5 things we learned from the Hunt/Reeves interviews today

13th October, 2013 1:05 pm

There has been considerable interest today in interventions from Rachel Reeves and Tristram Hunt today on their new policy areas. So here are five things we’ve learned as a result:

The policy hasn’t changed…

Tristram Hunt says Labour favours “parent-led academies” which will be focused on areas of greatest need, rather than free schools. That’s not a new policy – that’s a reiteration of what Stephen Twigg said in July. And as for not closing successful free schools – Stephen Twigg told me that in an interview back in early 2012.

As for Reeves, there’s a renewed focus on the compulsory jobs guarantee and sanctions for those who turn down a job (existing policy) and using outsourcing to enforce the living wage (existing policy). The only potential change is a move away from contributory welfare, but that was always kite flying and had never really been endorsed.

So in policy terms, it’s as you were.

…but the language certainly has

However, where Reeves and Hunt are differing from their predecessors is on tone, language and emphasis. Neither Liam Byrne or Stephen Twigg could ever have talked about embracing some forms of free schools or being “tougher” on welfare without howls of outrage that “the Blairites” we’re trying to outflank the Tories or undermine Miliband. Neither Hunt or Reeves carry the same baggage as their predecessors and so have greater latitude to occupy positions more clearly. Now, like me, you might think free schools are a poorly thought out idea and that entering into a rhetorical arms race on welfare with the Tories is only going to end badly, but if we’re honest, it’s language not policy that has changed – for now.

Ed Miliband was never held hostage by the “Blairites”

Another reputational issue that Byrne and Twigg often had to face was the sense that they were trying to drive Labour policy in a direction that was contrary to Ed Miliband’s own views. That wasn’t really the case – as George Eaton rightly notes. More often Miliband’s office took a view and the likes of Byrne or Twigg were sent out to sell/finesse it. That meant, accidentally or on purpose, Miliband was able to escape the flak that those shadow ministers got for policy ideas that originated in his own office. He can’t do that anymore. These policies are his policies. He can’t – and won’t – disown them. So he’ll need to embrace them – and the rhetoric too (unless he wants to try and stay above the fray whilst his shadow cabinet upset his base by talking tough).

Too much fear, not enough hope

What bothers me though, especially with regards to Rachel Reeves comments on being “tougher” than the Tories on welfare is that (as I said above) it’s an arms race we can’t win, and it’s also playing the politics of fear, not the politics of hope. As someone said recently – Britain can do better than this. So if you want to talk about the compulsory jobs guarantee, why not talk about it in a positive and hopeful way? Why not talk about ending long term unemployment, giving people a chance at a job, a career and an independent life?

When I think about that policy I think of it as hopeful – not as a way of talking about the few who don’t want to work but about the millions who do. That’s a message Reeves could have pushed – especially in the Observer.

If you do a pre-recorded interview, you don’t control the story

The reason that we’re even talking about this though, is that both Reeves and Hunt did their interventions via interviews. When you do an interview, you don’t control the focus, the headline or the way in which your message in spun. That means that their first big set pieces were at the mercy of someone else (although Hunt was also on Marr, and wrote a blog for us too, so he’s had a greater chance to shape reaction to the initial piece). That’s how you get stories about Labour being tough on welfare (when I’m guessing that was only a fraction of the Reeves interview) and Labour doing a u-turn on free schools (when the policy hasn’t changed). Neither were presumably what either will have wanted as their first headline in the Shadow Cabinet – but that’s exactly what they’ve got…

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  • MarkLathamUK

    Main point to take from both these interviews is that the (existing) Labour policy message is now ‘punching through’ for the first time. That is very significant as Labour tries to keep the momentum from conference season where they set the agenda and counter the media line that they have no policies. After Cummings bizarre ravings in Gove’s Education Dept and IDS failure to get a grip on UC IT systems at DWP both Tristram Hunt and Rachel Reeves look like strong figures with clear policy.

  • Amber_Star

    Labour sending out an ex-banker to say that we’ll be tougher on welfare than the Tories is acutely embarrassing!

    • treborc1

      I expect we will see signs on the Job center doors saying “Work makes one free” with a picture of Tory or Labour’s leader with his finger pointing to the sign.
      After all how much harder can you make it for the sick the disabled and the unemployed.

