• Welcome to PASOTI (Sponsored by GA Solictors and Lang & Potter)
  • Hello guests - don't forget that by registering and signing up for Pasoti you'll see less adverts plus receive extras like free match tickets, taking part in polls, joining in the chat room and more. Come and join us!

I think Labour has got it wrong

Frank Butcher

Foodbank Donor
Oct 9, 2003
3,761
153
Gairloch
Just using this thread as a vehicle for a recommendation.

I’ve mentioned the programme before, but if you’re interested in politics (which presumably you are if reading this), I would highly recommend the ongoing BBC documentary about the Blair/Brown years. Huge insights into how their relationship began and how it developed with all the world events that happened along the way. It also includes candid insights from former ministers - not always complimentary - and shows how different the people were in the make up of New Labour.

An excellent watch which must be available on iPlayer for catch up if needed.
 
Apr 15, 2004
2,932
275
East Devon
Was able to watch the whole thing in advance. Excellent programme. Regardless of your political persuasions it really rams home the sheer competence of most ministers across those three parliaments compared to today’s shambles.
That’s what baffles me most about the current crop of politicians – across the board there has been a clear dumbing-down in quality.

In the relatively recent past all the top players from the major parties were fully across not just their own areas but all the major issues ….. They understood the details and nuances so well that it was a part of their defence strategy to deflect questions and criticisms. Sure, sometimes it was maddening as hell if you didn’t agree with them but at least they really knew their stuff and had a firm grasp of things.

The generation of Blair, Brown, Robin Cook, Major, Ken Clarke, Heseltine, Howe, Charles Kennedy etc. – were all like that - as were the generation before of Maggie, Tebbit, Kinnock, Hattersley, Paddy Ashdown etc. However much you liked or loathed them there was never a question that they were ‘blagging it’ …… I remember Jeremy Paxman defending his robust question style saying how he was always at a massive disadvantage because “obviously” the ministers had all the information and knowledge at their finger tips whereas he didn’t. At the last election Boris refused even to be interviewed by Andrew Neil – not after Corbyn’s car-crash interview when he couldn’t answer a simple question about his flagship tax policy (“how many people currently pay the top level of tax Mr Corbyn?”).

That’s just the way it was – if you wanted to be a top politician having a grasp of the details was par for the course. Nobody ever ‘mis-spoke’ – it would have been a humiliation if a minister said something on camera so patently stupid and incorrect that ten minutes later it was flatly contradicted by one of his/her aides. It happens so often today nobody bats an eyelid and it doesn’t seem to matter. It’s all about ‘branding’, image and catchy one-liners. Maybe it’s something to do with the rise of social media? I dunno ….. but am I being naive to think this will be a passing fashion and at some point people will start to respond more positively to those who are genuine experts and know what they’re talking about? I genuinely think so – I certainly hope so.

Old bloke rant over! 😊
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Pilgrim Joe

Frank Butcher

Foodbank Donor
Oct 9, 2003
3,761
153
Gairloch
I often wonder if it’s rose tinted glasses and the Darling Buds of May syndrome.

People talk fondly of Brown now but was ridiculed when in power. May suddenly seems authorative from the backbenches but something of a ditherer in power. Major now seen as sensible, intelligent and even handed, but weak and ’grey’ in power. Exceptions are Blair (Iraq) and Cameron (Brexit) who tend to be looked on negatively because of big decisions.

I tell you Ave_IT, in ten years time you will be pining for the leadership skills of Boris Johnson 😉😂.
 
Nov 15, 2011
2,293
433
Nothing rose tinted about it. I can criticise Thatcher for her cruel politics, Blair for Iraq, May for her weakness, Cameron for Brexit, but none of them were compulsive liars, incompetents, who openly filled the pockets of friends and donors and who weren't motivated by anything other than their own aggrandizement.

There has never in my lifetime been such a lazy, useless, uncaring, immoral, corrupt lot in power.
 
Apr 15, 2004
2,932
275
East Devon
The point I was making Frank is that the likes of Brown was ridiculed in power but not because he didn't know or understand his own policies or fundamental facts. Politicians have always been attacked for bad decisions or dithering (like May) .... and Major is fine example of a politician who was such detail nerd he was ridiculed for being 'grey'. It really is different with this lot - and there's nothing 'darling buds' about it. Boris IS lazy, slap-dash and has no time for details. Liz Truss apparently scrawls T.L.D.N.R across documents given to her (Too Long Did Not Read).

