It’s not my joke.

Couldn't find a picture of Luke so we had better go with Cleese.

This is the first time I have linked to a Labourlist article. Usually I find their  contributors are drawn too much from the career apparatchiks who infest the Labour Party now-a-days. But here’s a post well worth publicizing written by Luke Sorba and called Don’t Mention the War.

To give you an idea of the content I’m going to paste a paragraph from the article here. It does show one of the problems the party still has.

…Recently, at a training day for future candidates, I was instructed “to learn from business, particularly customer service and sales” and told that winning elections was not about policies but “selling a brand”. This New Labour mind-set is exactly the sort of baggage the party needs to shed. It is the attitude that has lost us members since 1997 and cost us Bradford West. We are not some advertising agency trying to maximise sales whatever the product, we are a political party trying to build a better world. We must never again look at citizens and see consumers, look at society and see a market, look at services and prioritize choice over standards.

The link to the article is here.


  • Anonymous

    You know Labour list is  mainly a grass roots labour slightly to the left with mainly a group from Progress writing articles, but you do have a few on it like  Owen Jones and a few others from the left.

    But  lets be honest politics is about selling your self and your party, the idea that your going to do better then the other lot, I would say a good sales person would have  done well in New labour.

    Harold Wilson use to wear patches on his sleeves of his working jacket smoke a pipe and if he pointed the pipe at you, you knew your were marked. few others  with donkey jackets, showing us they were working class

    Policies are only the idea of the back room staff which are put forward to get you to vote.

    • LesAbbey

       Treborc from yesterday’s Leveson the quote from Blair that I found most interesting was the one we already knew from, I think, Chris Mullin’s book.

      Had he once said “My absolute priority is to win. I know it sounds unprincipled but I believe it’s my role in life”? “Yep, sounds like something I would have said,” he replied with a smile and the courtroom laughed.

      This really does sum up the split in the Labour Party that will eventually have to be sorted out. Of course there is always a compromise somewhere down the line, but Blair went so far down that line that he even lost the support of the traditional right of the party.

      The problem with trading principles for power is that it’s the same as being just a little bit pregnant, you are either pregnant or you are not, and you are either an unprincipled bastard or you are not.

      Somewhere in yesterday’s long hearing, Blair talked about keeping the unions inside Thatcher’s anti-union laws. I’m not sure at this point in the hearing whether this was one of those policies he agreed with Murdoch at one meeting or another. What would make this smell is we know Murdoch is very anti-union, whereas the Labour Party was formed to defend union rights.

      • LesAbbey

         Got that bit about unions totally wrong Treborc so discount that. A ‘mishearing’ on my part;-)

  • Felixthecat

    So it’s back to flat caps and wippets then?

    • Anonymous

       Why not?

  • splig

    The formal object of a political party, it’s reason to exist, is to get elected. And that’s it.

    Yes, it’s a collection of people working for common(ish) aims and yes there must be ideals and an agenda to follow once in power. But all of that follows from being elected.
    If a party does not focus on power, then it is not a political party. It’s a pressure group, a think tank, a set of not very effective lobbyists. And we already have those. Luke has forgotten or doesn’t like this. I’m sorry. Tough.

    I want a Labour Government because of the values it embodies (and hopefully the legislative agenda reflects these too) but if the brand is unloved, if it’s not being sold well, in other words if it’s not going to win an election then however noble our objectives we might as well all whistle Dixie.