      • Holly

        Glad you added the intended ‘victim’ on the end of your comment…
        …The unemployed.
        Do you reckon those finding it so hard to find work will grumble at being caught in the radar, after being under it for so long?
        I promise you that once they are employed, accept it as the norm, they will never look back.
        Employment is THE BEST way to move people forward with their lives.
        Hopefully, with more money available for the sick & disabled through the tax system, they will also benefit, from the unemployed finding their way into employment.

        • treborc1

          Yep and of course we all know how good Labour is at making jobs in the public sector, so lets hope they are better at making them in the private sector. Then MP can perhaps try working.

    • Holly

      Labour accepting as a cabinet minister, and Labour voters electing one is quite ironic though, don’t you think?
      Makes you wonder if the current boss isn’t a toff underneath.

      All that bilge he comes out with about rich folks & bankers, is just a front to take the ‘heat’ from his own door.
      He’s a politician FGS….They are indeed all the same.

      Why pretend to be on the side of the little people, by constantly calling others for having wealth?
      Does he think we don’t know he belongs in the same ‘class’, because IF he stopped pretending wealth was a sin,(unless it is his own wealth of course) then maybe, just maybe, he would not come across as such a plank…I mean idiot…I mean bogus…I mean hypocrite.

      • treborc1

        You have to look a bit deeper then that, a few days ago Ed political adviser did something stupid he had a meeting behind closed door , which was recorded by somebody which I suspect was then sold to the news media, a discussion about how Labour were losing it with the public on welfare.

        James Morris, a polling expert and speechwriter for
        the Labour leader, ­confessed that the party was being trounced by the
        Tories in the argument over welfare reform.

        More
        than two-thirds of voters in marginal constituencies crucial to the
        outcome of the next general election backed the Government’s commitment
        to slash welfare, Mr Morris told a ­private meeting.

        And he said a majority of voters believed there was a “moral” case for doing so.

        http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/435684/Ed-Miliband-has-lost-welfare-battle-says-poll-guru

        Hence you now have Labour’s response to counter act this….

    • JoeDM

      The Blairites will be pleased !!!

      • dave stone

        But they shouldn’t be.

        In the run-up to ’97 Blair ran on a radical programme: stakeholder economy, anti ID cards, tough on the causes of crime, etc. And won a landslide.

        Today’s Blairites seem to think they’ll achieve success by replicating Blair’s errors.

        Someone should tell them.

  • Mike Homfray

    pretty much agree with all of that. I actuslly think the job guarantee policy is realistic but the education policy still utterly hopeless.

    • Derek Robinson

      How does Labour create 3 Million Jobs ??

      • rekrab

        Yeah! lets stop pretending that the vast majority of JSA seekers are responsible for being where they are. These politicians are paid well to do a job for the nation, not to look for excuses to favour their poor performances.

  • crosland

    A bit sad isn’t it that Dianne Abbott chooses to go on the Politics Show this morning, to wallow in self styled martyordom. Couldn’t she just once keep her trap shut instead of wanting to be on telly again ? As usual it’s more important to help the media divert attention from change Labour is engaged in and promote her own interests.

    • treborc1

      MIliband should have known about Abbott, she is and has been for a long long time a person who sees the money sign.

      • rwendland

        If that was true, why did she give up most of those money making opportunities (eg £839 per This Week show) to become a minor shadow minister?

        • treborc1

          To become a minor Minister that’s not hard to understand, the fact is she should not have had that TV job in the first place.

          Ms Abbott was very good at telling others about socialism and not very good at doing it her self.

          Blair why are you sending your kids to private school, well for the same reason you are, ah yes but I’m doing it because the schools around me are rubbish, bet her constituents thought that was helpful

    • Monkey_Bach

      I wouldn’t worry. She’ll be back playing the banana to straight man Michael Portillo (and yes! that was a pun!) and Andrew Neil on This Week in the near future. Miliband was daft to have promoted her in the first place.

      Eeek.

      • BillFrancisOConnor

        What if she expresses ‘genuine concern’ or ‘extreme worry’ about what she has been doing? Would she be OK then?
        Sadly yet another commentator on here who uses the word ‘will’ all the time.
        ‘The future is unwritten’- (Joe Strummer) – the only statement that ‘will’ always be true.

        • Monkey_Bach

          Oh, you make me laugh, you really do, although I really am personally beginning feel ‘genuine concern’ and ‘extreme worry’ in respect to your own state of mental health. I’m sure that you will be back spouting off-topic silliness like this in response to one of my posts in the near future. As far as predicting the future goes when Diane Abbot resurfaces on This Week sometime later on I’m going to track you down, on this site, and will simply write: “Regarding Ms. Abbot. I told you so.”

