Progress to launch “Campaign for a Labour Majority”

26th April, 2013 10:59 am

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This morning Progress will be announcing the line up for their conference – at which they’ll be launching their new “Campaign for a Labour Majority”. It is planned to run from this May for a year.

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Progress will be arguing that Miliband has been successful in the areas he has focused his attention in so far – eliminating the Lib Dems as a progressive force and reaching out to activists on the left – but they will also argue that it’s time for a new phase of Miliband’s leadership, where the party needs to improve its poll ratings to ensure a majority. They’ll be arguing that the number of 2010 Tory voters that the party can win back over to Labour must be a major metric in the party’s election planning – and that there are large number of gains we must make from the Tories.

The campaign will have both policy and organisational elements to it.

In policy terms the aim will be to continue to push for the kind of ideas espoused in the Purple Book and their follow up pamphlet the Purple Papers. In particular, Progress are going to spend the next year prioritising four policy areas:

– Fiscal responsibility and growth
– Public sector reform
– Getting Britain back to work
– Universal Childcare and Social Care

Organisationally, there is also going to be a focus on “widening Labour’s electoral map” by working on what they’re calling the “frontline forty”. From seat number 67 (Norwich North) to 106 on Labour’s target seat list, Progress will be focussing their time on the seats they believe the party needs to win to secure a majority. From October the will be a series of regional events around these seats – and another policy based publication next spring.

The New Labour campaign group will also be launching some exclusive polling at the conference from YouGov along with an essay from Peter Kellner, contrasting what people expect from majority Labour Government compared to majority Conservative Government.

Progress conference will be held on May 11th – and we’ll bring you full coverage on the day

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  • AlanGiles

    “Progress conference will be held on May 11th – and we’ll bring you full coverage on the day”

    Well, I for one, won’t miss it (what you don’t see, you don’t miss). There’s only one thing I’d enjoy more than going to a Progress conference, and that is NOT going to a Progress conference.

    However, I am sure that the audience will be rivetted to their seats – it will be the only way to keep them there till the bitter end.

    • $6215628

      Do you have stock replies to anything you disagree with , or do you just recall them from a list that’s says “Old labour is good ,all else is bad” personally I can think of lots of things more interesting than a progress meeting, going to a compass one, a Fabians one, a blue Labour meeting ,A Co-op one..

    • aracataca

      I think I’ve found something else you won’t be doing- namely signing the GMB’s petition (see below) regarding the decision of Brighton’s ruling Green Party Councillors (with the support of their Tory Party friends) to sack the council’s workforce and get them to reapply for their old jobs on worse terms and conditions of service:

      http://www.gmb-southern.org.uk/no-to-green-cuts-at-brighton-hove-city-council/

      • Fair enough, but that doesn’t make the idea of a Progress conference any more attractive!

        • aracataca

          Is it right that the ruling Green Party (in cahoots with the Tory Party) sack the entire workforce of the only council in England that they run and invite that workforce to reapply for their jobs with drastically reduced terms and conditions of service?
          Obviously some people on here think it is.
          This is the kind of garbage they got up to when they were in government with banksters and property developers in Ireland between 2007-2011.
          It’s not a proposition from Wittgenstein Mike-Is it right yes or no?

  • johndclare

    Personally, if the only way to get elected and replace this Tory government with a Labour government is for that Labour government essentially to continue the Tory government’s policies, I – and millions like me – will be able to see no reason to vote Labour in 2015.
    This continual bleating that for some reason we need to chase the Tories rightwards just does not do it for me. We have a government so right-wing it is reactionary, and Progress’s response seems simply to be that we must endorse Tory-Lite policies to get elected.
    The four identified policy-areas are harmless enough – it’s how they will be implemented that is the worry. Having been appropriated by the neoliberals, the word ‘reform’ has become a terror-word for anybody even mildly to the left.
    The Labour Party needs to postpone this attempt to woo the right-wing vote, until it has set about crafting a viable and workable left-wing alternative. There are millions of left-minded people who simply refuse to support Labour, which they see as just another party of the right. And every time Progress open their ill-considered mouth they reinforce that perception.

