Labour is still struggling to leave the Brown era behind

A poll conduced at the end of February by Ipsos-MORI for The Economist shows that the economy continues to be the public's most pressing concern. This is potentially a double-edged sword for Labour. The public still blame Labour, rather than the banks for the deficit. Moving beyond that will be easier said than done.

A poll conduced at the end of February by Ipsos-MORI for The Economist shows that the economy continues to be the public’s most pressing concern.

This is potentially a double-edged sword for Labour.

With the increasingly influential presence of Lynton Crosby in the Tory camp, not to mention the loss of the Eastleigh by-election, David Cameron will come under increasing pressure from Tory backbenchers to shift policy further to the Right.

Nothing new here of course.

An excellent (separate) piece for the Economist today notes that in the run up to the 2005 election, an emboldened Tory Right sought to “shift…emphasis [in the party] away from public services towards immigration, crime and, of course, Europe…”.

They largely succeeded, resulting in a calamitous electoral defeat for Tory leader Michael Howard in a winnable election.

Backbench ideologues rarely learn lessons from history, so expect Cameron to face similar demands as worried MPs sense weakness on the back of humiliations like that in Eastleigh.

Labour can, indeed, take a degree of solace from the prospect of the Tories scrabbling around to prevent their core vote indulging Nigel Farage’s protest party.

No more than a degree of solace, though.

While Ed Miliband has been wise to turn his attention to economic concerns of late in the form of (largely symbolic) policy proposals on the mansion tax and the 10p tax rate, Labour is still suffering badly when voters are asked about the economy, as a poll for YouGov this week showed.

Q a) Which party would handle Britain’s economy best?

Q b) Who would you trust more to run the economy?

a) Which party? b) Which team?
Con Lab Other/ Don’t know Cameron/ Osborne Miliband/ Balls Not sure
% % % % % %
Apr 2012 28 27 45 36 28 35
Jul 2012 27 26 47 34 31 35
Oct 2012 26 28 46 n/a n/a n/a
Dec 2012 28 27 45 37 26 37
Feb 2013 27 29 44 35 29 37

As Peter Kelner phrased it:

“Almost three years after Gordon Brown left Downing Street, more people still blame Labour rather than the Conservatives for the state of the economy and the public spending cuts that Osborne has imposed. Secondly, when asked who they trust more to run the economy, more people still prefer Cameron and Osborne to Miliband and Balls.”

While Labour is right to focus on the economy – it is voters’ main concern and Osborne is the government’s biggest liability – doing so is a double-edged sword. It is potentially Labour’s strongest area of attack, but it also risks a damaging boomerang effect.

Moving beyond the fact that the public appear to still blame Labour, rather than the banks, for the deficit will be easier said than done.

In the public mind, the party is still stuck in the Gordon Brown era, and the failure to win the argument in 2009/10 that it was the banks rather than the government which was to blame for the crisis still hangs around the party’s neck like an albatros.

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142 Responses to “Labour is still struggling to leave the Brown era behind”

  1. Mick

    Wiki’s links stand or fall on their merits. Wiki is just a database.

    And I’ve seen Reds use Wiki too and that’s suddenly alright. Your rebuke is ignored.

  2. Mick

    The government WILL be faced with it – at the polls!

    Labour may get in but you still won’t be satisfied. Newsbot on the subs bench again, forever.

  3. Newsbot9

    Keep whining, given the successes of 38 Degrees I’ve had a far bigger effect on policy than you. Keep demanding that only the polls ever count!

  4. Newsbot9

    That’s right, you keep ignoring anything which doesn’t suit you. You keep on being terrible at research.

    And like I care about reds? If I should care about reds, then why shouldn’t I conflate you with Ike?

  5. Newsbot9

    You confuse me and you yet AGAIN. Keep lashing out to prevent sensible conversation, that’s why you’re here after all.

  6. Newsbot9

    Yes, keep blaming everyone else for your spamming replies to yourself.

  7. Mick

    Well, where’s your research? No links from Newsbot.

    You say mine are rubbish. OK. Good. Put yours up then and show us all just what a little Newsbot can do.

  8. Mick

    38 Degrees. Campaigns and petitions and things. Cool.
    Let people be heard, etc.

    The polls have a more direct and decisive outcome though.

  9. Newsbot9

    That’s right, talk down bottom-up organisation, the sort I believe in.

  10. Newsbot9

    Sure. £89.99 up-front. And an admission that you’re the one with the size problem, and that you’re an Ikeist.

  11. Mick

    Oh Newsbot, you do keep going around in circles don’t you.

    Take your partners for the endless dance of cross-eyed mutualism.

  12. Mick

    Oh little Newsbot! £89.99 of UNEARNED money?

    Your mutualist pals won’t like that!

  13. Newsbot9

    Keep trying to press your spin onto me. You keep on screaming at discussion, can’t be allowed.