          How’s that for two predictions that will happen soon?!

          Tee-hee.

          Eeek.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            Just because someone espouses a contrary opinion to yours Monkey it does not mean that they are insane. I’m not convinced that Diane Abbot is motivated solely by money and my own view is that the party’s policy on welfare is still evolving partly because we do not know the circumstances we will be in upon conclusion of this current government.The fact is that nobody can predict what is going to happen in the future- not even you.

        • treborc1

          Well of course the public have shown what they think of politics and Politicians at the last election when no party won enough to govern on their own. The public I suspect see Politicians as people in it for themselves, and again Abbott’s view may well be some I agree with, sadly she puts a large foot in a very large mouth to often and earning £900 a week for an hour on TV is more then many will earn in a month of working a full week then add that to the very good wages and expenses these people get..

          It does look like another MP filling the bank balance while they can.

  • observatron

    Whether it is a change of policy or not, the language suggests continuation of tory policies, rather than using the opportunity to highlight the damage being done. On education, no standing up against the abuse of teachers and LAs, nothing about assets (e.g.school land) being flogged off.
    I don’t think there’s any danger of Labour getting my vote at the next election. If I wanted a tory government, I would vote for the one we have.

    • Holly

      The BIT I saw of Hunt, he was planning to get ‘really good teachers, with the emphasis/focus on ‘better training’.
      Was he implying the current crop are [email protected], or that the next crop will be more capable of teaching our future adults than the current crop?
      If so, what of the current crop of teachers?
      Where will the teaching unions sit when their members are accused, by the new bod that current teachers aren’t ‘trained properly’?
      Will the current crop of teachers have the opportunity to ‘re-train’, so as not to be as [email protected] as Hunt thinks they are at the moment?
      The BIT I saw was seconds long, and for me, it has thrown up more questions about what he meant.

      The reason I only saw a BIT of his interview was…
      SO MANY INTERRUPTIONS!
      Cats wanting to come in/go out.
      Puppy wanting to prat about/go out/come in.
      Hubby getting up, so make a brew girl.
      Toilet break…Cats wanting to come in/go out.
      Washer finished…etc, etc,etc.
      Drives me piggin’ bonkers.

      • Danny

        He could make his own brew. We’re not in the 1950s anymore, despite how desperate the Tory Party are to return us there.

        • Derek Robinson

          I think thats the 1750s

          • treborc1

            Where you you say Labour were sending us then.

      • PaulHalsall

        I am actually a trained historian (Ph.D. iin Byzantine and Medieval history from a tough Jesuit University in the US, where I had to actually read and translate Greek and Latin).

        Hunt has a degree from a better university than I do. But he always strikes me as a lousy historian.

        Frankly I would feel more at home with Zac Goldsmith.

        • treborc1

          Do they not say to stop making mistakes in the future to look back at history.

  • Monkey_Bach

    George Osborne only recently announced that the long-term unemployed will have to do 30 hours community service (for no wages), or visit their local Jobcentre on a daily basis (possibly without reimbursement of travel costs even if the people affected live miles away), or avail yourself of “real help” on a daily basis if you happen to have problems with drink, drugs, or are innumerate and/or illiterate. Under the Osborne plan this new variety of “conditionality” one imposed on individuals would never end but go on forever until the people in its grip found work, died, or had their status changed in some other manner, e.g., winning the national lottery.

    So it seems to me if you equate “toughness” with “nastiness” the Coalition are ALREADY much “tougher” than, hopefully, Labour could be under any conceivable circumstances.

    With the Coalition willing to become quite so merciless to various minorities on issues concerning social security, surely it would be madness for Labour to try to outbid them in a Dutch auction as far as social security goes?

    Suddenly I have that familiar sinking feeling again…

    Eeek.

    • treborc1

      We all know this is about winning the next election for god sake in my area we have no work no jobs and we have no real charity work, I know I’ve been looking for it.

      Can you imagine people standing around my job center we already have two private security gents on the door who ask what do you want here mate, I’d like to look for jobs on the computer, well mate go to the town hall they have computers you can look on them, go to the Library we are full here.