  • NT86

    Tory voters are not going to come back to Labour. Those defecting are most likely heading to UKIP.

    • aracataca

      ‘Tory voters are not going to come back to Labour’

      You been at the Crystal Ball as well? As you can see into the future can you tell me if my numbers are going to come up in the lottery this week? (Save the price of buying the ticket if they aren’t).

      Thanks

      • johndclare

        Personally, if the only way to get elected and replace this Tory
        government with a Labour government is for that Labour government essentially
        to continue the Tory government’s policies, I – and millions like me – will be
        able to see no reason to vote Labour in 2015.

        This continual bleating that for some reason we need to chase the Tories
        rightwards just does not do it for me. We have a government so right-wing
        it is reactionary, and Progress’s response seems simply to be that we must
        endorse Tory-Lite policies to get elected.

        The four identified policy-areas are harmless enough – it’s how they will be
        implemented that is the worry. Having been appropriated by the
        neoliberals, the word ‘reform’ has become a terror-word for anybody even mildly
        to the left.

        The Labour Party needs to postpone this attempt to woo the right-wing vote,
        until it has set about crafting a viable and workable left-wing alternative.
        There are millions of left-minded people who simply refuse to support
        Labour, which they see as just another party of the right. And every time
        Progress open their ill-considered mouth they reinforce that perception.

      • Take your point, but realistically, I think few will make that leap. I think ex LD’s and those who didn’t vote – and there were LOTS of them last time – are more likely to be convinced

      • NT86

        Swing voters could (who aren’t hugely aligned to one single party), as could ex-Lib Dems and Labour voters who stayed home last time. But don’t tell me the Tories who went Labour in 97 and 2001 (and 2005 to a lesser extent) would. Places like St Albans, Newark and Hemel Hempstead are not even being pursed by Labour this time around. Stick mainly to the 110 or so target seats which essentially decide the election.

    • Hugh

      Does the Tory/Labour swing voter not exist then?

      Interesting theory.

      • aracataca

        Looks like some apologists for the Green Party on here think the idea of sacking your workforce and then getting them to re-apply for their jobs on worse terms and conditions is absolutely great.
        Hypocrisy sick bag anyone?

      • NT86

        I just mentioned them in my reply to aractaca. To make a distinction with true blue Tories.

      • JoeDM

        There were plenty of Tories that voted Labour in 97, 01 and 05 because they were fed up with a weak Major government and saw a safe pair of hands in Tony Blair.

        • AlanGiles

          I think it is fair to say that Blair was a “Labour” Prime Minister for Conservatives, more than he was for genuine Labour voters

          • But don’t forget, in the run up to ’97 Blair had a bundle of admirable policies: stakeholder economy, opposition to i.d. cards, nationalisation of railways, breaking up media ownership.

            I voted Labour with great enthusiasm in ’97.

          • AlanGiles

            True Dave, but I was always highly sceptical of him. He was always just a bit too eager to please, a little too good to be true

          • JoeDM

            And a commitment to stick to the previous governments spending plans and generally not frighten the middle-class votes in the south of England that he knew were necessary.

          • I accept that.

            Will you be voting for the real Tories in 2015 Joe – not the Progress wannabes, not Cameron’s omnishambolics but the true heirs to Thatcher:

            http://www.standard.co.uk/incoming/article8585077.ece/ALTERNATES/w460/nigelfarage.jpg

          • $6215628

            He never said renationalise the railways, as for ID car that was before biometric I’d meant they could not be copied and were genetically attached to the person who had it,I don’t think there was a case to break up media ownership ,he flew half away around to appeal to Murdoch,

          • leslie48

            That would be why we had the Minimum Wage, expansion of education including university places for working class kids , SureStart, smaller primary classes, more NHS investment , less hospital queues , improved morale, more infra structure, lowest unemployment in Europe, economic growth, an active participation in Europe, better working conditions, large reduction in child poverty, increase in welfare spending, considerable decline in crime in the 2000s , no riots …and so on. That was the Labour Party in power for 13 years not just one man bringing social democracy and making the UK a more socially integrated society like the other advanced nations in Europe.