Sometimes it's comical..... like when Boris tried to blag something about the the WTO agreements and quoted a paragraph sub-section 16 d) (something like that) ......but then was instantly shot down by the interviewer referring to paragraph e) ........ then after repeated questions he had to admit he didn't know what paragraph e) was. 🤣 . That sort of thing is almost funny but when he signs an international treaty you can't help wondering if he actually knows it effectively means a border down the Irish Sea but couldn't be arsed with the details.

There are a few exceptions. I may loathe him but Gove is smart and knows his stuff even if he does willfully distort things (but yes, I guess politicians in the past did that too). Starmer is a details man too .... but after that I'm struggling.
 
Jun 28, 2011
1,562
39
Plymouth
Nothing rose tinted about it. I can criticise Thatcher for her cruel politics, Blair for Iraq, May for her weakness, Cameron for Brexit, but none of them were compulsive liars, incompetents, who openly filled the pockets of friends and donors and who weren't motivated by anything other than their own aggrandizement.

There has never in my lifetime been such a lazy, useless, uncaring, immoral, corrupt lot in power.
Probably a few more to add - too many and/or wrong advisors, nepotism, greed or maybe Cameron’s Nudge Unit controlling the population with behavioural science, hence election results - destroying democracy.
 

Frank Butcher

Foodbank Donor
Oct 9, 2003
3,761
153
Gairloch
The point I was making Frank is that the likes of Brown was ridiculed in power but not because he didn't know or understand his own policies or fundamental facts. Politicians have always been attacked for bad decisions or dithering (like May) .... and Major is fine example of a politician who was such detail nerd he was ridiculed for being 'grey'. It really is different with this lot - and there's nothing 'darling buds' about it. Boris IS lazy, slap-dash and has no time for details. Liz Truss apparently scrawls T.L.D.N.R across documents given to her (Too Long Did Not Read).

Sometimes it's comical..... like when Boris tried to blag something about the the WTO agreements and quoted a paragraph sub-section 16 d) (something like that) ......but then was instantly shot down by the interviewer referring to paragraph e) ........ then after repeated questions he had to admit he didn't know what paragraph e) was. 🤣 . That sort of thing is almost funny but when he signs an international treaty you can't help wondering if he actually knows it effectively means a border down the Irish Sea but couldn't be arsed with the details.

There are a few exceptions. I may loathe him but Gove is smart and knows his stuff even if he does willfully distort things (but yes, I guess politicians in the past did that too). Starmer is a details man too .... but after that I'm struggling.

No arguments really.

I have also worked with many Executives/Directors who employed the TLDNR tactic. Some in fact who wouldn’t read anything and voicemail was your only option. In the latter part of my career voicemail stopped working as well and (secure) Chat actually became the communication method of choice - I actually miss Webex….

But of course TLDNR isn’t acceptable in matters of state.

Back on topic I see polling trends are favouring Labour at the moment even though they’re still trailing. Budget response will be interesting with the UC changes In particular - and alcohol counts for a lot these days.
 
Jul 15, 2006
3,964
87
Kenton, Devon
I'm starting to wonder if a factor of Labour straggling behind in the polls for so long was a decision made to support - or at least not oppose in the traditional sense of being an opposition - the Govt in Brexit and then Covid. I reckon that Labour really had no option other than to vote with the Govt on Brexit (they had haemorrhaged enough voters who were pro-Brexit as it was), and then Covid had to be treated as a national emergency so Labour really had to go along with many of the decisions. Consequently Boris et al got all the good-news glory and ran high in the polls.

Now we're back to business as usual, and Labour can challenge the Tories more effectively (although the Tories are giving Labour a helping hand due to their own inept handling of, er, pretty much everything) and now have them on the ropes in the polls. Hopefully Labour will start having a long run with their noses in front in the polls, and then maybe their poor showing could be shown to be down to Brexit and Covid.
 
Jan 20, 2004
803
56
With Unite pulling their financial support for Labour and with Labour's already dire finances, surely Kier Starmer must now realise he must do some sort of deal with the centre left Lib Dems, Greens, and even Plaid Cymru and pool / concentrate their resources for the next election where any one party is strongest and most likely to win given a 'free run' if they are to have any chance of prising the Tories out of power.

The Bexley by-election, resulting in 10% swing away from the Tory's historically rock solid safe seat, if spread across the country, would almost definitely see them lose power if it wasn't for the opposition being diluted.

Just here in Surrey alone, where all twelve seats are currently held by the Tories, a 10% swing away from them would give the Lib Dems at least five seats if Labour and Greens allowed them a free run.

