Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Labour are finished until they lose their sense of entitlement to people's votes #lab11

Labour MP for Glasgow South Tom Harris took his book promotion tour  Scottish leadership campaign to Good Morning Scotland today.

He may well be talking the talk about how rubbish Labour have been recently, and how they need to change, but the use of a simple word shows that the old mindset is truly alive and well within him.

He talked about how voters had abandoned Labour. That to me is an interesting choice of word because it implies some wrongdoing on the part of the voter. It's almost as if Labour feels aggrieved that those voters deprived them of  the votes that they were entitled to.

When I first got interested in politics, it was clear to me that Labour literally took people for granted. It's the sort of attitude that comes along with a voting system that will give your party an inbuilt majority and is therefore the clearest argument possible for electoral reform.

Let's be clear - no party ever has the right to anyone's vote. Trust has to be earned and renewed by hard work and empathy and engagement. That is why Liberal Democrat elected representatives at all levels tend to work very hard for their communities.

The trouble with the Labour party is that arrogance is hardwired into their DNA. They expect to be in power and when they aren't, they get stroppy and petulant and irrational. They've spent the last 5 months with their heads up their own backsides trying to work out what went wrong - something that's obvious to even the most casual observer.

Taking people for granted is what they do instinctively. Until they un-learn that behaviour, get out of that hubristic mindset that the people owe them something, embrace pluralism and show willing to work with other parties, they are finished. The kicking they got in May has been a long, long time coming. The scales have fallen off the people's eyes and they have seen the party for the brutish, remote, disconnected machine it is.

They will not be so easily taken in by Labour again.

Labour have to realise that they are villain, not victim and they need to change from the inside out. Otherwise, their fortunes will never improve. The jury is out on whether they are capable of what is necessary.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Labour lost in May because they were cocky and the expected people to "come home" to Labour whilst there were Tories in No. 10.

Well that didn't happen.


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