      I can imagine the 9000 Polish people and the Other groups turning up with the 15,000 unemployed each day the people working in the job center would have a break down

      • Monkey_Bach

        Thing is, based on what I’ve read on the web, something like 50,000 people a week are finishing their two-year stint on the Work Programme and returning to the rank and file of the ordinary unemployed. How Jobcentres with reduced staff levels will be able to cope with signing so many people ten times a fortnight is beyond me. I really cannot see how this can be feasible or even possible in the real world on a daily basis.

        Eeek.

        • reformist lickspittle

          It isn’t. It is just vote-grubbing nonsense.

          • treborc1

            The fact is the UK had more to do then just make jobs for it’s workers, it now has to go further and make employment for the millions that once came from Asian, which will now come from the EU. I suspect Polish people will pour in so will Romanians Lithuanians and Spainish and god know where else.

            Is that not how the EU is supposed to work, when one country struggles it’s work forces moves to another.

  • dave stone

    “if you want to talk about the compulsory jobs guarantee, why not talk about it in a positive and hopeful way?”

    The negative approach is a misjudgment. If Labour want to punish the unemployed and the economically insecure then the unemployed and economically insecure will doubtlessly want to see their punishment redirected: perhaps targeting the, so-say, ‘invading job and benefit-grabbers’ from Romania and the EU etc.

    So all-in-all Labour’s tough talk could work out to be a vote winner for UKIP.

  • PaulHalsall

    As a Person with AIDS who mostly lives on benefits (my Dad, age 75 helps me out), I was sickened by Rachel Reeve’s comments.

    And as a former educator is just felt weary at that damp rag Tristam Hunt’s interviews this morning (“Tristam” for God’s sake.)

    I almost cancelled my monthly DD to the party.

    • dave stone

      I’m sure further incentives will be along shortly.

      BTW – I’m on probation so can’t respond with my usual alacrity.

    • PaulHalsall

      I already have to describe my bowel movements not only to doctors who can actually help me, but to civil servants in exquisite detail, repeatedly. I am now able to discuss ways of dealing with uncontrollable diarrhea in such detail that I might as well get up at the next Labour Conference and explain how my upper and lower bowels work.. I can probably arrange an exhibition on stage.

      Any takers, Ms. Reeves?

      • treborc1

        We should get around a toilet then because I’m classed as Paraplegic with bowel and bladder dysfunction. I have a catheter for my bladder, and I have to take medication to make my self have the runs since my bowel cannot hold solids, so they took a loop out and shorten my small intestine and bowel, and then I had MRSA.

  • Dan

    The welfare message is absolutely pathetic, and it will fail on its own terms – being “tough” on benefits will not gain them more votes. This will just push away disillusioned benefit claimaints and their friends/relatives from voting Labour, and to top it off, anyone who does believe Labour are the party of “spongers” will not believe their claims that they’ll be “tough” anyway, so there will be a net loss of votes.

  • leslie48

    I hope the gentle academic Tristram Hunt gets on with the really crisis in education which relates to Gove’s exams fiasco and seriously low teacher morale. I am not convinced yet. Now of course there’s a few dilemmas here. No one denies we might need a re-look at GCSEs, AS/A Level but there is literally ‘no one’ out there defending Gove’s idiocy including Cambridge University, the Russell group ( top uni’s), the private schools and their heads, state schools as well as all middle class parents and working class parents and of course all the Educational professional associations and less we forget tomorrow’s student voters entering Sixth form. Why? The exam reforms are educationally rushed & problematic, it’s ideological as in ‘back to the 1960s’, resits have been removed upsetting for all those students who had issues in their lower sixth, all modes of assessment like coursework are removed accept exams at the end of two years, AS exams will go and so on. Parents and teachers remain angry. Pupils will suffer -disproportionately hitting working class kids with less resit chances.

    Teacher morale! – its obvious that Gove’s attack is hurting the professionalism of the Teaching profession including its lowering pay & conditions. This is deliberate as Neo-Liberals do not want a well paid teaching profession and the Gove effect acts as a disincentive to good honours graduates going into that noble profession. Few bright A level students ever considers teaching as a career. Its time Labour defended professionals in the public sector from this right wing assault. Yes we need better pass rates in poor schools but Gov’e methods will never achieve that as good graduates flock to well paid jobs in other sectors.

  • reformist lickspittle

    Exactly.

    Reeves has wantonly upset people for no discernable reason.

    She isn’t stupid, so the real question is – why?

