Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Defining moments

The leader of a political party has many roles, the first is to lead, to articulate what the party is offering the electorate and what sort of country you wish to build. The leader also has to command the respect of their colleagues, creating a strategy and working together to win elections.

The current Labour Party has an important role to be Her Majesty's official opposition holding the conservative government to account. This requires around 100 MPs to fill all the spokespersons  roles.

Last year when Mr Corbyn was elected Labour leader, he knew that after years of disloyalty to the previous 5 Labour leaders he would have to reach out to create a team that could work to defeat the Tories, he sadly failed to do this.

Worse, his lack of leadership has been exposed time and time again, whether reshuffles that take an eternity and instead of government failure to tackle the flood become the story of the leader who cant reshuffle, or clumsy articulation of simple things such as comparing the democratic Israeli state with the barbaric entity that is IS, or the lukewarm support for the European Union or his apparent support of his own Party policy, offering free votes to allow him to behave as he likes, this are not actions of a future PM.

Too often his people complain about a hostile media, all Labour leaders live with this pressure, yet Mr Corbyn and his team muddle allow the media free rain, instead of a clear concise line that the Party can follow.

The last General election Labour's offer was too small, yes it was right to highlight the Bedroom Tax, of course it was right to highlight changes in benefit and it was right to highlight the NHS and changes to student loans, but the whole campaign lack a narrative that the economy should benefit all, every person in every part of this United Kingdom should be able to achieve anything they wanted, creating opportunity for all.

Instead Labour's message look to only help the poor, the offer for too few, not talking to the majority, lacking confidence in the Party ability to change this country.

Labour economic case wrapped up in the macro economic arguments, not about creating wealth, changing economically from making money from money to creating wealth from money, you can only pay your way if you create wealth, people whom earn money spend it locally creating communities.

The last election Labour went chasing the student vote on university fees, I am a great believer in attracting all to universities, but government should be about investing in the first 1000 days of a child's life, health workers, nursery and associated services, it is no surprise that articulate middle class parents have articulate children.

Likewise in health, our NHS is brilliant it does brilliant things every minute of every day, but we need to do so much more on public health, improved education and screening, disease prevention is better than treating disease. The NHS needs proper funding, of course it does, but money alone will not make us healthier.

Mr Corbyn has allowed the Tories the pitch for themselves and he has failed.

Labour now has a choice, continue with this conservative socialism or reach out to the majority and build a better Britain, if it cant then Labour doesn't deserve a future.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016


Without a doubt the UK is better served remaining within the EU.

We live in challenging times and it is naive to believe we can solve the problems of our times without working with our partners and our European neighbours, the UK should be leading Europe not leaving.

The UK is an important partner in the EU with 3 million jobs depending on continuing membership, by being a member we can shape the rules of the single market, if we were leave we could still trade with the EU but we would have to agree to rules and tariffs set by foreign governments. We should not turn our back on free trade agreements.

Membership of the EU secures consumer protections that deliver lower prices at the supermarkets for families and we benefit when travelling in Europe with cheaper flights and phone calls.

The EU secures working protections for UK workers, safeguarding maximum working times, paid holidays and equal pay, securing parental leave and equal treatment for part time workers.

In an insecure world the UK has used it influence within the EU to make the world safer, we have secured greater intelligence sharing for security and the use of European Arrest warrants fighting terrorism.

Environmental problems do not respect national borders, this country's membership of the EU has been a crucial factor in shaping our approach to environmental protection, whether cleaner beaches, fuel efficient cars or holding government account on air pollution.

For the reasons above I will be urging everyone to vote to remain in the EU, together we are stronger in Europe.

Friday, 1 January 2016

New Year

In 2015 the centre left of British politics was given a good kicking.

Labour spectacularly failed in the May general election, losing heavily with the loss of confidence of the British electorate.

It is obvious that people did not trust any political party, but trusted Labour less than the conservatives. Labour's weakness was trust, enough people did not believe that they could run the economy soundly, in truth they weren't even listening, labour had not earned the right to be heard.

Then followed the Labour leadership election, Liz Kendel a centre right candidate achieved just 4.5% and Jeremy Corbyn a left wing MP became leader, essentially his platform hasn't changed in the time he has been In parliament. This result further bashing the centre left politics.

Having been a member of the Labour Party since the 1980s, it feels like the Labour Party has moved back 30 years, labour rightly or wrongly has chosen a course that will advocate an agenda that is not intune with the conceived opinion of the British electorate.

The conservative agenda of reducing the role of the state and transferring costs from collective provision onto the individual, making employment even more flexible with fewer protections and controlling the organs of government, from freedom of information, human rights and attempts to rig our democracy.

The challenge for the Labour Party is to formulate a vision and a platform that can win back the trust of the British electorate and then win a general election. This will not be an easy process.