When is Labour going to get its act together?

Harriet Harman: Temporary leader; totally inert?

Harriet Harman: Temporary leader; totally inert?

Here’s a short message for members of the Parliamentary Labour Party:

W A K E  U P!

The general election happened nearly three weeks ago. All the other political organisations are getting busy and you lot are all faffing around, staring up each other’s rear ends and mumbling about who you think will be the next leader and deputy leader.

And you know what really hurts? It’s when we see headlines like this:

Nicola Sturgeon attacks UK government’s spending cuts

and this:

Nicola Sturgeon: SNP will work across party lines to keep Human Rights Act

She’s stealing Labour’s thunder and you’re all so dim-witted that you’re letting it happen.

What’s the matter with you?

Don’t try telling me you can’t move forward until you’ve got the new leader because that’s not true. The Labour Party has particular values that it should always keep, no matter who’s in the driving seat (or asleep at the wheel, as is the case at the moment).

Look at this blog’s own article about Labour’s values. The message was that Labour should be the enabling party – offering the best possible choices for the largest possible proportion of the UK’s population. Anything less than that is a betrayal of the party’s ethos.

That’s why Liz Kendall should never be Labour leader, by the way – and why Chuka Umunna couldn’t. She wants private companies in the National Health Service, meaning she supports the postcode lottery that this creates. “Oh, so sorry, sir (or madam)! You want a service that is not provided in your part of the country! Have you considered moving somewhere hugely more expensive?”

That’s just ridiculous, isn’t it?

Look at the headlines quoted above: Sturgeon attacks spending cuts; Sturgeon will work across party lines to keep Human Rights Act.

The Tory spending cuts and the repeal of the Human Rights Act are completely unproblematic as far as the grassroots Labour Party is concerned: We’re against them both.

We want our Parliamentary party to broadcast that opposition loudly and continuously while these matters are up for debate and the vote.

Labour should have attacked Tory spending cuts first; Labour should have been appealing across party lines to maintain the Human Rights Act – that, incidentally, Labour passed into law.

So where are you?

Don’t tell me you’re scared Peter Mandelson or Alan Milburn will come out and berate you, because that’s pathetic. They’re yesterday’s men – more plastic Tories who caused many of the problems with Labour’s appeal today.

Look at all the plans in the Tory manifesto and the Queen’s Speech tomorrow. Labour should oppose most, if not all of them.

So where is the opposition?

Oh, I forgot.

It’s being voiced by Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP.

That’s not good enough.

Labour must get its act together and it needs to happen now. Yesterday would be better.

And for those of you in the PLP who feel this blog is being unfair on Tory policies…

You do not represent Labour values; you are there under false pretences and you should sling your bleedin’ hook.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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  1. Steve Grant May 26, 2015 at 6:49 pm - Reply

    To be honest I think labour is now looking at itself and a big split is about to occur…it is clear there are many in labour who do not have labour values and are only MP’s because the constituencies they represent were easy seats to get into parliament.Might as well sort the wood from the chaff now than have to do it in 12 months time.

  2. tommaz jay May 26, 2015 at 7:05 pm - Reply

    Well said its about time they started to act like a credible opposition remember like it or not they do have the unions and anyone with a social conscience on their side. Its about time they got out the red flag for the masses to rally under in what I think is a perfectly just course.

    Tommaz jay
    If they want to play dirty we can do the same

  3. Guy Ropes May 26, 2015 at 7:09 pm - Reply

    You’re too cruel. Andy Burn’em has advocated policy change on immigration and backing for a referendum is now advised. Why now U-turn and ‘back’ something (an in/out referendum on Europe) which you didn’t think was a good idea before May 7th – something that one of your most generous donors implored you to back as policy ? Two policy changes in less than 3 weeks at least shows Labour are considering their position. At the same time they might condemn in the strongest possible terms the conspiracy perpetrated by Lib Dem Carmichael. The SNP are at least trying to do something about that – they have activists in the constituency openly and publicly demonstrating against his criminality. Will Labour demand he faces a Police enquiry in respect of his actions? This cover-up shows that Parliament has reverted to type in world record time. Why would Labour want to be part of such a corrupt system? You’re better off out.

    • Mike Sivier May 26, 2015 at 7:56 pm - Reply

      Your interpretation is bizarre.
      The referendum will happen whether Labour wants it or not. Better, then, to go out and campaign for the result you want.
      Burnham’s planned policy change on immigration would take place if – and only if – he becomes Labour leader.
      As for Alistair Carmichael – he lied when he said he didn’t know how the memo got leaked, and should lose his seat over that because it could have affected his particular election result, and for that reason alone. Whether what he did was a criminal offence in terms of electoral law, I’ll leave for the lawyers to discuss.