    • treborc1

      To ensure labour is seen as being equal to the Tories on welfare, surely

      • Monkey_Bach

        Not merely “equal” but “tougher” apparently… although what could be “tougher” than sentencing someone on benefits to a period of unending, unpaid, full-time workfare is difficult to imagine.

        Eeek.

  • Look, walking around in circles saying that this is this and that is that, that we’re only re-emphasising current policy blah, blah, blah – is vomit inducing. Stop it.

    The labour party is a party of Liberals and Tories – if, and I cannot understand how you can’t, you can’t understand that the public know this; well you’re beyond help.

    Labour wonder why they are not over the hills and far away in the polls – it’s because you’re spouting liberal and Tory policy. Stop it.

    Labour, still, fear the “he made a lurch to the left” rhetoric of the current uber-right whom happen to be the ‘coalition’. If they say that, take it on board and tell people how it will benefit them. The people are tired, and I mean really, really tired of the parties right now. Not untrusting of them – sick and tired of them. And, if this is to continue, the electorate will make a change, a very, very radical change.

    If you cannot recognise that we need a government that is in hard of social responsibility then even Blair’s Britain is finished.

  • Derek Robinson

    ” He can’t do that anymore. These policies are his policies. He can’t – and won’t – disown them. So he’ll need to embrace them – ”

    So what was the point in shuffling if Ed’s direction is just the same as old Labour ??

    A lot of damage has been done by these two clowns today.

    Half the nation has been brainwashed into believing ‘the parties are all the same’ even the left are convinced of this.

    How can you stand at the voters doorstep and convince them it’s worth voting Labour ….. ??

    No political Nous at all !!

    • rekrab

      Derek, it’s certainly the logical conclusion most people will make.

      Why have a reshuffle yet stick to the exact same policy?

      For long and hard the alternative message was missing, hints of better days we’re suggested at conference only to be stripped backed yet again.

      If the public want that EU referendum, then lets have it, if we are to be a democracy of the people then let do it. Go on Ed, call for the EU referendum before a general election.

    • dave stone

      The doorstep problem is a difficult one, I withdrew from the challenge a couple of years ago.

      The point of the shuffling, in my view, is to pull the rug from beneath possible leadership alternatives. Clearly Murphy was jockeying for position but lacked broad support so could be culled, same goes for Cooper. But, for Ed, Burnham is the real problem – he’s too popular to demote without destabilising the whole caboodle. And that’s a good thing. At least if Ed messes up big-style we’ve a ready-made leader waiting in the wings.

  • treborc1

    True they are equal to the Tories on the welfare reforms.

  • Vaughan West

    Education policy remains incoherent. Fragmentation of control leads to a market that will be controlled by the middle class parents with the sharpest elbows. Markets inevitably leads to losers and we all know that those who are not benefitting will continue to lose out.

  • Mr Arthur Cook

    “5 things we learned….”?
    Given that grassroots members are intimately involved in the formation of policy under the new management I’d have thought you’d all have known?
    It’s almost as if the top brass were sitting making up policy and keeping it for the TV interviewers whilst you’re all putting leaflets through letter boxes.
    Labour member doing the rounds:
    Bing bong – “mornin misus can I persuade you to vote Labour?”
    Mrs Jenkins “Oooh I dunno …. what’s their policies on education?”
    Mr Labour “Oh I’ve not been told but it’ll be on the telly in a minute…can I come in and we can watch it together”.

  • rekrab

    Yeah, there is already signs that schools are favouring the middle class jam syndrome and the poor back ground students are fending off thee offences with their under valued marmite response.

    Only the fucking wealthy can afford to send their children to schools for a fifth and sixth year because EMA has been removed in England, middle class jam is reeking!!!!

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      How did people manage before EMA, in 2004, and if they were so necessary, why did Labour not introduce them at any time after 1945? Why wait until 2004?

      They were electoral bribes, nothing more.

      • rekrab

        Not as well when EMA was in?

        How did the government manage to afford free university places before tuition fees?

        So your spreading your middle-class jam thickly because you think a fifth and sixth year at school should be for those parents who can afford it better.

        • jaime taurosangastre candelas

          I think you are being a little extreme in your comment “only the ……wealthy can afford to send their children to schools”.

          Your last paragraph takes a guess as to what I think about education. You cannot possibly infer what you state from what I wrote.