        • No, Joe. The figures suggest this was so in 1997, yes, but in 2001 and less so in 2005, there was a lot of Tory abstention. the Labour vote continued to drop from one election to the next

    • Largely agree. Most people who voted Tory had some basic sympathy with their outlook. They only got 36% which is easy to forget

      • Hugh

        Labour only got 29%. I tend to remember that.

        • Which is exactly the point. Many of the Labour voters from previous years didn’t vote at all – there’s little evidence of mass movement to the Tories

    • Nail on the head there, mate.

      I live in one of the safest of Tory seats and as a result have quite a few Tory voting friends and I’m on friendly terms with a few Tory councillors. Almost all of them have sympathy for UKIP, mostly re the EU.

      Ed dropped a bit of a clanger when he said he didn’t want an EU referendum and that, in my view, put paid any prospect of recruiting a significant number of Tories.
      It seems somewhat muddle-headed and unrealistic for Progress (who are more pro-EU than Rompuy and Barosso combined) to want to recruit Tories given there’s so much EU skepticism within Tory ranks.

      Another popular desire among Tories in my locality is need to try Blair for war crimes. I wonder if there’s any chance of Progress including that in their priority list.

      Or perhaps Progress are using the ‘Tory vote’ focus as an excuse to promote right wing policies.

      • It wouldn’t be right for us to call for an EU referendum though – because there is no way we could carry out its wishes if it went for withdrawal

        • Sure, I agree.

          But if Progress want to pursue the politics of deceit (pretending to be Tory in an attempt to win Tory votes) they may as well go the whole hog and talk up the prospect of a referendum.

          But if there is no deceit, or if they abandon the deceit, and they actually want Tory policies then one must wonder why they don’t simply join the Tory Party and have done with it – if the Tories will have them, that is.

    • Chilbaldi

      What fighting spirit! We might as well give up on the next election now then, as well as any hope of having a majority in the future?

  • Mark Gallagher
  • Delroy Booth

    Here’s the translation.

    – Fiscal responsibility and growth – Tory cuts! Austerity. Continued mass unemployment.

    – Public sector reform – continuing with Tory privitzation and looting of the welfare state

    – Getting Britain back to work – contuned use of workfare, ATOS, and bullying benefits claimants

    – Universal Childcare and Social Care – Stealing Osborne’s policies, sure why not?

    Progress are poison and Labour won’t get my vote until they are driven from the party. Not that they care what a w/c northerner like me thinks, or who they vote for, too busy pandering to middle-class southern Tories and the Daily Mail to represent the working class. Don’t worry I’m sure the BNP and UKIP will fill the vacuum….

    I can’t wait for the next Labour govt to go the way of Hollande in France. Or PASOK….

  • Gain a majority by pushing Tory policies.
    No, thanks
    We have to convince people of what we believe, not just capitulate to Tory thinking
    But, then, Progress largely support the coalition in any case

  • i_bid

    Campaign for yet more Blairite dilution of Labour’s platform so Labour can win seats they don’t need.

  • AlanGiles

    Meanwhile, according to a splash at the top of LL today, on May 7th an evening of necrophillia at the Cadogan Hall:

    “Charles Moore on Margaret Thatcher”

    Looks like May is going to be one of those surreal “commemorative festivals” that they used to have on Round The Horne:

    “I myself, will be heading to the Muffinmongers Hall, which as you know is in Cheapside, where our old friends, the Over-80s Nudist Leapfrog Team will be holding their annual bring and buy sale. I will be interested, not so much in what they bring, as what they bring it in*”

    (*Barry Took/Marty Feldman, 1967)

  • NT86

    Fiscal responsibility and getting Britain back to work are like word-for-word Conservative slogans. There’s no such thing as “fiscal responsibility” while this government hypocritically pays for academies and reorganising the NHS. Not to mention the money given to Work Programme Providers. Funny how that money comes about. Was it found behind a sofa? Will the Taxpayers’ Alliance (LOL) say anything about those?

