Being perfectionists keen to build a better world Labour has a dreadful propensity to blame itself when things go wrong. Now having just lost an election we hope to win instead of hounding the government for its inevitable failure to keep promises it made in desperation, attempting the impossible on Europe and positing everything on an economic recovery which is petering we've decided to fall apart fighting in lumps about our own failings, our leadership and our mistakes in the election. At a time like this post mortems are as useful as a dose of clap.
Daft! Victory as a hundred claimants, defeat a thousand blamers but the Tories won badly not big in a contest which favoured them anyway because one term governments usually get a second chance We did some daft things like the Ed stone(which should be sold to raise money for the party)and the commitment not to deal with the SNP but then so did the Tories;it's only human.The real reasons for our defeat were three and the only one which was our fault was due to a lack of confidence in ourselves rather than a policy failure.
First the Tories managed to create a fear of a weak Labour government in hock to the SNP.Not our fault. Second they successfully distorted our record and we let them by creating a myth that the last Labour government was overspending. Those Labour fools who're now endorsing this should remember that Osborne endorsed our spending proposals up to 2008, that the big borrowing was to save the banks and that thanks to Brown's stimulus the economy was growing faster in
Labour"s last quarter than it is now.Osborne's foolish austerity killed all that. Third reason was that we offered neither hope not nationalist enthusiasm in our anxiety to be business friendly
Two of these reasons for defeat were our fault. We should have rebutted the Tory distortions because they undermined confidence in us but we hardly rebutted it because we were ashamed of Gordon Brown and committed balancing the budget- which is a folly because budgets should be in deficit and borrowing high in recession to boost demand and operate the multiplier. Why didn't we? The second failure was even more disastrous Instead of offering growth explaining how we'd get it by stimulating demand, investing in infrastructure and boosting manufacturing we just offered more of the same, in austerity lite, so electors might think,why take the risk? They did.
Now all that's history except that its all getting distorted in the debate between modernisers (who want to take us back to 1997) and the "business friendly" (who want to move us further to the right and the baffled unhappy rank and file. Why argue ourselves. An electorate which opted to cling to nurse is now going to get more of the austerity it doesn't particularly like. The government has top deliver on tax cuts and the recovery is slowing but government has no idea how to boost it because it was produced by low interest rates, high house prices and 375 billion of quantitative easing . Most EU countries are now growing faster, exports are failing the pound over valued and productivity low. A 5% deficit in public revenues and a 6% deficit in trade won't be cured easily.
Then there's the other problem the Euro referendum. Cam hopes to bring it forward. What is Labour to do ? Leaders want to support what will be the government position ;vote to stay in With the same effect as our support for the government in the Scottish referendum.No use pretending the EU is the greatest thing since spliced lederhosen. A Labour government will face problems with it: it costs too much, it prevents the rebuilding of English fishing, the CAP hurts us and it will inhibit regional policy and aid for industry to help re balance the economy. Spell them out and demand that the government negotiate for them too. They won't get anything But then Cam won't get his own demands either and it stops us becoming little Sir Echo again.
A government with a majority of only 12 can't last. Many voted for it uneasily. Its promises are predicated on a growth it won't get. People gave it the benefit of the doubt but the doubt is very strong More austerity will boost it not satisfy. The sensible response is to harry the life out of it. Not squabble among ourselves. Masochism is a psychological condition Not a strategy for victory .