          Was university free before the current government introduced tuition fees? I don’t think so but I will ask colleagues today who did study in Britain. I think that what happened was that fees went from nominal to quite large, but still not remotely approaching the actual cost of tuition. Just how much does it actually cost to teach a student for 3 years of a degree course?

          • Alexwilliamz

            An whole lot more than when they were at school, despite less hours and larger group sizes (lectures). At the end of the day the cost we are expecting young people to pay is not related to any specific high quality return in the process, but instead they are really paying for a piece of paper to give them entry into the jobs market. Perhaps we should scrap the whole shebang (vocational degrees excepted) and just get them straight onto the jobs ladder off their a level results.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            I am not sure if you are being ironic or straight.

            If the latter, you open a reasonable debate into the whole of the Blair “50% with degrees” policy. In concept, it is hard to disagree with that as it is liberal and opens avenues to those who did not previously have such opportunities.

            In practice it is hard to find reasons why 50% of the workforce need degrees, and probably equally hard to find 50% of 18 year olds who after 13 years of full time education have the level of academic achievement and potential to earn anything that should properly be graced with the name and rigour of a degree.

          • rekrab

            Can you be sure that 50% want to go to university?

            Do we really get top notch delivery from the progressive graduates of today? do Doctors make the wrong call? do those business heads get it wrong?

            If children leave schools under educated? who is to blame?

            Seems to me that the last 5 decades or so have been dedicated to the middle and upper class syndrome that if your parent was a graduate then you’ll also be one?

            Personally, I think universities are frightened of clever working class children and tuition fee seem to keep their numbers down.

            I just hope that those with the ability play the game well enough to get their degree, then? Hmmm! let them look at the structures of nepotism and life fixtures.

          • Dougie

            Actually, Jaime, it was the Blair government that introduced tuition fees. Margaret Hodge (remember her?) was the minister responsible.

      • Monkey_Bach

        One reason for EMA is that the school leaving age has gone and is going up. In 1945 school ended for pupils at fifteen, while now, I believe, the leaving age has risen to seventeen, eventually rising to eighteen in 2015.

        Eeek.

  • BillFrancisOConnor

    Why Dave? Have you been a naughty boy?

  • DJT1million

    Language is incredibly important and the punitive language being continually used by all the mainstream parties, Labour included it seems, against those that are unemployed is disgraceful.

    Following on from the Labour conference I was feeling that rare emotion ‘hope’. Hope that things will improve, that we are finally leaving the negativity of the past 30 odd years behind, that we are starting to shake the off those discredited Thatcherite plans for an ever more selfish and brutalised society and yet here we are again. Back to the language of ‘welfare’ rather than social security, of people lingering on benefits rather than highlighting that they are desperate to find a job that actually pays a salary, the language that has been consistently used to bully and harass British citizens for decades now.

    There’s a fantastic article by John Harris that’s just been published in The Guardian that expresses much of what I feel much better than I am able to today. He talks of the Coalition and their deeply offensive, Crosby inspired plans to claw back votes at any cost to the social fabric of our nation however Labour come in for some well deserved stick too. Read it.

    As Ed Miliband said in the conference, we are much better than this, it’s time you started following through on those fine words. I want to vote for Labour because I believe in your values and trust that you will work for a more equal society, not because you are not quite as vile as the alternatives.

    • Monkey_Bach

      Like you I hoped that Labour would be better than this:

      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/13/tories-hostile-not-just-immigrants

      Now I’m not so sure.

      Eeek.

    • reformist lickspittle

      It appears that the “tougher than Tories” bit may have been spin from the (never forget) LibDem supporting Graun/Observer. But that still leaves Reeves fully culpable for the “lingering on benefits” meme.

      • Monkey_Bach

        Labour should be BETTER not tougher than the Tories on everything!

        Reeves is a smart woman, intellectually speaking, but has little charm and virtually no charisma at all; to be honest she reminds me of a Stepford Wife. It will be interesting to see what she makes of herself.

        Eeek.

  • treborc1

    UKIP of course has a problem in getting enough people to stand they have never stood anyone in my area

    • dave stone

      I think they’ll give Labour a shock in some constituencies in 2015.

      Perhaps Labour will respond by being as ‘tough’ on immigrants and the EU as UKIP.

  • Dougie

    Perhaps I’m missing something but how can a Labour (or any other) government “guarantee” anyone a job? Are they planning to resurrect the Cones Hotline?

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