With Johnson's "F##k Business" approach to our EU trade dealings I'm sure a serious Lib/Lab/Green pact could attract funding from different business sectors now that Starmer appears to be finally distancing his opposition bench from Corbynism. It is the centre lefts only hope.
 
Nov 15, 2011
2,293
433
Mike a formal alliance isn’t going to happen, or at least not until very close to the general election if it’s clear Labour can’t get a majority.

Many reasons for this, most importantly Starmer knows tories and right wing press would seize on it, look the weak Labour Party admit they’re unelectable on their own, why would anyone vote for them. It would also split the Labour Party in two.

But all is not lost because informal alliances are already happening. Libdems backed off in bexley and Labour are doing similar in north shrops.

Bexley was a very low turnout and Labour didn’t do particularly well but the standout statistics for me was that in one of the safest Tory seats in the country only 1 in 7 of the electorate voted conservative.
 
Jan 20, 2004
803
56
I think you're right and I'm just grasping at straws, but without union funding Labour's campaigning will be severely restricted, so would be better for them to concentrate on the areas they are likely to stand a chance. Along with the Lib Dems both parties would have a lack of campaign funding, so it would be prudent for one to pull out rather than go head to head with each other wasting valuable resources and giving the initiative to the Tories.

The Tories have Putin and his Oligarch mafia to fund their campaign in the stealthy dismantling of European cohesion and the UK'S reputation around the world.
 

Frank Butcher

Foodbank Donor
Oct 9, 2003
3,761
153
Gairloch
I think you're right and I'm just grasping at straws, but without union funding Labour's campaigning will be severely restricted, so would be better for them to concentrate on the areas they are likely to stand a chance. Along with the Lib Dems both parties would have a lack of campaign funding, so it would be prudent for one to pull out rather than go head to head with each other wasting valuable resources and giving the initiative to the Tories.

The Tories have Putin and his Oligarch mafia to fund their campaign in the stealthy dismantling of European cohesion and the UK'S reputation around the world.
To your last point Mike, we should remember that Labour were also pro-Brexit in their manifesto. Certainly they planned to give the electorate a vote on their ‘deal’, but it would be wrong to align Brexit uniquely with the Tory party.

I also wouldn’t get carried away with the bi-election by extrapolating the 10% to the wider masses. There was a pitifully low turnout and it is the protest vote that typically turns out in bi-elections.

I think you know I agree with the idea of a centre left alliance but doubt it will happen yet. I think it’s down to ideology - the Labour Party’s roots are with the working classes and the powerful unions. The Momentum clowns have usurped that identity. Meanwhile you have the reformists, even Blairite faction that want to transform and modernise the ‘Labour Party’.

So two strongly competing ideologies but both wedded to the ‘Labour Party’ name and legacy. The fact that we have Starmer and Rayner at the top speaks volumes. I know Rayner‘s position is elected, but if the intention is to appease both factions, it won’t work - just as Corbyn/Watson didn’t in reverse. IMO it just keeps the division front of mind.

Can I see a few MPs moving to a centre left coalition? Yes, but not enough as they will feel almost a sense of betrayal leaving their beloved Party behind. And then the Tory position becomes even stronger.
 
Nov 15, 2011
2,293
433
Factually incorrect in every respect Frank, fantasy in fact.

Labour were not "pro Brexit" in their manifesto. Every single tory mp voted for the "fantastic" brexit deal. Labour MPs only allowed it to pass in the end because to oppose it would have meant no deal and economic devastation.

Around 75% of Labour voters and members were against Brexit and Starmer lead the opposition against it.

Starmer's position now is more nuanced and understandably so having lost the brexit voting red wall seats, he's not going to call them stupid for the obvious act of self harm. He'll wait until, if, Labour gets into power before setting out the options , probably rejoining the single market.

The other nonsense about the Unions sounds like the 1970s. Their financial backing of Labour is hugely overstated. Labour has a larger membership paying subs than any other party in Europe, Union donations are a relatively small part of their funding and most Unions will continue to fund because it's their only way to exert any influence on power if Labour gets in.

Just look at the new shadow cabinet this week, very centrist and not a loony among them. And what can the loonies do about it? Nothing, if they don't like it they can lump it, and labour will get more votes than they'll lose marginalising the loonies.

Corbyn/ Watson didn't work because Jeremy Corbyn. Rayner is different IMO very good, smart, bringing the less loony left along while playing the electability game. Good cop bad cop with Starmer.

I actually hope Johnson sticks around as long as possible. Even many of the 1 in 7 in Bexley who voted Tory said it was in spite of Johnson and the longer he stays in power the more the rest of the government will be tarred with the responsibility of the lies, broken promises and corruption.