• 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
3,590
48
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
2,874
138
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
3,590
48
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
1,854
239
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
2,874
138
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
1,548
29
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
3,590
48
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
3,887
54
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.