    Growth comes through investment, not squeezing it to within an inch of its life.

  • The Campaign for a Red Tory Majority. Are they going to raise money by auctioning off signed copies of Tony Blair’s crime fiction book A Journey? Or will Lord Sainsbury be footing the bill?

  • robertcp

    Labour will lose votes if it returns to a New Labour approach. I am sure that many public sector workers would vote for a break from public sector reform. What has it achieved over the last 20+ years?

    • AlanGiles

      “Labour will lose votes if it returns to a New Labour approach”
      I am sure you are right, Robert. People can see the last three years have been an entire waste of time, a shambles, with ever rising prices, employment looking ever more precarious, but, more than anything, an entire lack of hope for ordinary people on low wages or none at all. Yet, despite all this, there is the feeling that the public are being punished for things that are not their fault.
      If New Labour and it’s Purple Book fanatics really think that they will get a workable majority by offering a similar set of demonstrably unworkable policies, however slightly toned down and diluted, they are in for a shock.
      Desperate situations call for different remedies, not more of the same. It might upset City bankers, it will certainly upset some newspapers, but they constitute only a small part of the electorate, as do the social entrepeneurs and Blue Labour (or whatever colour it is this week) social commentators.
      The great problem with a lot of would-be intellectuals is that they talk ABOUT the poor

      • aracataca

        But Labour under EM has clearly moved on from the New Labour period and you have accidentally on purpose grossly exaggerated the influence of the Purple Bookers on the current direction of Labour. Of course one group who are paying the price of austerity is the workforce of Brighton Council who face in your words ‘an unhappy situation’ and not an orchestrated attack on their rights and living standards. Regrettably you don’t have the humility and/or courage to condemn what the Greens have done here and subsequently you have compromised your credibility yet again.

        • AlanGiles

          “you have accidentally on purpose grossly exaggerated the influence of the Purple Bookers on the current direction of Labour. ”

          Quote from article:

          “In policy terms the aim will be to continue to push for the kind of ideas espoused in the Purple Book and their follow up pamphlet the Purple Papers. In particular, Progress are going to spend the next year prioritising four policy areas:”

          But perhaps you can’t read. I know you are obsessed with Brighton, but did you not see the several links I posted which showed that councils all around the country (including London) have indulged in this practice.???. I don’t like it, and don’t approve of it, but government has starved local authorities of funds.

          Probably not. None so blind as those who don’t want to see.

          As for “courage” why not stop hiding shyly behind “aracataca”, when dishing out your funny little jibes, better still why don’t you stop posting your drivel aimed at me personally?.

  • Alexwilliamz

    How about focussing on getting more people to vote and vote labour, for every potential tory-labour swing voter i’d wager there are 5 non voters sat at home in the belief that voting doesn’t make any difference.

    • $6215628

      Mike Hmfrays, explanation above that there were a lot of Tory abstentions in 2001 and 2005 ‘ was due to the disillusioned Tory who felt that their party were incompetent, that Blair was a safe pair of hands and that they were happy not to have their vote count ,and needn’t worry about an alternative government rocking the boat, and they come back to the Tories when it appeared Labour were spending too much, so if a half hearted Tory who stayed at home as they felt that the Government wasn’t up to much, but felt Ed Miliband would lose, they’d probably stay at home again, if the Labour Party takes the road of not appealing to swing voters, there a lay Tory voters who may have abstained will come out and vote Tory to prevent a left wing Labour Party,

  • Alexwilliamz

    That is a genuine point, but it does create an ethical dilemma; are we to position ourselves in the fabled ‘centre’ ground (which always seems to lurch to the right in these kinds of discussions) in an attempt to induce apathy amongst the tory voter. Hmmm

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