Oh Labour!


labour 1957 posterStrategy with Sue Marsh

Oh Labour! Labour, Labour, Labour. My poor, tired party with no confidence.

Are we really so lost that we can’t think of anything to say that doesn’t sound a bit Tory? So meek that we’ve forgotten how to frame our argument? Are we really only left with “scroungers” and “cutting a bit less”?

Of course we’re not. People want to hear that we can be a great country again. That we can recover from the mess caused by the global financial crash together and come out of the other side stronger. They want to hear that this is an opportunity. A once in a lifetime chance to stop and take stock, to think about society in a fresh, empowering, way.

They want a blueprint for business that focuses on development and excellence and innovation. From science to medicine to new technologies and a world class green economy, using the pioneering skills we’re so good at developing.

The public know that this is a unique chance to question and improve the economic systems that could be making the world a better place, not a greedier place. They want a global response from politicians with the vision to work together. They don’t want us to batten down the hatches in fear, impotent and trapped, they want us to move on with confidence.

They want to hear that we will focus on excellence and diversity of education for every single child – they instinctively know that this leads to work and wealth.

They want to be told that if the rest of the world wants to race to the bottom, the UK wants to reach for the top. That brave politicians can choose not to make people suffer and instead, will stretch every fibre of imagination and resourcefulness – especially in tough times – to help them get on.

Do you have to be anti-business to say “Hey guys, how about we set up an “All in it Together” programme? “Voluntary contributions from the biggest businesses in the UK to fund apprenticeships, keep libraries open, fund scholarships or training?” If there was a sense that we really are all in this together, I have a feeling confidence would change overnight.

Why does it all have to be “tough” and “austere” and divisive? Why can’t it be co-operative and inspiring and bold?

Labour will win voters back when we remember how to be confident. When we remember that good Labour policy is usually positive and inspiring, not negative and judgemental. By making our message one of hope and optimism, we back the coalition into an austerity corner. A gloomy, cutting, destructive, economy-stifling, corner.

Now isn’t that a much more logical place for the coalition to be?

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