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

March 13, 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…

  • 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.

    • 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)

  • 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.

  • http://twitter.com/jackjoh01219520 jack johnson

    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

  • Comment What family has ever been made stronger by being torn apart?

    What family has ever been made stronger by being torn apart?

    As Referendum day approaches, we can all see just how much the argument and debate about Scotland’s future has stirred emotions; hardly surprising, given what is at stake. And yet these emotions are also felt south of the border by many families – mine included – whose lives have been intertwined across it. My father once said that “Being half Scots myself, my heart beats faster whenever I cross the border.” His mother, and my grandmother, Margaret Eadie Holmes came […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Fighting to save the safety net

    Fighting to save the safety net

    When Anna, abused at the hands of her husband and his family, sought help from a Solace Women’s Aid refuge, she had no money, a young child in tow, and no home to go to. A lease was arranged on an unfurnished flat for Anna and an application was made to the Local Welfare Provision Fund for basic furniture, including a bed and a sofa. The refuge offered support, working closely with the council, to make sure that Anna got […]

    Read more →
  • Featured If the press don’t report the mob rule of Yes campaigners – they are professionally negligent

    If the press don’t report the mob rule of Yes campaigners – they are professionally negligent

    Just over a week ago I wrote a piece about the agressive, bullying tactics of some Yes campaigners, and the ugly impact this is having upon Scotland at the entire referendum campaign. Today in Edinburgh I witnessed something worse still. The past 10 days have intensified the tensions here, and the tactics have grown worse. What I saw today wasn’t campaigning – it was the tactics of the mob. ​ There were plenty of press there – both print and […]

    Read more →
  • News Polling Tories increase lead on economy, but Labour most trusted on health

    Tories increase lead on economy, but Labour most trusted on health

    Polling for yesterday’s Evening Standard provided a mixed bag for Labour. Focussing on which parties were the most trusted on a range of issues, Ipsos MORI found that the most important issue for voters at the next election is the economy – and the Tories have extended their lead to 25 points. Fewer people now think Labour are the best party to manage the economy than at any time since the recession began in 2008, with only 20% compared to […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Scotland Yes or No, the referendum can bring the change we all need

    Yes or No, the referendum can bring the change we all need

    We’re going to be in a new world on Friday. We can’t go back to the way things used to work. Whether the result is Yes or No, change is coming and it has the potential to be the best thing to happen to politics for a long time. We have a state that is too centralised and too distant from the people. We have a Labour party that has lost touch with many of the people who have traditionally […]

    Read more →