Tories win London

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Rumour has it that Jack Straw and David Miliband are considering leadership bids.

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Re: Tories win London (#1)

Where did you hear about the potential leadership bids Alex?

Re: Tories win London (#7)

Jack thhrough a well placed source, Miliband from th evening standard

Re: Tories win London (#2)

We have nothing to lose by having a leadership contest at this stage, frankly. Quite honestly, if a new leader only works to patch things up so the party doesn't lose a general election as badly, and gets to throw in some genuinely social-democratic reforms before then, it will be worth it. As things stand we're looking at a Tory majority. Worse case scenario is a Tory landslide, Labour 'triangulating' and moving further to the right again in opposition, and all hope of any progressive political change going out the window for a generation.

Re: Tories win London (#3)

I think we're going to lose the next election regardless of who the leader is - the damage has been done.

We don't need to lose another leader in that process. Just support Brown, make the best of a bad situation and limit the Tory gains as much as possible.

Then in 2010, pick a new leader who isn't tainted in the public's eyes who can rebuild.

Re: Tories win London (#6)

There is an argument that Brown had one year to prove himself and he's failed to deliver ' that change'. If there was a challenge, than at least we might have a chance in in 2010.  But I think Jack Straw should think again and leave it to another generation.

Re: Tories win London (#8)

The party has two choices - either diverge the policies (and become labour again) or choose a pretty leader. If it's the latter then I'm off to find a party which represents my ideals.

Re: Tories win London (#9)

... and I should add, it's been a sad day for London and for Labour overall, but the question is, will we learn the lessons and act?

Re: Tories win London (#12)

Everyone is talking about learning the lesson and acting, but if anybody really thinks that 'the lesson' is that Gordon Brown isn't young enough, or is too Scottish then they deserve to lose the next election. 

The lesson is all about policy.

Re: Tories win London (#10)

I would guess that's probably how Milliband sees it too tbh... I know that would be going through my head! Become a tainted leader now and face likely defeat or takeover in 2010 with a fresh start and 4 years to mould things. Maybe why he didn't stand against Brown last year?

Straw on the other hand has nothing to lose - unlikely to win a fresh start leadership election in 2010 against Milliband, but has the gravitas to take over in the current circumstances. But of all the MPs, he is one of those most unlikely to represent any kind of significant change to Brown in either demeanour or policy.

Re: Tories win London (#37)

Indeed, Miliband won't want to take over now just as things are going downhill!

Better to wait until 2010.

Re: Tories win London (#38)

At least he'll have made PM. If he doesn't make a move now he may have to spend 10 years in opposition before he or anybody else gets another chance.

Re: Tories win London (#43)

Wilson managed to come back

Re: Tories win London (#56)

Quite by accident, but then he was in decline anyway and no longer effective.

Re: Tories win London (#44)

Why is everything about people's personal careers?  People should be happy to serve as Leader of either the Government or the opposition.

Re: Tories win London (#51)

and defeat in an election shouldn't necessarily mean you have to step down... i hope the tory sword in stomach act after an election defeat doesn't become the norm in future... though that isn't to say a defeated leader who totally blew a good position should feel he has to stay on...

Re: Tories win London (#57)

They should be happy leading Labour in power; but pretty unhappy leading Labour into Opposition. 

Re: Tories win London (#4)

Look at the Conservatives post Thatcher... 13 years.
And Labour post Callaghan 18 years.

You may end up rebuilding - if YouGov are right - and so far they are spot on - from 180 MPs.

Will take 15 years.. if the past is a guide.

Re: Tories win London (#5)

Jeez you really are the saddest person iv'e known, you wake up at 7:30 in the mourning just to have another stupid go at labour, get a life.

Re: Tories win London (#23)

But the people have spoken and said we are not happy, take no notice at your peril.

Re: Tories win London (#11)

After seeing all your other postings on here. I would like to point out that I was at my local count on Thursday Night with a large number of local Conservatives many of whom I am on speaking terms with. To thier credit not one of them came up to me and said anything along the lines of "your losing big time ner nicky ner ner".

These are people who put thier time in to working hard for their party and have learned that it is for the good of the local community to be civil to people from other parties.

I hope that you will in time get a chance to work alongside these kind of Conservatives and learn from them.

Re: Tories win London (#13)

Leadership bids? Is Brown going to resign?  Gordon was popular last year when people thought he was going to........can you guess?......change policies?

Re: Tories win London (#14)

I am sure that is a zero credibility rumour. I am 100% certain that they really are not doing so at all. And nobody serious thinks there is any prospect of any leadership challenge. Its a pretty draft comment.

To take a non-Labour witness, there was a good post from Spectator editor Matt d'Ancona a couple of weeks ago about why this could not happen in the real world.

