Opposition is never easy, especially if you have been the party of government for over a decade.
The Labour party has rediscovered the impotence of opposition, for a period after the general election it was preoccupied with a leadership election and the displeasure at the Lib Dems abandoning there pre election positions. This gave the Conservatives legitimacy that they could not arrive through the ballot box and the implementation of an agenda that was not put before the electorate.
Now the Labour Party has to rediscover an authentic message, it has to clearly articulate 'what the Labour Party is for'.
There is much to oppose in the governments agenda and it's essential the Labour shadow ministers points out the failings. The Party will have to develop new ways of getting the medias interest, one failing has been the lack of visibility of shadow ministers.
But the Labour Party will have to better develop it's themes, the message, this has seemed confused last year, why the Labour Party does not point out it's great successes in government it is beyond me, the Labour Party has allowed it's opponents to rubbish it's whole period in government and they have rewritten history, without challenge.
Labour has to be on the side of working people, the Conservatives say they want to build the private sector jobs, they have no plan to do so, they believe further deregulation of the labour market will be the answer. Labour should learn the lessons of successful economies like Germany, increasing vocational education, easier access for business investment through regional banks and greater involvement of workers' representation in the long term planning of the companies. The British economy has to be rebalanced in favour of wealth creation over finance and services.
Labour implemented the welfare state and universal benefits based on 'social insurance' this based on a safety net, if you paid in then in times of uncertainty you could receive income. The long term sick and disabled should always be look after, but welfare should never be seen as a long term option. There has to be a heavier emphasis on contribution, responsibility over rights.
The most important relationships people have are with family and where people live, Labour has to be on the side of the family, the basis of all family life is a safe and secure home and safe and secure neighbourhoods.
The Labour Party has to support active competition and regulation to combat rigged markets, concentrated power is not in the interests of the little person, if banks, utilities, media or government over steps then there has to be consequences, to defend the interests of the consumers.
In 2012 the Labour Party needs to say what is here for, it cannot afford another year like 2011, if it does victory in 2015 will be much harder.