Tom Watson on “Lazy Labour”, the romanticisation of New Labour and segmentation

13th March, 2013 5:14 pm

Last week Jim Murphy talked about Lazy Labour – which as we noted, was spun to be something it wasn’t. In the New Statesman (to whom Murphy gave the Lazy Labour line), Labour’s campaign co-ordinator has responded. Some of the key quotes are below, but the whole piece will be worth reading when the magazine his newsstands tomorrow:

“Fair bit of ribbing wherever I’ve been about “Lazy Labour”, a nickname mentioned last week in an interview with Jim Murphy in this magazine…The current “controversy” is almost equally amusing, and typically lazy. A classic media-driven fuss over nothing in which a Labour frontbencher making a perfectly reasonable point has his words twisted to resemble an attack on (of all people) me.”

“In the brouhaha over Murphy, some central points – on which we all agree – have been entirely overlooked. On one level, the “debate” has been couched in terms that have romanticised the New Labour era. And yet sentimental attachment to old dictums is the very antithesis of everything that Tony Blair and New Labour were about . . .”

“The interpretation that media critics have been putting on the word “segmentation”, as though it were a divisive strategy, is dis­ingenuous. Unless you have either a single voter, or 60 million unrelated individual voters, somewhere in the middle you always have groups of voters. To talk to them is hardly to abandon the middle ground.”

“What the media pundits really mean is that Ed is too left-wing. The Daily Mail and the Sun won’t be happy until Ed fights the election on a right-wing agenda, which goes further right than Blair, and probably in some cases than the Tories.”

“The one thing Tony taught us is not to be sentimental about the past. We can’t just repeat what happened in the Nineties and expect the old magic to work again.”

Watson also reveals that he was in both Keswick and Easington last weekend – which doesn’t sound very lazy to us…

To report anything from the comment section, please e-mail [email protected]
  • John Reid

    The Appeal of New Labour ,was Tony managed to convince people who believed that Fringe groups within our party and the Unions wouldn’t dictate policy if He was elected, the people he managed to convince were sawing voters and the Skilled working class who’d bought their council homes, at teh 2010 eelction it was the first one ever where More middle class peopel voted laobur than working class, Now as far back as 1992, Laobur had bigger swings to them in Middle calss areas than working class one (all be ony 1 or so precent),Ed’s appeal apart from getting back those who left over Iraq or sleaze, has been that he’s got back those who felt Labour was to Westminster Village based, so i half agree, But ,the Blair era is over yet appealing to those lost working class votes overlooks that Several working class people who left us in 2010, Only came back in 1997, having voted Tory for the 4 times they won,

  • jaime taurosangastre candelas

    “…you always have groups of voters. To talk to them…”

    To talk with them, not to them. There is a difference.

    Any politician (or indeed advertiser, or anyone else) talking to me is going to cause me to reject their message. As free individuals, voters should not be spoken to, but spoken with.

    I’m quite sure that Tom Watson has the intelligence to know this difference, but he appears to lack empathy.

  • jaime taurosangastre candelas

    “…you always have groups of voters. To talk to them…”

    To talk with them, not to them. There is a difference.

    Any politician (or indeed advertiser, or anyone else) talking to me is going to cause me to reject their message. As free individuals, voters should not be spoken to, but spoken with.

    I’m quite sure that Tom Watson has the intelligence to know this difference, but he appears to lack empathy.

    • Brumanuensis

      “To talk with them, not to them. There is a difference”.

      I think this is more syntax than some sort of revealing phrasing. I know Americans often say ‘talk with’, whilst I was taught to say ‘talk to’. ‘Talk with’ sounds a bit strange to my ears, but I know there is a lively debate over which is more grammatically sound, with enthusiastic partisans on either side.

      • jaime taurosangastre candelas

        It is not syntax, although you say it is, and you are incorrect to do so. It may be common usage, but common usage does not have to pass the test of being correct, merely being unchallenged.