Nothing in these results changes any of that at all - except that there is probably more awareness than a fortnight ago of why the party needs to pull together. there is a debate we need to have, but its not about the leadership.


Re: Tories win London (#15)

Frankly a leadership contest would be madness. We're on the path we're on for better or for worse really. I could see Jack Straw as a caretaker leader but where would he lead the party?

 Miliband for the time post-Brown after 2010 (presuming we don't win the election...!), in the meantime he can carry on building experience and contacts and support.

It's the logical way forward I think. As for Brown, I agree with the idea that the right-wing press has totally turned against him, so why bother with them? Just focus on a centre-left way forward and put forward some radical stuff, like introducing AV immediately for the next local elections and so on 

Re: Tories win London (#16)

Firstly, let's knock any thoughts of regicide on the head. Brown's the best leader we have and we must remain loyal.

Secondly, more than ten hours into a Johnson Mayoralty (yes it still sounds strange) let's look for that silver lining.

What seemed like a jolly jape could prove to be the absolute undoing of the Tory revival.

Renewal in power after ten years is notoriously difficult. Once you've ditched the leader (Thatcher, Blair) what else can you do?

It's hard to lay one on the opposition as they won't come up with policies, for fear of having them torn apart by the Government (or stolen!)

But you could argue we now have the best of both worlds - we're still in Government but now we have a divisive hardcore Thatcherite in power just across the river who can be publicly held to account for the next four years.

Any cut, right-wing gesture or gaffe can now be painted as a preview of and prelude to a Cameron Government.

Boris will have only have two options - do nothing (so we can paint him as ineffectual and all style, no substance) or revert to type (and hey - he's a bumbling Neo Con having running battles with the leadership.)

No wonder Cameron is nervous. Johnson could ruin everything.

So dust off your donkey jacket, start polishing your doc martins and root out that old Jam compilation. The 80s are back and the fun's just beginning.

Eton Rifles, anyone?
















Re: Tories win London (#22)

Silver Lining:

We did unexpectedly gain a seat on the London Assembly, with Navin Shah beating the odious Bob Blackman.

Re: Tories win London (#25)

Silver Lining 2:
I suppose Kate Hoey will now get a job with Boris - not saying that's a silver lining for me - but she'll be pleased I'm sure

Re: Tories win London (#58)

Don't know why Cameron should be nervous, Boris's dad Stanley is sure Boris is up to it:

"He's very good at Greek and Latin and I can tell you something – if you can do Greek and Latin you can do anything, certainly run a city like London."

Re: Tories win London (#17)

Brown out NOW!

Re: Tories win London (#18)

Bloody Hell, reading the Guardian this morning!  

OK, if we're going to lose the next election, then what have we got to lose?  Let's be radical right now!  AV, Lords reform, too late for Nuclear so push super hard on renewables, regulate buses, council housing.

Why not just go for it?

Re: Tories win London (#19)

Please see Labour Left Forum for more on this.

Re: Tories win London (#20)

Fully agree, Group 51.

Re: Tories win London (#21)

Labour has 2 years in which to make changes that will really help this country, something that Labour can be remembered for. If not then Labour is heading for complete defeat.

The left needs to unite and organise. It's time the 'hard left' and the 'soft left' put aside their differences and reclaimed the Labour Party. One thing's for sure, the party has no future with Tory policies - why vote New Labour when you can get the real thing: Cameron! 

Re: Tories win London (#24)

Time for cool heads please. There will be no leadership challenge and, frankly, treating some trash from the Evening Standard like it deserves to be taken seriously is ridiculous.

We can still win the next election, though I admit it will be very difficult. In 1970 Harold Wilson would have done it but for some bad luck with trade figures and his 1968 results were worse than these.

Anyone who thinks that a retreat from public service reform is the answer should look at Wales - there the policy has explicitly been one of so-called "clear red water" and the result has been the biggest retreat for the Labour vote.

Labour needs to rebuild its coalition and have an appeal to the middle class voters who brought us victory in 1997. The real political impact of the 10p fiasco was that it made people think we were only for the poor and didn't even do that well - how many Labour MPs even bothered to tell their electorate the majority of them had just got a tax cut?

Remember one other thing - there is no guarantee the Labour Party will even survive opposition. We came perilously close to disappearing last time round amid the excesses of the hard left and the behaviour of people like Polly Toynbee.

Re: Tories win London (#27)

Just when you think you've heard it all...  WHAT??!!  You honestly think we lost the election because middle-class voters thought 'we were only for the poor' and that the 10p fiasco highlighted that to them?

