy review – promises to be hugely influential on Labour’s long term thinking in terms of social policy. It’s being billed as on a par with the pre-97 Social Justice Commission and as a positive Labour alternative to the (now pretty much defunct) Big Society.
Then just an hour later, Ed Miliband will be in Bedford making what has been billed as a major speech on the Economy. It’s unclear whether or not there will be a new headline policy (although early indications suggest there may not be), but it’ll be interesting for two reasons – by setting the tone for Labour’s response to next month’s budget, it’s an Economy speech being given by the Labour leader rather than the Shadow Chancellor (although Ed Balls will be there and will take part with a Q&A with Miliband afterwards). We’ll be reporting live from the speech in Bedford tomorrow.
Then it’s over to the Henry Jackson society where Jim Murphy will be making a speech on the importance of intervention – and learning the right lessons from Iraq and Afghanistan tens years on from the former. Expect him to make particular reference to the importance of knowing about the countries you’re intervening in – something which the current Defence Secretary has failed on…
Across the three speeches we will hopefully see clear and identifiable Labour visions of an alternative to the Coalition agenda. The important thing for the party will be to make sure that each speech contains at least one newsworthy item, and that the media takes note of the fact that the party are gearing up in terms of policy and that most vague of political terms “vision”, otherwise this will be considered an opportunity missed.
As for the Org Sub meeting, in addition to the timetable, which seats are being selected using All Woman Shortlists (AWS) will be of particular interest to both activists and potential candidates alike. This is especially true in a number of seats where former MPs are said to be pursuing the idea of reselection. In each case AWS would either massively improve or totally destroy any chance they have of returning to parliament. We’ll have all of the information from Org Sub tomorrow as soon as we an get ahold of it – but if the party were being sensible, they’d release it themselves as a sign of openness and transparency.
And if they’re worried about the list getting too much attention? Well – there should be plenty of newsworthy things happening at the same time if everything goes according to plan…