  14. Newsbot9

    Keep calling wages for doing work “unearned”. It shows your bitter contempt for actual workers. Are you going to pay or not?

  15. Mick

    ‘You keep on screaming at discussion, can’t be allowed.’

    I think I should start collecting those. I could make rock lyrics from them or something.

  16. Mick

    Calm down dear.

    You make even less sense than usual. Less than the usual 0%, which puts Newsbot well into the minus.

    FIRST time I’ve seen that!

  17. Mick

    Well, as mutualists consistently fail to win office, of course the Loser Squad are going to demand everyone else play by their rules all of a sudden.

    So come on then – tell me how mutualists will gain power and control of the offices of State. Or will you just say you can’t be bothered again?

  18. Newsbot9

    Yes, I’m sure stealing people’s IP is about your level.

  19. Newsbot9

    Well, no, you don’t read your posts, given your mantra vs reality.

  20. Newsbot9

    Keep demanding that everyone share your command and control mentality. And yes, indeed, your loser “squad” (you) are demanding I play by your rules.

  21. Mick

    ‘PS “rock lyrics” don’t involve beating people’s heads with a rock in either,’

    You’re always on about blood and wickedness aren’t you. Are you a rocker yourself?

  22. Mick

    -20% and counting.

    Poor little Newsbot. He tries.

  23. Mick

    ‘…..command and control mentality. ‘

    You make the serious business of elections and democracy sound like a video game. But just as well, you live in a virtual reality.

  24. Newsbot9

    How would I know how far you’ve sunk?

  25. Newsbot9

    No, I have no connection to Blood and Honour.

  26. Newsbot9

    Yes, the one called “reality”, quite different from your world. Keep on mocking phrases which accurately describe your views.

  27. Mick

    I was thinking more AC/DC really. But if Blood And Honour’s on your mind, then maybe you can assemble a clean version of them.

  28. Mick

    Well Mr. Newsbot comes out with cliches and thinks they’re relevant just because he says so.

    And all that to avoid the central question of how mutualists will never be in a position of authority – which they will NEED to be as nobody fancies being like them.

  29. Mick

    Some interesting points here. I’m not a cheerleader for the big three parties but I do still say the system itself is best.

    PR causes stagnation and slows down efficient government. You get that in Europe, with ruling parties ‘playing safe’ by being ‘middle way’ and completely like each other. And it would strengthen the Westminster Bubble, not weaken it as people like.

    A ruling party enforces the policies it’s elected on, barring the fact they ignore a lot of them and do other stuff anyway. But with the constant ‘coalition’ of PR in action, they’ll be blowing with a phantom wind all the time. And with no overall majority, a governing party is stuffed.

    In a PR Parliament you’d have the usual suspects. Plus MPs from UKIP, a few BNP, a handful of Greens, perhaps a good few Irish and some complete joke ones like SWP. Maybe they’ll be sharply divided. Maybe there’ll be many more evil alliances. Whateverthe way, it’ll be more of a poison snake pit than ever. And nobody will get anything done.

  30. Newsbot9

    That’s right, you keep on demanding that everyone has your goals, and keep throwing the slurs which are your only weapon.

  31. Mick

    You’re the boss of bosses when it comes to failure. You and other mutualists.

  32. Mick

    Never mind slurs, the truth is enough. And what weapons do the mutualists have?

    Where are the waves upon waves of public who back you to the hilt?

  33. Newsbot9

    See, mutualism isn’t violent and doesn’t need your weapons. And we don’t need “waves and waves” of armed thugs.

  34. Newsbot9

    You’re confusing me and you again. And your and my views.

  35. Mick

    Oh poor little Newsbot.

    Whose people are in power then, eh?

    Not yours.

  36. Newsbot9

    And not yours. So keep claiming everyone’s poor and small like you.

  37. Mick

    Well, you say I’m a Tory. You say I parrot the Tory line. You say I love it. You say I’m of the 1%.

    So on that basis, I’m in power (at least by proxy), Newsbot isn’t and he’s just gonna have to sit there GROOVING on it!

    ….That is, when he’s not setting fore to cars like the anarchist he is.

  38. Mick

    FORE to cars? If Newsbot wasn’t fluent in gibberish, he wouldn’t know I meant his anarchists set FIRE to cars.

  39. Mick

    Yup, you don’t need the weapons of truth, justice and honesty.

    You don’t need waves of thugs, but anarchists ARE those thugs. And they keep the police in riot work.

  40. Newsbot9

    Keep up the blind, thuggish bigotry. After all, it means you can have thugs to crack down on dissent and incidentally call them police.

    Keep fighting those terrible, terrible values of truth, justice and honesty you hate so much.

  41. Newsbot9

    Yes, keep on making it up. Gotta try and pass yourself off as everyone else, lacking an identify of your own.

  42. Deloras

    Thanks in favor of sharing such a good thinking, article is nice, thsts why i have read it completely

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