A quick welcome to two new additions to the blogosphere – firstly the British Bullshit Foundation, a blog by some of the older and possibly wiser Labour researchers, going by the collective name of Hamer Shawcross, which casts a cynical eye over portayals of life in the Westminster bubble by both the media and some of their fellow staff.
This description of the life of a researcher certainly brought back some memories for this correspondent. It’s also interesting to see another blog written by a collective, like The Daily.
The Provisional BBC only has one post but that is sufficiently amusing to be worth a read. Hat-tip to Don Paskini for that one, and he also writes an excellent piece on the leafleting versus pamphleting sub-cultures of the Labour Party here. We concur with both his description and his prescription.
It’s fair to say that some of Harris’ writing during the last general election annoyed this correspondent – indeed, I was one of the candidates who he advised voting against. Other comments were just badly researched, like his description of Kettering’s Campaign Group MP Phil Sawford as a Blairite.
On the other hand, some campaigners in marginal seats found him useful in persuading liberal-left voters to stick with Labour.
More important, though, is the obvious point that we need to win back people we’ve lost if we’re to maintain any kind of electoral success. We must win people back from the Lib Dems if we are to stop them becoming a permanent threat to our base.
A strategy of refusing to win over new voters and relying on an ever diminishing core is the kind of suicidal prejudice that used to mark the hard left of the Party. It is reminiscent of an incident in “Red” Ted Knight’s candidacy in 1979, where he canvassed an entire road without finding a Labour voter, got to the last house and at last met a supporter. He asked him what he did as a job. “I’m a senior civil servant” replied the voter. Knight declared, “I don’t want people of your class voting for me!”, turned on his heel and strode off.
Now it is the hard right who declare “no compromise with the electorate” and refuse to accept support from the wrong sort, with Luke even going so far as to call for a return to the days when GCs routinely blackballed new members that they didn’t like the sound of.
So, let’s just be quite clear. If people have seen through the Lib Dems and come home to Labour, that is a good thing. Welcome back.