Utter madness.  In the ward I fought, the Tories got almost exactly the same vote they got in 2004 (both a bit inflated for what they should get).  But the Labour vote was even less than in 2004, and hundreds less than it should be (it was the ward in our district that should best fit our 'core' support, it was the ward with the lowest turnout, by a very long way).  Our principle failing last night was that a) our vote stayed at home or voted for others (often independents of various sorts, very rarely the Tories); and the Tory vote was got out very effectively and in high numbers.

Tories have a party to vote for now.  We need to make sure Labour people realise they have a party to vote for too.  We need a raft of policies that are genuinely on their side.

Re: Tories win London (#29)

We could swap anecdotes all day. They prove nothing. The electoral map shows the truth. We're not losing core Labour areas in general, but we are getting thumped in those places where in 1997 we were able to bind together our core vote with middle class progressive support

Re: Tories win London (#31)

We're not losing core Labour areas in general

Yes we are.  And most councils have core Labour voters, even if they're not considered core Labour areas.  And it's those voters we've lost.

I'm not trading anecdotes, I'm giving you a clear example.

The Tory vote stood up, ours evaporated.  That's the truth, and anecdotal evidence will tell you that, quantitative evidence will tell you that, the map will tell you that.

If you think some sort of relaunch of New Labour triangulation will solve the problem you are wrong.  A few 'middle-class friendly' policies will not stop Tories voting Tory.  Our best bet in that direction is to keep them at home, and they won't stay at home when they think they might win.  That strategy will no longer work: we can't take our voters for granted anymore.  Aside from that, we can't take our key supporters and party members for granted anymore, or there will be nobody walking the streets or distributing the leaflets next time.

No, there's a new form of triangulation, and it's the only show in town: we've got to get our core voters back by proving we're on their side; in doing this we can show people in general that we're principled, we have a vision and we can carry it out.  That is how we can turn this round before 2010.  It won't deliver us a 1997, but it could save the government.  Follow your prescription and we're in opposition, and possibly for a very long time.

Re: Tories win London (#32)

Your whole thesis is based on the idea that there are two great blocks of class based voters out there who only require the "correct" signals from the leadership to be brought out.

Well, that's tripe. We win from the centre my maximising our appeal. That's how we've always won - in 45, 64, 97.


Re: Tories win London (#34)

I didn't say there are two great blocks of class-based voters.  But my 'thesis' is based on the idea that 'we win from the centre by maximising our appeal' is crap.  It is, and it isn't how we won in 45, 64 or 97.

We won by putting together a winning coalition, but that winning coalition has nothing to do with a mythical notion of 'the centre', and has never really had much to do with persuading Tories to vote for us (though it happens at times of extreme landslides, etc. - as such some long-term Labour voters probably voted Tory yesterday; most did not - most either did not vote or voted for some other party.  Even those who voted Tory did so for a bizarre set of reasons, nothing to do with them being to our 'right').  This is a mindset that some of you are going to have to get out of if we're to move on.  It's the politics of the past.

Re: Tories win London (#36)

You're both right in some ways but wrong in others.

You need to have both the core vote and some of the middle classes on your side to win a general election.

The core vote have become disillusioned with the 10p tax rate fiasco, 42-day detention without trial etc... and there are many issues which need to be changed.

But at the same time, as has been said above, we cannot abandon the 'New Labour' things that made us popular and allowed us to build a coalition big enough to win. So that means we must have some sort of welfare reform, public service reform, immigration policy, 'tough on crime'...etc.

That does not mean to say that every 'New Labour' action we do needs to be the same as how Blair did it. For example, whilst we should be 'tough on crime', we should also support prison reform.

Broadly, for Labour to be successful it's needs to be a wide coalition of everyone from socialists, social democrats, the centre-left, metropolitan liberals, social liberals, pro-Europeans and general Tory-haters.

To achieve this, you need 1) a dynamic, charismatic leader which can keep the coalition together and 2) policies which appeal to all of these groups and doesn't leave anyone out (including the core vote).

Do this and you're on the road to victory.

Re: Tories win London (#40)

You're probably right, but New Labour hasn't pleased many of these groups for a long time.

It's totally tainted.

Re: Tories win London (#47)

Surely the welfare/public service reform has always been about ideology rather than triangulation?  Who's it popular with?  I can't see how it's in the interests of some constituency of the public that we needed (or indeed got) in '97.

I think that is one aspect of 'the project' that could be pretty easily jettisoned in the interests of maintaining the necessary coalition.

Re: Tories win London (#48)

I think in some ways you're right. What policies would you suggest for say- Welfare reform, Immigration, Crime, Public services etc.?

Re: Tories win London (#39)

Were you elected?

Re: Tories win London (#46)

No.  'fraid not.

Re: Tories win London (#52)

=( You'd have made a great councillor!