        (I have to blame for this a “martinet” of a father who supplemented my formal education at school with additional home-schooling in English, British history, mathematics, Aristotelian logic, and the basic elements of medicine. I still have a shelf of A4 lever arch files filled with my notes on these subjects, with which I can still terrify my own children when they complain about doing school homework (terrify in a joking sense, if actually with an additional aim of showing them that the world is difficult and complex). My mother taught me to play the guitar, love and empathy, and how to laugh and enjoy the riches of the life that God has given us)

  • Two Ed,s good yesterday,Ed Ms ‘piss-up in a brewery’ was lol and Ed Bs quote saying
    Gidiot fullfilling criteria for insanity also lol.Will Ed’s regional banks do the work of the
    Labour Regional Development Funds? I hope so,we must limit the North/South divide.

  • AlanGiles

    It’s official – Blair has become God! (“if He was elected”)
    Well done, John, you’ll be sitting at His right hand. Amen

Latest

  • Featured News Smeeth calls for Corbyn to quit in favour of leader with “backbone” to tackle anti-Semitism

    Smeeth calls for Corbyn to quit in favour of leader with “backbone” to tackle anti-Semitism

    Ruth Smeeth today called on Jeremy Corbyn to resign in favour of someone with the “backbone” to tackle anti-Semitism after the Labour leader provoked anger among activists with his comments over the State of Israel. Smeeth spoke out after being harassed by a voter today at the launch of Labour’s report into allegations of anti-Semitism and other forms of racism in the party. The angry voter accused her of “colluding” with right-wing newspapers and being part of a media conspiracy against Corbyn, Smeeth, […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Reynolds issues complaint to Labour HQ over claims of a “secret” group of McDonnell advisors

    Reynolds issues complaint to Labour HQ over claims of a “secret” group of McDonnell advisors

      Backbencher Emma Reynolds has issued a complaint to Labour headquarters over claims John McDonnell has set up a “parallel organisation” to develop party health policy. Reynolds, chair of the parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) health committee, said it was “surprising and disappointing” that McDonnell, the shadow Chancellor, had apparently chosen to work with the campaigners, who have served as recent members of rival political parties. McDonnell has “set up a secret group of advisers to help shape Labour’s stance on the […]

    Read more →
  • News Labour is not “overrun” by anti-Semitism but Corbyn sparks dismay over Israel comments

    Labour is not “overrun” by anti-Semitism but Corbyn sparks dismay over Israel comments

    The Labour Party is “not overrun by anti-Semitism”, according to the findings of an urgent review published today. The Chakrabarti Inquiry into anti-Semitism and other forms of racism was commissioned by Jeremy Corbyn in April, following a series of damaging rows which were sparked by the comments of former London Mayor Ken Livingstone and MP Naz Shah. Corbyn today once again condemned all forms of prejudice but provoked anger with comments which appeared to compare the state of Israel to Islamist terrorists. The […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News LIVEBLOG: Angela Eagle prepares leadership bid

    LIVEBLOG: Angela Eagle prepares leadership bid

    Corbyn is still putting together a new frontbench as speculation rises about the intentions of Angela Eagle and Owen Smith. While the Labour Party is in limbo, we will bring you all the news as it comes. 17.22 Momentum have come out in support of the Chakrabarti report, saying it dues much to restore “intelligent and sensitive engagement” with the Jewish community. They say: Momentum welcomes the Chakrabarti Inquiry Report as an intelligent and sensitive engagement with a range of complex and […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured “We aim to set the gold standard for anti-racism”: Corbyn’s speech at launch of anti-Semitism report

    “We aim to set the gold standard for anti-racism”: Corbyn’s speech at launch of anti-Semitism report

    This is the speech given by Jeremy Corbyn today at the launch of the Chakrabarti report into anti-Semitism and other forms of racism in Labour. “The Labour Party is built on the values of solidarity, social justice, equality, internationalism and human rights. That is why I have devoted my life to it, and why nine months ago, I was honoured to be elected leader by over a quarter of a million people. That is, by the way, substantially more than the […]

    Read more →
x

LabourList Daily Email

Everything Labour. Every weekday morning

Share with your friends










Submit