Saturday, May 24, 2008

What Next For New Labour After Tory Triumph?

New Labour is licking its wounds. After Crewe and Nantwich, Brown and New Labour cannot survive. The Party donors are ebbing away. Power is draining away. But can New Labour dig itself out of the hole?

Brown should not survive but who replaces him? The New Labour clones are as unpopular with the people as he is. 

Even with a caretaker leader he/she will been seen as just that, a caretaker. And how long can you go on with the third leader of a government without a general election? One way is for the Labour Party to go back to its core Labour roots and values and focus on its core supporters. 

Labour can win the next general election but it would be a victory for true Labour. New Labour MPs would be the 'rebels'. The Party could elect a fighter, not a caretaker and come out fighting. Make it clear New Labour is dead (shout it from the rooftops), focus on some Big Issues, make bold decisions and come out clear and strong.

A caretaker leader cannot do too much before the general election - but they can take tough decisions. Pick them off. 

Scrap ID cards once and for all, call a referendum on the Lisbon not-a-constitution, pull all operational troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, scrap the Olympic financial fiasco, bring core strategic public utilities and services into public ownership, wage a real war on government waste by axing now the ridiculous quangos, PFI schemes, the NHS IT computer debacle and worthless IT projects. 

Conduct a forensic account of public spending, including all the spending Brown has hidden away off the balance sheet. Throw out the SpAds and consultants. Scrap the ridiculous alcohol licensing laws, and, yes, tackle immigration as a numbers issue not people. 

And so it goes on. Take your pick, there's plenty to choose from. And for goodness sake stop the robotic Newlabourspeak. Be direct and honest and speak English. 

This would be no U-turn. These once would have been Labour policies before the Party was highjacked. Signal an end to the New Labour Project. Then call the general election and fight on these issues. They may not win but they would have put up a good fight and totally wrong-foot the Conservatives.

But they won't. They can't. 

As New Labour policies fall apart and people have woken up to the sham, the Conservative strategy has been and continues to be react and ridicule, only putting forward a hard policy when it needs to. The 10p tax fiasco was a classic example. Here we saw not reaction but a real policy - cut taxes, fight the debt culture and fund public services with a purge on government waste. 

The Conservatives will now start to produce some policies and sensible real manifesto commitments. As real alternatives to New Labour.

So New Labour will limp along. If they cannot come up with the solutions then again they deserve all they get and its time to make way for someone who can.


Friday, May 23, 2008

The Worm Has Turned

With a Conservative majority of over 7800 and a 17.6 percent swing, Crewe And Nantwich is the final nail in the coffin of the New Labour project. Truly a bye-bye election. Now for Brown, New Labour and his political elite, even a year will be a long time in politics.

All the Party donors who have done so well out of New Labour in return for favours are ebbing away. New Labour will see a rapid decline as power drains away.

Times will change, so what happens next and what's the political alternative?

The Conservatives will have to harden up their policies or even produce some. They are starting already with Cameron's signal on tax cuts and highlighting debt. Now instead of just reacting to New Labour, with a quote at the end of the increasing number of reports of another failed and disastrous New Labour policy, they will have to produce some sensible real manifesto commitments.

But that's only the politics.

Other elements of the State, much more than just political parties, will remind the government that they are not the only kids on the block. The State is made up of many elements - not just the a prime minister and New Labour cronies and hangers on.

The police are up in arms. The judges are fed up with New Labour fiddling about. The army generals are plotting a coup. The media is turning. Even the urban liberal politically-correct BBC/Guardian is showing disquiet.

And of course there's the Murdoch Empire, so far sitting on the fence, the Empire will strike back. Murdoch is in the business of selling papers - so far he's backed Brown (sort of) and was giving him until the Labour Party conference - but that will now change. After all they need to reflect the views of their bread and butter. And leaves the sad tired old Mirror.

Big business, the ones who really hold the power, they'll continue to accelerate the move out of the UK - through the foreign investment banks and off-shore tax havens, where the disastrous UK debt spiralling out of control cannot reach them.

People are realising this country is in a mess. Its time now to focus on key, bold, clear, simple to understand Big Issues - big or small, there's room for all. Faced with stark choices, people will see sense as long as it is honest and not spun.

Explain in simple language the pros and cons and then act boldly. But only if it makes sense and is in the best interests of the people of the nations.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Not Just A By-Election, A Bye Bye Election

Today the nation decides in a by-election all about English politics. By-elections are supposed to be brushed aside as mid term blues but Crewe and Nantwich is different. It will signal a turning point. For the first time in over a quarter of a century the Conservatives are set to take a safe Labour seat.

New Labour's handling of this by-election has been a disgrace. The political elite should be ashamed of themselves. What a grubby nasty campaign it has been.

New Labour tried to play the Dunwoody card, the class card, the immigration card and the whole pack of cards. Voters discovered that Tamsin Dunwoody is not her real name. It's Moyra Tamsin Dunwoody-Kneafsy. And she's listed in Burke's Peerage! Very New Labour.

The LibDems are no better - ditching the original candidate for a new more Clegg friendly model. So much bitterness. So much political nastiness.

Meanwhile, Tory candidate, Edward Timpson, seems like an awfully nice chap. Certainly not part of the Westminster political class.

Voters are fed up with Brown and fed up with New Labour. Today they will deliver a resounding 'No' to Brown and New Labour. But this will not be a vote for the Tories even though they have fought a clean campaign with Mr Nice. It's a vote against Brown, the 10p tax fiasco, the decade of lies and spin.

So when the dust settles what next? Just a few week ago this was a safe New Labour seat with a 7000 majority. Tories didn't stand a chance. Then it was neck and neck. Then it was Tories just in the lead. Now New Labour is heading for a huge defeat.

But it is not who wins or loses. Here the swing is the thing.

A single figure swing to the Tories (up to 9 percent) and Brown/New Labour is safe. A double digit swing (10-14 percent) and it is very uncomfortable for Brown (but safe for New Labour). But a big double digit swing (anything over 15 percent) and the Party's over. Because that would translate in a Tory majority after a general election.

In this by-election, New Labour deserves all it gets.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A New Beginning?

The New Labour Project is dead. In 1997, the Gang of Four hijacked a Labour Party which died with John Smith. All that's left is a fag-end government and shamed New Labour brand.

The Orange Party has broken free from the shackles of New Labour. Free to show up the sham of a decade of disaster and failed policies.

A decade of lies, deceit and spin was kept going by the slick salesmanship of Blair, sinister spin of Campbell, shifty skulduggery of Mandelson and political strategy of Gould, all propped up with a smattering of crafty accounting by Brown.

Brown and New Labour just don't get it. The Project only worked with a smiley face up front. Now after 11 years, people have finally woken up to the con and won't be taken in by any more spin and hype. Soon New Labour will be just a sad and embarrassing footnote in history.

New Labour and its disreputable band of political elite, cronies and hangers on will try to hang on and relaunch again. But with no-one to replace Brown, they are all doomed. Eventually the gang will have to give up and the Party can try to go back to its decent Labour roots.

The LibDems are blowing in the wind. And by electing Windbag Clegg they missed the signs of the winds of change and went for a telegenic New Labour clone.

The Conservative don't know where to position themselves. Is Cameron still the heir to Blair? Now no-one knows. The rise in popularity of the Tories is a vote against New Labour rather than a vote for the Tories.

Celtic nationalists are on the march. In Scotland, there are signs the SNP is establishing itself as the party for the people of Scotland. In Wales, Plaid leads a reformed Welsh National Party. In Northern Ireland politicians from all parties are trying to make a peaceful solution work.

So what of the future? Events, old chap, events ...