Re: Tories win London (#26)

"The real political impact of the 10p fiasco was that it made people think we were only for the poor "

I am speechless

Re: Tories win London (#28)

Why, because you think we should *only* be for the poor?

Re: Tories win London (#41)

No we're speechless because you're raving like a madman.

Re: Tories win London (#30)

Why look at Wales and what do you mean red water, you mean pink. We have an assembly which has the power of cats piss we cannot make our own rules laws  yet. So why did we break ranks, lets see 26,000 jobs lost last year, major factories closing and Labour doing deals with Tesco and Asda to open new stores to make and I quote well paid jobs, well paid jobs.

We are as sick of Labour as anyone else, we are losing jobs faster then blood, we cannot keep on going like this we are heading to become a 3rd world country with leaders who have no idea what to do.

Free prescriptions free car parking at hospital which have no car Parks one hell of a deal

Re: Tories win London (#33)

Labour lost the elections because of gordon brown and his band of advisors. He is basically a good man with a huge amount of knowledge and other skills but he has surrounded himself with young turks who for reasons best known to them selves have given terrible advice.

witness the debacle of the election that never was and the 10p tax fiasco.

On top of that GB now looks ill and tired. He is even being offered sympathy by vince cable for gods sake!

Gordon, you have been brilliant for the party but there is a time to stay and a time to go. We need a genartional change - only one man for the job. Bring on Milliband asap !! 

Re: Tories win London (#35)

If Gordon loses in 2010, he looks like a loser.  If the party elects a new leader and we still lose in 2010, the entire party looks dysfunctional.

We need a debate on poliocy, not leadership- but I don't mean that as code for a return to the old left.  We now appear to be the party that defends the status quo, rather than seeking to change it, but that should never be what Labour is about. 

Re: Tories win London (#42)

That is true. For the record, I don't think that many people at all want a return to the 'old left'. More and more people recognise that Labour cannot ignore the core vote and must do more to help ordinary people. It's not about being unelectable Michael Foot or Militant, it's about having progressive and exciting Labour policies (not plagiarised Tory ones).

Re: Tories win London (#45)

Wish people wouldn't repeat the right-wing press line that its a straight binary between New Labour and Loony Leftism. It's not. Many of our (much more successful) sister parties across Europe can be more progressive than Blair/Brown without being left-wing extremists.

Re: Tories win London (#49)

"For the record, I don't think that many people at all want a return to the 'old left'."

When New Labour started, in 1994, with 'stakeholder capitalism' it was on the centre-left, not the old left.  It moved to the centre by 1997, and Blair pushed it centre-right (Christian Democrat) by the time he left office.

His tactic worked well while the Tories were on the Right.  THEY ARE NOW ON THE CENTRE-RIGHT.  This is the fact the Blairites need to get into their heads.  A centre-right New Labour cannot win against the real thing, it will lose centre-right voters to the Tories and centre-left/left voters to the Lib Dems, and other parties like the BNP.

Cameron has learnt the lesson of New Labour and is creating a pincer.

Re: Tories win London (#50)

Very accurate analysis in my opinion. By the way, tomorrow's Express and Mail on Sunday both feature front page stories about a leadership challenge to Gordo.

Re: Tories win London (#53)

I too agree wholeheartedly with Group 51's analysis.

Re: Tories win London (#54)

so let's stick with gordon to make CERTAIN we lose power in 2010. let's not even try to avoid the car crash

Re: Tories win London (#55)

amcmenamin is right about one thing. We do need to continue to appeal to the 'middle class', if for no other reason than that is by far and away the biggest block of voters - "We are all middle class now". Secondly we have not lost our 'core Labour areas'. In the ward where I was agent we significantly put on votes in our core boxes, but lost them on the 'middle class' boxes. We now need to recognise three things: 1) Gordon cannot and should not be ousted by a coup, that would be electorally foolish. 2) The solution is not a drift to the left to keep our 'core Labour areas', which incidentally don't care about the same issues that the intellectual left do. Most voters I talk to in 'core Labour areas' are disgusted by the 10% rate abolition, but in favour of 42 days. We need to continue to pursue real Labour policies, which are about social justice and appealing to the whole country. 3) Gordon MUST GO. But he most be persuaded to go willingly. Now is the time for his best friends to give him the loaded gun in the study and tell him he has do what is in the best interests of the country and the Party. If those close to him don't do this, then they forfeit any future right to claim the leadership. Now is the time for them to show leadership, or step aside.

Re: Tories win London (#59)

It's not about the policies of the party but about its perceived character.

John Major could not have won in 1997 by adopting the Labour manifesto.

Perceptions are like supertankers, taking a long time to turn around. Time is therefore of the essence.