Monday, 26 September 2011

You Gov polls on Ed Miliband's Labour 1 year on.

54% of people think Labour have seriously lost touch with the ordinary working people.
60% think Labour haven't faced up to the damage they did to the UK economy.
17% say they'd be delighted if Labour would be returned to Government with Ed Miliband at the helm.
41% say they would be dismayed.
26% say Ed Miliband is doing a good job.
62% say Ed Miliband is not up to the job of Prime Minister.
45% say they would have been better off under David Miliband
6% say they would have been worse off under David Miliband.

(source; Tom Bradby's blog at http://blog.itv.com/news/author/tombradby/ )

Well, those stats make interesting reading. I'm not going to indulge in anti Labour or Pro Coalition rhetoric - it is easy and is mostly hot air that achieves nothing.

Instead, however, I'm going to look at the figures critically and as fairly as I can. Things don't look as cheery as Labour's 40% Yougov rating shows. A year on, and after massively unpopular Coalition policies; Tuition fees, NHS reform, Policing Cuts added to the riots, Labour have failed to capitalise. Even at the local elections they failed to gain anywhere near the landslide victory they had been expecting. Even here in Medway their net gain was not much and in fact the Conservatives got in with a few more seats!

I'm not a Labour party member and obviously pro Coalition so my point of view might be bias but I am not inspired by Ed Miliband as a leader. His calls to join Labour have inspired many of my fellows to tear up their membership cards and go Red but I'm just not inspired. He just doesn't seem to have a charismatic draw, and accordingly the figures show that his party members agree with me. I can't see him as Prime Minister, he's just missing something. At the moment the British Public seem to elect charismatic showmen like Blair, Cameron and dare I say it Clegg rather than proven politicians who have good track records like the PMs of old like MacDonald, Baldwin or Wilson and Ed Miliband just doesn't quite cut the mustard. I feel it is unfair to bring David Miliband into the mix but then there were always going to be those comparisons and suggestions that the wrong brother will always surface when things are going tough, but then don't we all do that? Should things improve for Labour I'm sure this will turn around, after all Ed Miliband has only been in charge of the party for a year so I'd urge Labour members to give him time in the post and see how he develops.

I do also agree that Labour should acknowledge their role in the current crisis. Like the 1929 crash the causes of the economic crisis are more complicated than just one Government in one country and it is unfair to blame it all on Labour. However they didn't handle it as well as they could have, but as well as they thought and they made mistakes as any government would have. They need to come forward and admit those mistakes to the public. It takes a big person to admit when they've made a mistake and I think popular opinion would go up if they did say to the public;

Sorry We really messed up on these policies and it led to X Y Z. But this was because of global measures A B C.

This instead of the somewhat obstinate;

We didn't do anything wrong and the Coalition have messed it all up for you.

The public aren't stupid, they remember 2010 and the dubious "We're out of money" note in the treasury.
All the time they repeat the same line the more people are turned away.

It would be fair to say the Labour has lost its way with representing the ordinary working people. As I've written before Labour were founded to represent the TUC and the concerns of the unions but since the mid nineties they have become a sort of Diet Conservative party with similar values and drifted away from the streets and more towards business which helped the Lib Dems to capitalise and grow as we are/were beginning to represent the concerns of people on local issues and constituency issues. Labour seem to have become attracted by power and national Government rather than what really matters, the voters. There was talk of Labour re founding itself so that it can find its way and its beginnings rather than continue the way it is going, after all a good opposition is the opposite of the party in power, they also have to have policies and alternate views so that they can debate issues rather than oppose for oppositions sake.

I know that no poll is completely accurate and that it is just a segment of the population and Labour party members who have been asked and the problems may not be as deep set as the poll shows but they are interesting that even a percentage feel this way. I'm not saying that Ed Miliband won't develop into an able leader or that Labour or the Coalition have the right answers but I offer up a few observations as fuel for thought.

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