  4. Guy Ropes May 26, 2015 at 8:19 pm - Reply

    Seeing how corrupt and deceitful Carmichael is (a template for most British politicians) it would not surprise me if the referendum never happened. Bigger ‘pledges’ than this have not materialised. Tories are well practiced in such evasion.

  5. Jim Round May 26, 2015 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    Do I detect a slight annoyance Mike?
    It’s not like you to swear in one of your articles.
    Anyway, you and other reasonable members of The Labour Party should prepare for the onslaught of Blairism as that’s what the party thinks will get them re-elected (and unfortunately, they may be right)
    Labour should have put the EU Referendum in its manifesto, and vocally opposed austerity, the bedroom tax and spending cuts, I know they did this in with votes, but how many other people do, who really flicks through Hansard or watches BBC Parliament?
    They should have used both the MSM and social media and backed themselves up with cold hard facts. (Benefit deaths were a missed open goal, just like “Labours mess”)
    In Wales, Labour lost a seat and the Conservative/UKIP vote increased, what happened there? If they are not careful, it could be the Assembly next.

    • Mike Sivier May 26, 2015 at 10:58 pm - Reply

      We are the party.
      Yes, you’re absolutely correct; I was slightly annoyed.
      I think the leadership were more afraid of the right-wing media than they had any reason to be.

  6. sp4mf15h May 26, 2015 at 9:42 pm - Reply

    Its not rocket science, hell the clue is even in the name. Opposition party. So all they have to do is bleedin oppose.
    It seems everyone but the PLP can see this.

  7. bookmanwales May 26, 2015 at 10:10 pm - Reply

    As if losing the election was not bad enough it just gets worse and worse for the Labour party, it seems they have ignored all the issues and complaints passed onto them during the campaign and want to follow their own agenda.
    It sounds now as if the Labour Party want power for powers sake rather than to make any difference.
    The core values disappeared as soon as they refused to stand up for their union paymasters, instead promising to end union ties and funding?
    A few more weeks / months / years of silence will sadly not be noticed by the majority of Labour supporters, after all we have just had almost 5 years of silence from them.

    Maybe a rebranding of the SNP into a UKNP would serve us better, regardless of performance so far at least they are being vocal in their opposition to the Tories plans.

    • Mike Sivier May 26, 2015 at 11:02 pm - Reply

      We have most certainly not had five years of silence from Labour. What are you on about?
      I get very annoyed at this sort of nonsense from people who should know better.
      Labour worked, and worked hard, throughout the Coalition Government. The trouble is, some people only remember the bad.
      As for the SNP – don’t put your trust in them – look at Sturgeon’s latest U-turn!

  8. Jean Jones May 26, 2015 at 10:22 pm - Reply

    Your bang on time to get their arses moved up a gear .Mr MC CLUSKEY where are you we need your help

  9. jaynel62 May 27, 2015 at 6:06 am - Reply

    Mike during my time on word block – THANKS for asking the real question I need answers to but could not put together through my Foggy Brain :-) xx

  10. NMac May 27, 2015 at 7:39 am - Reply

    It is absolutely vital that Labour gets its act together immediately, if not sooner.

  11. Jason Horton May 27, 2015 at 11:39 am - Reply

    It’s a perfect opportunity to make a fresh start and abandon those centre line policies that clearly don’t work and go back to grass roots. What is it that people care about?
    We want to be treated when they fall sick.
    We want to know that we’ll be looked after in our old age or if we fall into hard times and need a safety net.
    We want their children to get a decent education, or other people’s children so we aren’t left with a young workforce of vacuous numbskulls.
    We want jobs that pay a living wage so we don’t have to live on benefits and scrape by.
    We want the trains to run on time and not cost a fortune.
    We want our bins emptied and our streets clean.
    We want enough police and firefighters to ensure that we live in a safe society but not so many that we’re oppressed.
    We want everyone to pay their fair share of taxes.

    For most of us the deficit and the national debt are something that politicians talk about but nobody acts on. If there are jobs being created in manufacturing then wealth is being created and people are paying tax. That means more money for the treasury. More money in the treasury means more public services, lower borrowing, and lower taxes for everyone.

    I don’t know many who would argue against this really simple list. Labour should pledge to tax those most able to afford to pay, the super wealthy, in order to end austerity. It should pledge to create jobs to get more people into work rather than to punish people who aren’t in work. We need a simple, straightforward declaration by plain speaking people who follow up on their promises with firm plans.

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